BACK TO THE FESTIVAL D'AVIGNON 2012
- LE FESTIVAL D'AVIGNON
The Festival d'Avignon was founded by Jean Vilar in 1947.
Jean Vilar was invited to present his first great successful play - Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot in the Popes Palace. At the same moment and at the same place, an exhibition of contemporary paintings and sculptures was organised by Christian Zervos, an art critic and collector, and by René Char, the poet.
Vilar initially refused the invitation as for him the Cour d'Honneur of the Popes Palace was too vast and "shapeless" and he also lost the performance rights of the play.
However, he proposed three creations : Shakespeare's Richard II, one of the Bard's plays that was little known at the time in France; Paul Claudel's Tobie et Sara (Tobie and Sara), and Maurice Clavel's second play, La Terrasse de Midi (The Midday Terrace). The very first Festival d'Avignon in September 1947 set the scene as a showcase for unknown work and modern scripts.
There are four distinct stages in the evolution of the Festival d'Avignon.