Comedie Francaise, also known as Maison de Molière
Louis XIV founded the prestigious theatre in 1680.
The Comedie Francaise is also known as ‘Maison de Molière’.
The playwright is indeed considered the “patron of French actors” and the soul of the Comedie Francaise, although he died seven years before its foundation!
Amazingly, he is still one of the most performed playwrights to this day in France!
The theatre changed addresses several times until 1812, when Napoleon I defined the statute of the Association of Actors of the Comédie-Française in the Decree of Moscow.
The establishment is composed of 450 employees.
This includes Sociétaires (actor-shareholders), Pensionnaires (ordinary actors) and Elèves or pupils.
Together, they produce 850 performances a year!
They are all under the direction of an administrator, who is appointed by the Ministry of Culture.
The Comedie Francaise is unique!
Indeed, it is the only theatre to have a permanent company of actors!
La Troupe des Comédiens Français performs a wide range of French classical or foreign plays.
Salle Richelieu, Théâtre du Vieux Colombier, Studio-Théâtre
The Comedie Francaise consists today a group of three theatres/stages.
The prestigious Salle Richelieu, the main stage of the Comedie Francaise, can accommodate 800 spectators.
The Ministry of Culture funded the € 12.6 million works which took place in 2012.
This included the re-decoration and the upgrading of the technical standards, accessibility for disabled and the construction of the temporary 750-seat Théatre Ephémère.
Several sponsors (Caisse d’Epargne Ile-de-France, Natixis, Fondation Patrimoine and Fondation Total) funded the new acoustics (€ 1.4 million).
The Salle Richelieu boasts extraordinary memorabilia.
This includes the armchair where Molière died, while acting on 17th February 1763.
You’ll also find statues of illustrious actors and playwrights in the lobby.
Among them, you’ll recognize Beaumarchais, Racine and of course Molière to name a few.
Finally, you’ll find the statues of Mesdemoiselles Mars and Rachel, two famous sociétaires of the 18th and 19th century, in the circular peristyle.
The Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier was founded in 1913 and is located at no21 rue du Vieux-Colombier.
Finally, the Studio-Théâtre, the 3rd stage, was inaugurated in November 1996 at no99 rue de Rivoli.
Directions: 1st District– Place Colette
Metro: Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre on Line 1
Coordinates: Lat 48.863323 – Long 2.336006