Whitton, David (2008) Proliferation and Differentiation of National Theatres in France. In: National Theatres in a Changing Europe. Studies in International Performance . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 153-163. ISBN 1-4039-4435-00 (Hb) 1-4039-4436-9 (Pb)
Recognising theatre's usefulness in nation-building and identity formation, most European countries maintain a national theatre. France is unusual in having been the first European country to establish a national theatre, and in having a plurality of national theatres. Although the Comédie-Française (est. 1680) is still regarded by many French people (not to mention foreigners) as the site of France's theatrical nationhood, it is currently one of five - or possibly seven - French national theatres. Each of them occupies a niche fashioned by the interaction of history, political agendas, and the artistic agendas of their directors. The chapter examines the proliferation and re-configuration of France's national theatres since 1968, and the changing national priorities that they reflect.
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