Playwright, Film production designer
1909 – 1973
Who was André Barsacq?
André Barsacq was a French theatre director, producer, scenic designer, and playwright. From 1940 to 1973 he was the director of the Théâtre de l'Atelier. He was the brother of Russian production designer Léon Barsacq.
Barsacq was born in the city of Feodosiya in Crimea. His father was French and his mother was Russian. At the age of 15 he traveled to Paris to study at the School of Decorative Arts and lived in France from then on. In 1928 he was at the Théâtre de l'Atelier working with its director, Charles Dullin on productions which included Jules Romains's 1923 play Knock.
As director of the Théâtre de l'Atelier he introduced Parisian audiences to the plays of Ugo Betti, Félicien Marceau, Marcel Ayme, Françoise Sagan, René de Obaldia, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt. He successfully adapted the works of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, and Turgenev for the French stage. During his career he worked with Antonin Artaud, Jean-Louis Barrault, and Jacques Copeau.
Barsacq was a great admirer of Jean Anouilh and beginning with Le Bal des voleurs at Théâtre des Arts in 1938 produced almost all his plays, including, at some personal risk, the subversive Antigone in 1944 during the Nazi occupation.
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