|Born||8 May 1885|
|Died||11 December 1949 (aged 64)|
|Occupation||Film director, actor|
Dullin at Vieux-ColombierEdit
Dullin was a student of Jacques Copeau,:317 whose company he joined in 1913 for one season, before rejoining from 1917-1918.:134 He also trained and worked with Jacques Rouché,:73 André Antoine and Firmin Gémier.
Théâtre de l'AtelierEdit
In July 1921, Dullin founded Théâtre de l'Atelier which he referred to as a "laboratory theater".:346 He conducted auditions for the troupe in Paris, and then brought the small group of actors to Néronville, where they trained for between ten and twelve hours daily. The small group of students, among them Antonin Artaud, was organised as a commune, with Dullin looking to create 'a different attitude toward theatre' through a 'common sharing of life and work'.
In 1922, The group established itself in the Théâtre Montmartre, the 'first purpose built theatre in suburban Paris', which originally opened in 1822.:31 In order to cover the initial cost of leasing and setting up the theatre, Dullin’s mother sold some of the family’s furniture and silverware at pawn shops.:36; :45
Dullin's company remained resident in the theatre until the beginning of World War II.
Work on filmEdit
Dullin also played many roles on the screen, and used some of the money earned in these roles to support his theater. He was one of the major French actors both on the stage and the screen during the 1930s.
Acting theory and techniquesEdit
Dullin put a particular emphasis on mime, gymnastics, improvisation, voice production, and various exercises intended to heighten one's sensory perception.:119 In the tradition of Copeau, Dullin emphasised respect for the text, a simplified stage décor and favored a poetic rather than a spectacular perspective on the mise-en-scène, placing the actor at the center of the performance. He forwarded a theory of the theatre of transposition, which was based in the concept of 'Enrichment': which is, '"the secret" and "the foundation" of all arts, especially dramatic arts'.:145
Dullin's goal when he created this theater, which also served as a school for actors, was to create the "complete actor":
to form actors with a general culture, which they so often lack; to inculcate them from the very beginning with solid principles of actors' techniques: good diction, physical training; to expand their means of expression to include dance and pantomime; in one word, to form the complete actor.:346
The actor was to get in tune with "La Voix du Monde" (the voice of the world), by making contact with one's surroundings, this would then enable the actor to get in tune with his true voice, "Voix de Soi-Même" (the voice of oneself), with which he is to express himself on stage.:347
In his seminars, Dullin strongly emphasized that his actors must "see before describing, hear before answering...and feel before trying to express himself", often using bells, the sound of footsteps, and masks as preparation.:347 The actors were encouraged to forget the weight of their bodies, while using them more than their faces to express themselves, often wearing a full or half mask.:347
East Asian influencesEdit
Dullin drew heavily on East Asian theatre techniques, and particularly Japanese theatre,:135 His interest in Japanese theatre developed as early as 1916, when, as a soldier in World War 1, he performed on the frontline and declared his fellow solider's performances to be Japanese due to their integration of dance, speech and singing into their performance.:134
As a member of Jacques Rouché's Théâtre des Arts (1910-1913) he performed in Louis Laloy’s Le Chagrin dans le palais de Han (1911), an adaptation of a Chinese Yuan zaju play. He would first perform in the minor role of un seigneur before taking over the role the Emperor, one of the play’s two leads, for its revival in December. In addition to starring in the revival, Rouché asked Dullin to modify some aspects of the staging, which, according to Rouché, foreshadowed his ‘future tendencies towards stylisation’:133
Dullin died in Paris on December 11, 1949, after falling ill while on tour as an actor in Southern France.:90
- Ben Jonson's Volpone
- Molière's L’Avare
- Sophocles’s Antigone in the Jean Cocteau adaptation with music by Arthur Honegger
- Pirandello's The Pleasure of Honesty
- Shakespeare's Richard III.
- Âmes d'orient (1919) - Agapian
- The Secret of Rosette Lambert (1920) - Bertrand
- L'Homme qui vendit son âme au diable (1921) - Le Diable
- Le Miracle des loups (1924) - Le roi Louis XI
- Le Joueur d'échecs (1927) - Baron von Kempelen
- Misdeal (1928) - Olivier Maldone
- Cagliostro (1929) - Marquis de Espada-Comte de Breteil
- Les Misérables (1934) - Thénardier
- Street of Shadows (1937) - Le colonel Mathésius
- L'Affaire du courrier de Lyon (1937) - Le témoin aveugle
- Volpone (1941) - Corbaccio
- Le briseur de chaînes (1941) - Esprit Mouret
- Les jeux sont faits (1947) - Le marquis
- Quai des Orfèvres (1947) - Georges Brignon
- Vagabonds imaginaires (1950) - Le récitant (segment 'Les étoiles') (voice) (final film role)
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- Cited in Innes, Christopher (1984). Holy Theatre: Ritual and the Avant Garde. CUP Archive. p. 110. ISBN 9780521269438.
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