History and archives


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 Palais des papes. 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 du Palais des papes 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 and Sara, and Maurice Clavel's second play, The Midday Terrace. The very first Festival d'Avignon in September 1947 set the scene as a showcase for unknown work of the universal repertoire and modern scripts.

There are four distinct stages in the evolution of the Festival d'Avignon.


For 17 years, the Festival reflected the work of one man, one team, one location and thus was the embodiment of one spirit. Jean Vilar's aim was to attract a young captivated and fresh audience, through a type of theatre that was different from what could be seen in Paris at that time.

He wanted to "renew theatre and collective forms of art by providing a more open space (...) to give a breath of fresh air to an art form that's stifling in waiting rooms, in cellars, in salons; to reconcile architecture with dramatic poetry."

Jean Vilar developed an attachment to the group of actors who performed each July in front of a growing and devoted audience. Gérard Philipe - already a well-known screen actor by that time - became the festival symbol after playing title roles in Corneille's Le Cid and Kleist's The Prince de Hombourg. The Festival spearheaded a rebirth of French theatre. It served as a guiding light and encouraged other theatrical experiments led by "pioneers" of decentralisation such as Jean Daste in Saint Etienne, Maurice Sarrazin in Toulouse, Hubert Grignoux in Rennes or André Clavé in Strasbourg. The theatre was given a new lease of life thanks to the work of directors sent by the state on missions to places then considered as cultural deserts. The Festival d'Avignon became a meeting place for these stage pioneers and at the same time, an expected summer cultural event in France.

It was now clear that the Festival d'Avignon was a permanent fixture on the cultural calendar. It was time for Vilar to have a permanent stage. In 1951, Jeanne Laurent, the director of Performing Arts at the State Fine Arts Secretariat, and who encouraged Vilar in 1947 as well as lent financial support to the "Semaine d'Art" (Art week), had faith in the success of the Festival d'Avignon. She realised that the decentralisation policy in France convinced a large number of people. An interdepartmental committee wanted a report on national theatre; Laurent suggested that the report should focus on popular theatre ; what was possible in the provinces was certainly possible for Paris and its suburbs. The committee was not insensitive to Laurent's determination and approved her idea. That was on the 17th of July 1951. She immediately caught a train to Avignon and asked Vilar to work with her on this project. He hesitated, consulted the members of his group, and finally agreed. On the eve of the funeral for Louis Jouvet - one of France's greatest actors - Vilar was officially appointed director of the theatre of Chaillot in Paris. He renamed it the Théâtre National Populaire. The Avignon crew was the core of the TNP.

Until 1963, the TNP and the Avignon Festival had one unique "boss" whose work was animated by a post-war cultural militancy aiming at drawing a larger audience.

Many associations, youth movements, work councils and secular friendship groups were thus approached. Thousands of young people descended on the city, sleeping in camp-sites, in guesthouses ; schools were opened to offer them accommodation. The Orchard Urban V became a venue for debates, meetings and readings. Thirteen countries took part in the first International Youth Encounters organised by CEMEA (Centre d'Entraînement aux Méthodes d'Education Active = active methods for education training centre) and by the CEAI (Centre d'Echanges Artistiques Internationaux = International artistic exchanges centre).

The administration and the troupe set up in Paris presented memorable performances of Lorenzaccio, Dom Juan, The Marriage of Figaro, Murder in the Cathedral, Les Caprices de Marianne, Mother Courage and The Trojan War Will Not Take Place.

And every summer, at the Palais des papes, a cultural ritual, a kind of "communion" took place.


Jean Vilar was no doubt the first one to realize that this ritual was likely to change its routine. Other theatre personalities were emerging in France. So finally, wearied by the numerous and burdensome responsibilities he had accumulated, the director of the TNP left Chaillot in 1963, to devote himself to the challenging Festival d'Avignon.

Vilar invited new stage directors to Avignon, like Roger Planchon, Jorge Lavelli, Antoine Boursellier. New venues emerged like the Cloître des Carmes in 1967 and the Cloître des Célestins in 1968. He opened the Festival to other artistic disciplines - in 1966 he brought in dance with Maurice Béjart and his "Twentieth Century Ballet", in 1967 cinema made its first appearance at the Festival d'Avignon with an avant-première of Jean-Luc Godard La Chinoise in the Cour d'honneur, and finally Vilar introduced musical theatre with Orden, directed by Jorge Lavelli.

Public interest went on growing and the city became an overcrowded theatre-land during summer months.

From that time, the Festival, with its newly acquired openness, became more difficult to manage. The Festival Avignon was not spared from the effects of the student protests in May 1968, and its founding father was disputed. Confusion reigned and, Jean Vilar, who had always been so open to communication with young people, suffered to a point from which he never recovered. He passed away in 1971, after a heart attack.

Paul Puaux, with his years of experience at the Festival, was well-placed to continue Vilar's work.

In the seventies, the Cour d'honneur, was reserved for the heirs of Vilar's TNP: Georges Wilson, Antoine Bourseiller, Marcel Maréchal, Gabriel Garran, Guy Rétoré, Benno Besson and Otomar Krejca. More venues sprang up in cloisters and chapels that became new adventure grounds breaking with Vilar's aesthetic (e.g. Bob Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, Mephisto by Ariane Mnouchkine, The Conference of birds by Peter Brook and Les Molière by Antoine Vitez). Militant Lucien Attoun put on his "Théâtre Ouvert" (Open Theatre) where, from 1971 a new generation of directors like Jean-Pierre Vincent, Bruno Bayen, Jacques Lassalle, staged with little means and contemporary texts (Rezvani, Rufus, Gatti). He then provided them "Le Gueuloir",a place where the playwrights themselves were invited to present their works.

La Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, a 14th century monastery on the other side of the Rhone River was transformed into the International Centre for Creative Research (CIRCA). It is a residence for artists where are held exhibitions and concerts and, it also welcomes an event called "Rencontres Internationales" (International Encounters) each summer during the Festival.

At the same time, fringe theatre started up at Avignon, giving various companies desired and desirable exposure at the Festival. The first to perform in the "Off" were local companies (e.g. Benedetto, Gélas), then young troupes from all over France started attending (e.g. Gildas Bourdet, Bernard Sobel) seeking to reach the Festival audience. Although they may not have been selected by the Festival committee to perform, they wanted to be a part of what had become the major summer event for theatre and to rub shoulders with the important players of the theatre world and the media, and to present their work to theatre-lovers.


In 1980, the Festival reached a turning point in its history. Until then, it had been administered by the City Council and did not receive subsidies from the government. It needed to be made more modern and professional to appeal to a new generation of theatre artists. Paul Puaux handed over the reins of the Festival to a younger administrator, Bernard Faivre d'Arcier, who for five years set out to achieve this end.

Paul Puaux wanted to devote his time to the history of Jean Vilar's challenge and established the Maison Jean Vilar in Avignon.

The Festival won its administrative freedom. The State joined the Festival's board. The organising team was expanded to cope with the requirements of modern management and increasingly sophisticated technology. The device in the Cour d'honneur du Palais des papes was specially modified to welcome the staging of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Richard II by Ariane Mnouchkine's company "Le Théâtre du Soleil".

So the new generation of drama and dance made its grand entrance also with Daniel Mesguish (Le Roi Lear), Jean-Pierre Vincent (Dernières Nouvelles de la peste by Bernard Chartreux), Georges Lavaudant (Les Céphéïdes by Jean-Christophe Bailly), Jérôme Deschamps (Les Blouses), Manfred Karge and Matthias Langhoff (Chekhov's La Cerisaie, The Prince of Homburg), Philippe Caubère (La Danse du diable), Pina Bausch (Kontakthof, Walzer, Nelken), Jean-Claude Gallotta (Daphnis et Chloé, Yves P), Maguy Marin... etc. The Festival became one of the biggest enterprises in performing arts. It became a symbol of change and each year its poster was designed by a different artist.

Vilar opened the Festival to dance and cinema and to musical theatre. Bernard Faivre d'Arcier opened it to new forms and, in 1984, proposed a confrontational theme in an exhibition and in debates called "real-life and artifice" ("du vivant et de l'artificiel").

In 1985, Alain Crombecque, former artistic director of the Festival d'Automne (Autumn Festival of Paris), took charge of the festival d'Avignon and remained for eight years. His generation in theatre had earned a certain esteem that filtered into the Festival Avignon, and he added his own personal mark. He was insistent on including readings of contemporary poetry (by poets such as Michel Leiris, René Char, Louis-René Des Forêts etc.), about bringing together the public and prominent actors (Alain Cuny, Maria Casarès and Jeanne Moreau for example), about contemporary music with the Centre Acanthes and traditional culture from outside of Europe (African, Indian, Pakistani or Iranian music and performances of the Ramayana by different countries from South Asia).

From the Mahâbhârata staged by Peter Brook at the disused Boulbon Quarry, to the programme of traditions and music from South America, Avignon opened up more to other countries. Nonetheless the Festival retained its status as the focal point of France's biggest theatrical forays, adapted to outsize productions that could not have been staged very easily elsewhere, like the unabridged version of Paul Claudel's Soulier de satin (The Satin Shoe), directed by Antoine Vitez or screenings of landmark silent films accompanied by orchestra in the Cour d'honneur of the Popes Palace such as Intolerance by D.W. Griffith in 1986, and Eisenstein's October in 1989.

In 1993 Bernard Faivre d'Arcier was re-appointed to the Festival with Christiane Bourbonnaud, as administrator, and with a new goal: to make Avignon a hub of European theatre.

The structure was consolidated with a bigger budget, an audience of more than 100,000, about forty productions each summer amounting to more than 300 performances, in about twenty different venues, each one very different from the other.

The Festival remained at the centre of French stage creation with well-known directors like Jacques Lassalle, Didier Bezace, Alain Françon and Stuart Seide, and a new generation represented by Olivier Py, Stanislas Nordey and Éric Lacascade, as well as choreographers such as Angelin Prejlocaj, Mathilde Monnier and Catherine Diverrès. Its doors opened to international works of traditional and contemporary culture from outside of Europe - from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and South America - as well as to great European artists such as Pina Bausch, Declan Donnellan, Romeo Castellucci and Alain Platel. The Festival also welcomed artists from Central and Eastern European states with the Russian season in 1997 and the creation of Theorem, an association of theatres and festivals seeking to produce and promote young artists from those countries like Oskaras Korsunovas, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Arpàd Schilling...

In 2003, the Festival was cancelled due to strikes which affected live performances all over France. This crisis was sparked by a change in the rules which govern unemployment benefits specific to entertainment workers in France, and which placed them in a particular vulnerable situation.


From 2004 to 2013 Festival, Hortense Archambault and Vincent Baudriller have been co-directors of the Festival. At the heart of their project is the meeting between artistic creation and a large audience. Since their appointment, they have decided to be based with the whole team in Avignon, and from there to invent each Festival together with artists. They have reinforced the ties between the Festival and its local base and partners and have developed year-long activities for the local audience, especially young people. At the same time they have strengthened the links with Europe, making the Festival even more a crossroads of European culture. The Festival also accompanies the artistic teams in the technical and financial production of their work as well as in their circulation in France and abroad.

Another novelty in their project is to choose one or two associate artists to help them prepare each edition of the Festival. Before deciding on the programme, they enter in close dialogue with each of their associates whose sensibility and personal outlook on artistic creation and the performing arts feeds in the artistic choices. In 2004, and with the German director and artistic director of Berlin's Schaubühne Thomas Ostermeier, the Festival put the emphasis on ensemble theatre engaged in the social and political questionings of their time. With the Antwerpian artist Jan Fabre in 2005, the Festival allowed for a multiplicity of exchanges and encounters between words, bodies and images, between performing arts and visual arts. In 2006, with Josef Nadj, a choreographer of Magyar culture, the 60th opus of the Festival proposed a more oniric approach and journeys between artforms and cultures. In 2007, with French director Frédéric Fisbach, the Festival favoured the whole spectrum of stage writings and the relationship between artist and audience. With French actress Valérie Dréville and Italian artist Romeo Castellucci, the 2008 edition brought the audience along towards unchartered territories, beyond words and images, opening up on the mystery of the Human. In 2009, it's the director and playwright Wajdi Mouawad's turn to be the associate. Swiss director Christoph Marthaler and French writer Olivier Cadiot were joint associate artists in 2010. In 2011, it was the dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz. In 2012, the Festival was imagined with the complicity of the actor and director Simon McBurney. In 2013, the 67th Festival d'Avignon was prepared with the author, actor and director Dieudonné Niangouna and the actor and director Stanislas Nordey.

If each opus is a different one, based on that diversity of visions, contemporary creation remains at the heart of the Festival and of its programme with risk-taking entrusted to the artists. Most of them create new works especially for Avignon and its audiences, which remains the most acute way to interrogate the aesthetics of our age. The artistic "risk" makes the richness of the Festival where the spectators, whoever they may be and wherever horizon, environment and culture they come from, can draw that singular excitement of being faced with a reinvented classic or a modern text, a contemporary piece of dance or a visual installation. The Festival d'Avignon offers its spectators the pleasure of discovery alongside the pleasure of reflexion, turning the town into a forum that oozes the engagement in its time, turning theatre into an auspicious place for dialogue and often passionate debates for artists and audiences alike.

The last edition of their mandate was marked by the inauguration of a residence and rehearsal space at the Festival: La FabricA du Festival d'Avignon.

In September 2013, Vincent Baudriller succeeded René Gonzalez as director of the Théâtre de Vidy in Lausanne. In 2015, Hortense Archambault was appointed President of the Board of Directors of the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique, a mandate renewed in 2018. She has also directed the Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (MC93) since 1 August 2015.


In September 2013, Olivier Py became the first artist to be appointed director of the Festival d’Avignon since Jean Vilar. A director for the theatre, the opera, and cinema, but also an actor and poet, Olivier Py is a prolific author. He anchors his work in the preoccupations of his contemporaries in order to open a poetic and political dialogue about how to live together. Theatre is his culture and instrument: with it, the word becomes action, and the poem could one day inspire new democratic forms. The programme is in his image, grappling with the world and with humanity. It gives prominence to youth (Thomas Jolly, Tommy Milliot, Tamara Al Saadi…), remembers the great masters (Satoshi Miyagi, Krystian Lupa, Meng Jinghui, Oskaras Korsunovas…), speaks several languages, dares, provokes, invites us to action (Alexandra Badea, Christiane Jatahy, Kirill Serebrennikov…), and gives us to hear new collective voices (Julien Gosselin, Nathalie Garraud, Anne-Cécile Vandalem..).

With Paul Rondin, assistant director, they are fully aware of the importance of the public service mission that has historically been that of the Festival, and have decided to free the event from its traditional borders by broadening its scope. Thus was born the “3-kilometre decentralisation,” which aimed to make the Festival ever more accessible to as many people as possible. To conquer new territories and audiences, they’ve created a programme of travelling shows that harkens back to a long tradition of travelling theatre.

This constant desire to remain close to the audience has also transformed the Festival’s programme. A new type of dialogue and new forms of encounters with the artists quickly developed. The Workshops of Thought were created on the Louis Pasteur campus of the Université d’Avignon: every day, all day long, knowledge is shared in a garden turned haven to welcome panels and debates with thinkers, journalists, politicians, or artists, and remarkable partnerships with various media but also with Amnesty International or the French National Agency for Research. At the same time, younger audiences are ever more included thanks to the Cemea and territorial communities.

Among those striking new events, the public garden of the Ceccano library, right in the centre of Avignon, hosts a dramatic series open to all every day of the Festival at noon, and allows artists, intellectuals, professionals, amateurs, and drama school students to tackle great texts such as Plato’s Republic or The Odyssey, or to delve into topical social questions. Ever more successful, the series has since grown out of the garden to be broadcast live and streamed online on the Festival’s various platforms, proving if need be that there is real demand from a popular audience.

This search for new forms of dialogue between the Festival, its history, its legacy, its environment, and its audience found a new centre with La FabricA. Built in the heart of the Monclar-Champfleury neighbourhood, this venue has become for Olivier Py and Paul Rondin a major asset in the building of a new relationship with the audience of the Festival but also with the inhabitants of the region and the artists welcomed for residencies or invited as part of cultural actions. Throughout the year, La FabricA hosts residencies, panels, open house days, and workshops, bringing together the neighbourhood’s inhabitants, associations, and students and teachers from the region, to experience the artistic emulation at work there. La FabricA has thus become the lynchpin of the Festival and of its cultural policy throughout the year.

This artistic emulation is strengthened by the Festival’s pro-active strategy when it comes to digital media. Fully aware of new tools and of their uses, the team of the Festival decided to be an active participant in the digital revolution. A website designed as both a news platform and a resource centre, social media apps on which users can discuss the content of every edition, an application designed to respond to our contemporary need for information, the creation of FXP-Festival Expériences, a branch of the Festival whose goal is to showcase the digital and audiovisual legacy of the Festival as well as innovative content to remain at the heart of artistic creation, participation to French Tech and to Micro-Folies, workshops to teach youths how to master images and the digital world thanks to a Web-TV: the digital experiments of the Festival have allowed it to remain in touch with its time, offering an ever larger and more diverse audience new ways to approach culture. In 2020, as the Festival had to be cancelled for health reasons, the operation Un Rêve d’Avignon (A Dream of Avignon) offered every day in July over a hundred events and unique creations—fictions, a reimagined show in the Cour d’honneur, documentaries, podcasts, classics… Three weeks of an unprecedented programme on public television and radio stations and on the Festival’s website which, for one summer, allowed audiences and artists to keep dreaming together, differently, and in spite of everything else going on.

Since 2013, the direction of the Festival has focused on revealing artists from all over the world, on turning the institution into an agile tool in the service of public cultural policy, on diversifying its audience, on sustaining the legend of Avignon, a Festival with a unique international reputation and welcoming to all.

In January 2023, Paul Rondin was appointed director of the Cité Internationale de la langue française in Villers-Cotterêts and in February of the same year, Olivier Py was appointed director of the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

The author, director and actor, Olivier Py was born in 1965. After studying at the National Superior School of Theatre Arts and Techniques (Ensatt), he entered the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art Paris in 1987, while studying theology. His first play, Oranges and Nails, was created by Didier Lafaye in 1988. In the same year, Olivier Py founded his own company. Olivier Py is faithful to the Festival d'Avignon, where his work has been seen many times, notably in 1995, when he made a mark on the Festival by performing The Servant, an endless story, a twenty-four hour cycle, or in 2006, on the occasion of the closing of the 60th Festival d’Avignon, when he staged a tribute to Jean Vilar, The Vilar Enigma in the Cour d’honneur du Palais des papes. In 1998, Olivier Py was appointed as the director of the Orleans National Drama Centre. Then from 2007 to 2011, he was at the head of the French national Odeon-Theatre of Europe. Olivier Py has been entrusted with the management of the Festival d’Avignon starting with the 2014 edition. A position he is helding since September 2013.

Born in 1971, Paul Rondin initially studied literature before going on to train in the performing arts. In addition to his vocational training, he completed a course in Arts and Cultural Management and Political Science. From 1994 to 1996 he was Manager of the theatre department of the DRAC (Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs) of the Ile de France region at the Ministry of Culture, then Project Officer at AFAA (French Association of Artistic Action) at the Foreign Office. In 2000 he became Administrator of the National Drama Centre in Orléans, under the direction of Olivier Py, until 2007. During that period, he also committed himself and lent his support to the International Parliament of Writers / International Cities of Refuge Network. In 2007, he joined Olivier Py at the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe becoming Secretary General until the autumn of 2012. After a preview of the Avignon Festival, he became the Managing Director from the 1st September 2013 onwards. In 2018, he served a second term of office at the Festival Management. In 2014, he co-founded the French Tech Culture, got involved in several symposiums on cultural politics and the digital/cultural rapport, both in France and further afield. He initiated « Encounters Research and Creation » with Catherine Courtet (National Research Agency).

Current direction

Tiago Rodrigues succeeded Olivier Py as director of the Festival in September 2022 with a renewable 4-year mandate, thus becoming the first foreign artist to head the Festival since its foundation. Known for a body of work which ceaselessly tries to build bridges between peoples and cultures, he offers his own interpretation of the popular theatre utopia embodied by the Festival d'Avignon, arguing that "the great intangible treasure of Avignon is the democratic celebration of our capacity for wonder before art."

The director and board of the Festival d'Avignon hereby announce that Pierre Gendronneau is joining the staff of the Festival as deputy director, starting on 9 February 2023.

Tiago Rodrigues is committed to show works by the greatest names in contemporary national and international creation, with equal representation between genders; to shine a spotlight for each edition on a “guest language” to create a geopolitics of art beyond administrative borders, to strengthen the link between Heritage and Innovation that makes up the DNA of the Festival d’Avignon, and to invite Europe, if not the world, to a “luminous café,” where debates of ideas and professional encounters can thrive.

Tiago Rodrigues’s project will revolve around the following main axes:

  • To produce and offer challenging but accessible creations, recognised at the national and international levels;

  • To conceive the Festival as a laboratory which can light the way for the future thanks to its history, but also its cultural and dramatic heritage;

  • To engage in a responsible environmental and societal approach aiming to serve as a model;

  • To play an active part in education and in the life of the city, with a strong and invigorated engagement at the local level;

  • To make the Festival more accessible, inclusive, and representative for both audiences and artists;

  • To work on the idea of a cultural, diverse, innovative, and inclusive Europe open to the world and enriched by collaborations and partnerships.

The first ambition of Portuguese actor Tiago Rodrigues is to play with people who'd want to come together and invent shows. His encounter with the tg STAN in 1997, when he was but 20, definitively confirmed his attachment to the absence of hierarchy in a creative group. The freedom of performance and decision given him then would forever influence his future shows. Tiago Rodrigues thus found himself repeatedly and early in his career in a position of instigator, and little by little came to direct and write projects he “stumbled upon.” In parallel to that, he also wrote screenplays, articles, poems, prefaces, op-eds, etc. In 2003, he co-founded with Magda Bizarro the company Mundo Perfeito, with which he created many shows without settling down in any specific location, becoming the guest of many national and international institutions. In France, he notably performed his Portuguese version of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra at the Festival d'Avignon in 2015. By heart is presented in 2014 at the Théâtre de la Bastille, which later invites him to lead an "occupation" of the theater during two months in spring 2016, during which he created Bovary. Director of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II in Lisbon from 2015 to 2021, Tiago Rodrigues nevertheless continues to create shows using the limited means he has appropriated as his own artistic syntax. On a larger scale, he has become a builder of bridges between cities and countries, at once host and advocate of a living theatre. After being appointed as the future director of the Festival d'Avignon in July 2021, while presenting Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in the Cour d'Honneur du Palais des papes, he takes up his post in September 2022.

For almost fifteen years, Pierre Gendronneau has worked with artists as a producer to help them find their audience. With his experience as production manager (Scène nationale de Sénart), administrator (independent structures and companies), production director (Centre dramatique national de Montreuil), and most recently as deputy director to Emmanuel DemarcyMota at the Paris Autumn Festival, Pierre Gendronneau is intimately familiar with all the aspects of production and of the dissemination of artistic works in France and abroad. Thanks to his work developing artistic activities at the local level, but also on the questions of artistic patronage and international cooperation, he has acquired a crossdisciplinary expertise in the guidance of direction projects. Familiar with the Festival d’Avignon after his work as executive producer on Patrick Pineau’s Suicidé, which opened the 65th edition in the Carrière de Boulbon, Pierre Gendronneau now joins the staff of the Festival as deputy director, starting on 9 February 2023.


More archival footage at the Maison Jean Vilar

Open all year, the Maison Jean-Vilar is a resource centre programming events and panels about popular theatre, the Festival d’Avignon, Jean Vilar and his legacy, and more generally the performing arts.

Founded in 1979, 8 years after Jean Vilar’s death, it is located in the Hôtel de Crochans, a 17th-century mansion near the Place de l’Horloge.

Co-administered by the Association Jean-Vilar and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Maison Jean-Vilar is also tasked with the preservation and showcase of unique documents—posters, costumes, letters, work notes, recordings, photographs—which together constitute a record of the fundamental adventure in the performing arts that is the Festival. It includes both theJean Vilar and Jean Rouvet collections, as well as the archives of the Festival d’Avignon since its foundation in 1947.

Within the house itself, the Association Jean-Vilar curates temporary exhibitions, alternating between exhibits about Jean Vilar’s and the Festival’s legacy, and contemporary expressions illustrating the issues and aesthetic questions facing theatre today.

Recent exhibitions:

Last few years :

The Maison Jean-Vilar is also home to a library, a satellite of the performing arts department of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, whose reading room is open to everyone free of charge.

Click here to access TO the Maison Jean Vilar website

Click here to acceSs TO the BNF website