Michel Saint-Denis

Michel Saint-Denis

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Michel Saint-Denis

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Michel Saint-Denis (September 13, 1897 in Beauvais - July 31, 1971 in London), dit Jacques Duchesne, was a French actor, theater director, and drama theorist whose ideas on actor training have had a profound influence on the development of European theater from the 1930s on.Michel Saint-Denis was born in Beauvais, France, the nephew of Jacques Copeau, who had founded the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in 1913. St-Denis was exposed to theater early in his life. He joined Copeau's troupe in 1919, after their return from New York, where they had performed for two years. Saint-Denis was greatly influenced by Copeau's approach to theater taught at his Ecole du Vieux-Colombier, which embraced not only the play on stage but also the actor training itself. He soon became Copeau's right hand man, like Charles Dullin or Louis Jouvet before him. Together with other members of the troupe of the Vieux-Colombier, he followed his uncle to Burgundy in 1924, where they formed a new troupe that would become famous as les Copiaus.

In 1929, Michel Saint-Denis together with some other members of the Copiaus and with the help of Copeau, moved to Paris and set up the Compagnie des Quinze, transporting Copeau's teachings on international stages to wide acclaim. In 1935, he accepted an invitation to London, where he founded the London Theatre Studio together with George Devine and Marius Goring, an actor school where he introduced Copeau's and his own concepts from his earlier experience in France....
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