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Playwright

Jean Giraudoux

Performance Dates

March 3-5, 1966

Creative Team

Director - Charles W. Dodrill

Designer-Technical Director - Fred Thayer

Synopsis

Jean Giraudoux wrote "The Madwoman of Chaillot" during 1942-43. Since Paris was then occupied by the Germans, Giraudoux, who was living quietly there and would never have permitted a play of his to be performed during the Occupation, put it aside with the prophetic note on its fly-leaf: "To be performed Oct. 17. 1945" - this was at a time when no one could foresee when, if ever, the Nazis would be driven out of France. They were driven out in August, 1944 (by which time Giraudoux had died); peace came in August 1945. Thus the author's estimate of the liberation of his country was correct.

However, materials were so scarce in Paris in the months following the victory that, despite all efforts, Giraudoux's date could not be kept, and his play was not presented until Dec. 19, 1945. The play ran in Paris for 13 months without an empty seat.

In New York, the play was finally produced three years after its Paris success - opening Dec. 27, 1949, at the Belasco Theatre. It immediately stirred a tremendous controversy in New York, with many admirers returning to see it time and again, others attacking it angrily. Its reception was mixed in the press - certain critics going to great extremes of praise, others of condemnation. The most influential critics were in favor, so also seemed to be the public...for theatre was packed night after night.

The play ran in New York until Jan. 7, 1950 for a total of 386 performances.

Disciplines

Acting | Theatre and Performance Studies | Theatre History

Keywords

College Theater, Otterbein University Theater, Drama

The Madwoman of Chaillot

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