L'Hôtel de Bourgogne
The oldest public theatre in Paris located
in the historical market center of the city, The Hôtel de Bourgogne
was built by the members of la Confrérie de la Passion in 1548 as
a place to stage religious dramas. Unfortunately, just a few short years
after it was completed, the French king passed a law forbidding the public
performance of this type of drama. In exchange for this disappointment,
however, the Confrérie were granted a monopoly over the public performance
of other types of drama in the city. As a result, all troupes that wished
to give performances legally in Paris had to rent the Hôtel de Bourgogne.
In spite of the protests of many actors, the Confrérie maintained
their monopoly until the Théâtre du Marais opened for regular
performances in 1634. The company which regularly performed at the Bourgogne
theatre left a very important book documenting stage sets used in the early
1630s. One example of this unique type of staging, called the décor simultané,
can be seen here.
by Christa Williford, after research by Christa Williford.