Playhouses of 17th-Century Paris:

The Project


This project seeks to offer computer-based reconstructions of the interiors of six major theatrical sites of seventeenth-century Paris, each placed in a general context. These models are based on the scholarly interpretation of original source documents. It is hoped that other scholars will be able to use their own expertise to interrogate the models, to check their accuracy and to suggest modifications. After careful collection and further review of source documents, the contributors to this site hope that its material might at some point become a much richer multimedia resource which will include illustrated narrative studies of each of the selected theatres and the evidence supporting their virtual reconstruction.



· To provide an interactive, multimedia research resource on Paris playhouses of the seventeenth-century

· To give students and scholars an introduction to seventeenth-century French theatre architecture

· To encourage students and scholars to participate in the ongoing task of interrogating and interpreting source material relating to the topic.



· To construct 3D computer models of selected seventeenth-century French theatres, based on an interpretation of documentary and iconographic evidence

· To document the rationale for the key interpretative decisions taken during the course of the reconstructions whenever possible, in reference to original source material

· To compile all of the above into a multimedia presentation on the six major theatres, to be disseminated online.


The seventeenth-century playhouses that have been selected for the project are:

· Hôtel de Bourgogne (1647)

· Théâtre du Marais (1644)

· Palais Cardinal (1641)

· Palais Royal (1660)

· Opéra/Hôtel du Guénégaud (1673)

· Théâtre Français (1689)


The creator of and contributors to this website hope, at some point, to acquire additional support and assistance toward fully meeting the above aims and objectives. They hope that the project will ultimately find a permanent home online, and that it will one day be a significantly enhanced research resource for seventeenth-century French theatre. The project will therefore not have a single finite conclusion. Contributions and suggestions addressed to project coordinator Christa Williford are most welcome at: