The article considers the achievements of Jean Vilar and the popularity of his Théâtre National Populaire (T.N.P.) between the years 1951 to 1963. At the introductory part of the article the author considers the innovations that Vilar introduced in the T. N. P. And which subsequently influenced changes in other theatres in France. Fleury notes that in a bid to encourage the public to be loyal, Vilar used two approaches these approaches were: (i) reaching out to the public and, (ii) establishing mutual loyalty between the theatrical institution and the theatre goers.
Accordingly, Fleury goes ahead to explain the manner in which Vilar formulated and implemented policies targeting the public. First, Fleury discusses what he believes was a model for defining popular theatre and a model of inculcating loyalty among the working-class audience. He opines that the policies that Vilar formulated during the twelve years when Vilar was in charge of the T.N.P. theatre were aimed at popularizing the theatre in order to attract working-class spectators. According to Fleury, Vilar’s approaches included creating class consciousness by criticizing the bourgeois theatres. The article further looks at the various strategies that Vilar used to deal with the obstacles that were preventing the people from accessing theatres.
In discussing the elaborate ways that Vilar used to establish the relationship between the audience and the T.N.P., Fleury observes that Vilar’s public policy characterized Laurent Thévenot’s phrase of “investment of forms”. To achieve his ambition of creating a strong bond between his theatre and the theatre-goers, Fleury observes that Vilar incorporated institutional innovations that lay emphasis on the working-class audience.
Fleury, L. (n.d.). A Return To Origins: Jean Vilar’s National Popular Theatre Model.