– Ethan Farber
In the heart of Paris, a few steps from the Louvre, is the Comédie Française theater. Classed as a French cultural institution, the Comédie Française was established by King Louis XIV in 1680. Before, Paris benefited from two theatrical groups, and the creation of the Comédie Française served to unite the two, making it the sole troop authorized to play in the city. Despite the death of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière, seven years earlier, the Comédie Française was also known as “the Maison de Molière”, or “the House of Molière”, as a sort of hommage to the greatest French actors and playwright. The Comédie Française is still today one of the most well known and prestigious theaters in France. Over the years, the troop has presented over 30,000 plays from the best French playwrights, most notably Molière. It is a true symbol of French culture.
During our trip to Paris, we were fortunate enough to see a representation of Molière’s famous “Tartuffe”. The theater itself, doted with sumptuous decorations and busts of the great French intellects, is magnificent. The room was not very big, which allowed the public to be very close to the stage. Personally, I found the play to be excpetional. The staging was extraordinary and the actors played their roles in a way that was both funny and gripping.