Charles Bodinier

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Charles Bodinier
Born (1844-01-06)January 6, 1844
Beaufort-en-Vallée, Maine-et-Loire, France
Died 1911 (1912) (aged 67)
Nationality French
Occupation Theater director
Known for "La Bodinière" theater

Charles Bodinier (6 January 1844 - 1911) was a French theater manager. After working for the Comédie-Française he became director of the Théatre d'Application and then of the Théatre La Bodinière. La Bodinière appealed to an elite audience, and staged a variety of lectures and performances until Bodinier retired in 1902.

Early years[edit]

Charles Bodinier was born on 6 January 1844 in Beaufort-en-Vallée, Maine-et-Loire. He became a professional soldier, and was captured in the war of 1870. He was not released until 1874. In 1876 he joined the staff of the Comédie-Française.[1] Bodinier was Secretary-General of the Comédie-Française from 1882 to 1889.[2]

Théatre d'Application[edit]

In 1886 Bodinier proposed to establish a small theater where the students of the Conservatoire could stage performances of the Classics, a concept that was well received by the Minister of Fine Arts.[3] In his application to the Commission des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques Bodinier insisted that the Théatre d'Application would be a school and not a profit-making enterprise, and on that basis he was given permission for six months.[4] Both the municipal council and the ministry subscribed to establishing the theater.[5]

In 1887 Bodinier opened the Théatre d'Application in an old tannery at 18 rue Saint-Lazare for use by students at the Conservatoire de Paris.[1] He became director of the theater in 1888.[1] The foyer of the premises were used as an art gallery. The artists Jules Chéret, Ferdinand Bac and Théophile Steinlen had their first one-person shows there while the main room was being used for the Théatre d'Application.[6]

La Bodinière[edit]

The original purpose evolved. The theater at 18 rue Saint-Lazare became known as "La Bodinière" and began to be used for different purposes.[1] La Bodinière's audience came to include members of the Parisian upper class and intelligentsia. Starting in 1890, Bodinier began to put on matinées-causeries, where well-known literary figures gave talks.[7] He also staged plays and shadow shows.[1] A popular format was a combined lecture with a recital that illustrated the topic.[7]

Charles Bodinier abandoned the theater in 1902 and left philosophically to spend in a quiet retirement in the suburbs. He died in 1911 aged 67.[8]

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