The Molières through time

  • 22, May 2020
  • Parisian theatre
  • Sam Asher

At Theatre in Paris, we strive to provide our audiences with incredible productions that showcase the brilliance of Parisian theatre, and we are excited to announce that four of our partner shows have been nominated for several Molière’s! “The Molière’s” refers to an awards ceremony night honouring French theatre excellence. To put it to comparison, this awards ceremony is the equivalent to that of the Tony’s in the United States or the Olivier Awards in the United Kingdom. In light of the current situation, it’s clear that large gatherings at the theatre may be a bit tricky, but the show must go on! The prestigious 2020 Molière Awards will take place the 23rd of June at the Theatre du Chatelet, but without an audience. If you are looking to immerse yourself in the French theatre culture of today, this awards ceremony is one to follow. A decades-old tradition, the Molière Awards (or Nuit de Molières in French) has become a pinnacle point of achievement for theatre patrons and players since the 1980s. If this awards show is news to you, we’ll walk you through some of its history! 

Honoring Theatre Since 1987

If you are a theatre buff, you know that France is famous for having a notable amount of esteemed and prolific playwrights. With a rich history for the theatre, it’s surprising to find out that the Molière Awards were christened in 1987, making this ceremony only 33 years old. Standing about half the age of its American counterpart - the Tony Awards – the Moleires were created from a need of recognition. A band of their creators expressed this sentiment quoting “It’s time that the people of the theatre recognize and crown the people of the theatre.” Giving honour and recognition to French productions ever since the Molière Awards have become a wondrously popular and exciting event for those who follow theatre. 

 

An annual award ceremony, this night is usually hosted sometime in the spring or early summer. The first-ever ceremony was held on the 23rd of May in 1987 at the Theatre du Chatelet in the first arrondissement in Paris. Over the years, the number of categories for awards has grown from 14 to about 20, with certain categories being changed and added every year. This ceremony has become an essential aspect for theatregoers in France. Each ceremony is hosted by a different personality – usually someone considered as an esteemed or notable artist in the industry. With time, these awards have come to be known as the highest French Theatre honour and the National Theatre Award of France. 

What’s in a Name?

The creators of this awards ceremony are indeed paying tribute to one of the most notable playwrights in French history. The name comes from Molière himself, who was a French playwright in the seventeenth century. Originally named Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, this playwright took the penname of Molière and made another name for himself as one of the greatest writers of French comedy. But what made his works stand out from the already rich history of comedic writing in France? In his writing, Molière used a tactic which harmonized traditional themes and theatre devices such as farce or larger-than-life situations, with the dramatic truth and intelligence. This juxtaposition made his pieces exciting, hilarious, and timeless, as we still enjoy and study his works today. Some of Molière’s most notable pieces are Tartuffe, The Imaginary Invalid, Don Juan or the Miser. With over two dozen major works and even more less known pieces, it is clear that Molière rightfully deserved the namesake title of the modern awards ceremony that honours theatre artists today. We are proud to announce that four of our partner shows have been nominated for this prestigious recognition!

Our Nominated Partner Shows 

Personalities, orchestras and trophies light the path for the awards ceremony. Over a dozen categories exist during this night of French theatrical excellence, but we’ll simply dive into the categories in which some of our partner shows were nominated!

“Molière de la Comedie” or the Molière Award for Best Comedy.

This is an award given to a superb comedic show. This year, actor-slash-writer Sebastian Castro snatched this nomination for his piece “I Want You (J’ai Envie de Toi).” A situational comedy about an aloof character who accidentally self-sabotages his love life, this piece showcases the power modern French playwrights still have today. 

Book tickets to see I Want You in Paris!

“Molière de la revelation theatral” or the Molière for Best Breakout Star. 

This Molière is given to a man and a woman for their emerging talent. Each year there is a new male and female breakout star, and this year one of the nominees is Teddy Melis who played in Dom Juan. Portraying a comedic foil to the main character, Melis’ performance will not be the last – you can catch him and others in performances of the classics at Theatre le Ranelagh in the future. 

Book tickets to see a show at Théâtre Le Rangelagh!

Molière du comedian dans un second rôle or the Molière for an Actor in a Supporting Role

An award honouring excellent performances from actors in a supporting role could be considered as one of the largest honours. With their genius choices and impeccable execution, these characters steal the show and force your eye to wander directly to them. This award category exists for both men and women, and two actors from our partner show - Héloïse Wagner and Jean Franco – in “The Sky’s the Limit (Plus Hat que le Ciel)” were nominated for this award. The production took place in Theatre Fontaine, whom we partner with often!

Book tickets to see a show at Théâtre Fontaine!

Molière du spectacle musical or the Molière for Best Musical Production

The Molière for Best Musical production is – as the name states - an award given to an exceptional musical theatre production. It may come as a surprise to know that our partner show which was nominated for this category has already won this recognition in the past! Frou Frou the Musical (or Frou Frou les Bains in French) was given this award in 2002, beating out two other productions at the time. This past year, it has come back for a reprise with many of its original cast included. It is no wonder they got the nomination again!

 

Book tickets to see From-Frou the Musical!

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