The Screens

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The Screens (French: Les Paravents) is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. The Screens_sentence_0

Its first few productions all used abridged versions, beginning with its world premiere under Hans Lietzau's direction in Berlin in May 1961. The Screens_sentence_1

Its first complete performance was staged in Stockholm in 1964, two years before Roger Blin directed its French premiere in Paris. The Screens_sentence_2

Textual history The Screens_section_0

Genet began writing the play in 1955 and continued to develop it over the following few years, completing a first version in June 1958. The Screens_sentence_3

He re-wrote the play further while in Greece towards the end of 1959. The Screens_sentence_4

Marc Barbezat's publishing company L'Arbalète published it in February 1961, after which Genet re-wrote the play again. The Screens_sentence_5

It was first published in English by Grove Press, New York in 1962 (translated by Bernard Flechtman), with Faber and Faber publishing the UK edition the following year. The Screens_sentence_6

In 1976, Genet published a second, revised version, which appears in the French edition of his Complete Works. The Screens_sentence_7

Production history The Screens_section_1

The play premièred in an abridged German version in May 1961 at the Schlosspark-Theater in Berlin, which Hans Lietzau directed. The Screens_sentence_8

A slightly revised version of the problematic German translation used in Berlin was staged by Leon Epp two years later at the Volkstheater in Vienna in 1963. The Screens_sentence_9

Epp's interpretation emphasised the political conflict between the French and Algerians in the play. The Screens_sentence_10

In 1964 in London, Peter Brook staged two-thirds of the play (its first twelve scenes, in a performance that lasted for two-and-a-half hours) at the Donmar Rehearsal Rooms as part of his experimental "Theatre of Cruelty" season with the Royal Shakespeare Company; he abandoned plans to stage the complete text, partly due to dissatisfaction with Bernard Frechtman's translation. The Screens_sentence_11

The play's first complete performance was directed by Per Verner Carlsson at the Stadsteater in Stockholm in 1964. The Screens_sentence_12

Its five-hour-long production required six months of rehearsal preparation. The Screens_sentence_13

Roger Blin directed the play's French première at the Odéon theatre in Paris, which opened on 21 April 1966. The Screens_sentence_14

Genet became closely involved in rehearsals and published a series of letters to Blin about the theatre, the play, and the progress of its production. The Screens_sentence_15

André Acquart designed the sets and costumes, providing via three collapsible platforms four levels which 27 gliding screens divided into different playing areas, as wells as "sumptuous and theatrical" costumes and make-up. The Screens_sentence_16

Madeleine Renaud played Warda, Jean-Louis Barrault played the Mouth, María Casares played the Mother, and Amidou played Saïd. The Screens_sentence_17

Blin directed a German production in Essen in November 1967. The Screens_sentence_18

Minos Volanakis directed the play's US première in New York 1971. The Screens_sentence_19

Patrice Chéreau directed a production at the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers in Nanterre, near Paris, in 1983. The Screens_sentence_20

In 1989 Joanne Akalaitis directed Paul Schmidt's translation at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, with Jesse Borrego as Said, and music by Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso. The Screens_sentence_21


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Screens.