Ariane Mnouchkine, Avant-garde, Innovative and Tireless


“I am in the present and only the present matters to me” – Ariane Mnouchkine

Ariane Mnouchkine (1939) is most known French female stage director, which has a strong influence in modern theatre…

It is interesting that Mnouchkine studied psychology before she continued theatre studies, and chose theatre as her life choice.

Mnouchkine is a strong believer in the collaborative process of theatre, and she uses many various techniques, and multiple styles of theatre, from commedia dell’arte to various Asian rituals.

Ariane Mnouchkine first

Avant -garde reformer

She is the founder of the Parisian avant-garde, Théâtre du Soleil (Theatre of the Sun) 1964. Theatre productions are usually performed in found spaces, because Mnouchkine does not like typical stage, because, by her theatre cannot be restricted with the “fourth wall”. So, when an audience enters in Théâtre du Soleil, they could find the actors preparing right before their eyes, and becoming the part of process of preparing the performance or the play.

Ariane Mnouchkine second

Plays of this theatre very often have critical and political meaning, and it still creates social and political critiques of local and world cultures.

Innovative Director

Mnouchkine was the promoter of avant-garde in theatre, so she is always searching for new and interesting themes, from the ancient times and the renaissanceand classical literature, until the present with actual situations and problems.

Ariane Mnouchkine third

She has written and directed and political-themed play “1789”. The movie was filmed from the live production, making her international famous in 1974.

Ariane Mnouchkine forth

Ariane Mnouchkine wrote and directed Molière (1978), a biography of the famous French playwright the most known as author of Don Juan and Tartuffe, and she received an Oscar nomination.

Ariane Mnouchkine Moliere

She translated and directed a series of William Shakespeare plays: Richard II, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV, Part 1 and she toured them these plays together as a cycle of plays. She developed Iphigenia by Euripides and the Oresteia (1990 -1992).

Ariane Mnouchkine Richard II

Her collaboration with Hélène Cixous broughther two television movies in 1989 and 2003. La Nuit miraculeuse and Tambours sur la digue.

La Nuit Miraculeuse

Awards and honors

She holds a Chair of Artistic Creation at the Collège de France, she was the first recipient of the Europe Theatre Prize 1987, an Honorary Degree in Performing Arts from the University of Rome III awarded in 2005,  and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Oxford, 2008. In 2009 Ariane Mnouchkine was winner of the International Ibsen Award, and she received the Goethe Medal in 2011.

Ariane is the namesake of the production company “Ariane Films” founded by her father.