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StagestruckThe Business of Theater in Eighteenth-Century France and Its Colonies$
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Lauren R. Clay

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450389

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450389.001.0001

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The Extent and Limits of State Intervention

The Extent and Limits of State Intervention

(p.68) Chapter 3 The Extent and Limits of State Intervention

Lauren R. Clay

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the role played by the state—defined as the royal government and representatives of the crown, including military commanders—in operating new public theaters in provincial France. It explores three areas of state intervention that were particularly widespread in the theater industry, first by considering the relationship of patronage that the French army and navy cultivated with acting troupes charged with entertaining their men during war as well as peace. It then looks at the symbolic displays of political authority that took place within public playhouses, along with the conflicts that they sparked. It also discusses the exercise of privilege in the domain of theatrical production, as royal governors used their authority to protect entrepreneurial directors and encourage them to expand their operations. The chapter attributes the French state's involvement in the creation of a theater industry mainly to the fact that royal officials encouraged, protected, and at times even collaborated on theater projects that had important roots in the private domain.

Keywords:   royal government, military commanders, public theaters, France, patronage, public playhouses, theatrical production, directors, theater industry, state intervention

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