The reader will find collected in this volume the thoughts of Etienne Decroux, who is above all, a man of the theatre: these take the form of lectures that he delivered in Europe and the United States; articles from magazines, unpublished essays, and notes he prepared for his classes. After he discusses the origins of the art of mime, Decroux shows how it differs from the ancient art of pantomime; he then compares it to dance and to theatre, formulating a doctrine for it, and demonstrating its relevance to actors of any type of theatre.
These reflections, along with the working texts and photographs of different productions Decroux directed, bear witness to the unique contributions of the man who is considered the prime force behind the renaissance of mime in the world today.
Etienne Decroux s life work in the theatre began at Jacques Copeau s School, the Vieux Colombier. From 1926 to 1934 he acted in many plays under the direction of Charles Dullin, Louis Jouvet, Gaston Baty, Antonin Arteaud and others. Starting in 1932, he also appeared in several movies, working with such directors as Marcel Carne and Pierre Prevert. In 1940 he founded his school of mime in Paris and started his own company which performed all over the world. In 1943, he became Professor of Mime at the Theatre in Milan, as well as in Sweden, in Switzerland, and at the New School and New York University in the United States.