The Avignon Festival is the oldest performing arts event in France and one of the largest benchmarks speaking of theater in Europe. Year after year, hundreds of people visit this city from all over the world to experience some of the theatrical productions scheduled. This summer marks the seventieth anniversary and the high-speed trains Renfe-SNCF en Coopération take you to Avignon to feel the magic of this traditional theater festival.
Avignon is a small and picturesque town that, besides being known for its medieval architecture and for being one of the main papal headquarters, is recognized by many for its long theatrical traditions. Every year, during the month of July, the small streets of the historic center fill up with people who visit the city to attend one of its most important events: the Avignon Festival.
Actors - Avignon Festival
It was created in 1947 by Jean Vilar, with the intention of creating awareness concerning classics of the theater world hardly represented until then. Since the fifties the event has gone through four distinct phases, with different visions and directors, up to become the festival as we know it today.
As far as 1963 it was chaired by its creator and aimed to reinvent the classics and reach a young audience with a new and different theater. From the sixties, the festival started to grow in number of spectators and had to look for new performance sites to accommodate an ever increasing audience. In the eighties, the festival made a great effort to have a make-over and adapt to the more and more sophisticated technical requirements. Currently, under the management of the playwright Olivier Py, the festival remains a very important space for creation and cultural dissemination for many companies worldwide, as well as a reference space for reflection and dialogue between artists and the audience.
Posters - Avignon Festival
Its theater program has over forty performances represented in more than fifteen different locations, being the most representative and famous the Court of Honor of the Palais des Papes. During the two weeks of the festival, small chapels, gardens, gyms in high schools and museums become unconventional theatre halls that hold all kind of shows.
Its stages have welcomed from the most important classics as Shakespeare to the plays of contemporary authors. But not only the conventional theater is the protagonist: the streets and galleries fill up with mimes, puppets, street theater and dance, a discipline that is increasingly gaining importance. In addition, its program is completed with discussion sessions, lectures and readings.
If you are a performing arts lover, you want to live an event that gathers people from all over the world and you like outdoor plans in a hundred-year-old and full of charm location, you have an appointment from the 6th to the 24th of July with the Avignon Festival. Only a four-hour train ride separate this wonderful town from Barcelona with the high-speed trains Renfe-SNCF en Coopération. Are you going to miss this opportunity?