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Records of the Comédie-Française

Project leader:
Christian Biet

In collaboration with:
Paris Sorbonne-CNRS
Comédie-Française
MIT
Harvard
NYU

This collaboration between France and the United States gambles on a relation between the competencies of technical and cultural institutions as well as institutions dealing with cultural heritage, and those of international universities.The project Records of the Comédie-Française aims at digitizing, analyzing and using the data found in the daily registers of the Comédie-Française between 1680 and 1793. Thanks to advanced visualization technology and statistical processing, the project will highlight exclusive and substantial pieces of French theater heritage. Two workshops, in Boston and Paris on spring 2014, will gather the "scientists" who will be able to present their first results.

The history of the Comédie-Française has often been variously studied and still shows a history frequently anecdotal and general, more about memory than science. We believe that it is time to develop a more detailed and precise approach, based on an exact understanding of what the life of the theater was, so that this unique theater institution can take possession of its own history/

Since 1680, every day, every season, revenues and expenses of all performances at the Comédie-Française are registered in accounting records. So much that we can learn, for each date, every play that were performed, the authors played, the number of members in the audience, where they were seated (as tickets are sorted by price): this is the register of revenues. In the expenses register, one can find out, for every performance: how much props cost (candles, feathers, objects, etc.), how much regular or non-regular people were paid. One can also find a list of the "feux" that is to say every actor performing in every performance, and the part he or she played.

**MIT website: HyperStudio

Labex Arts-H2H

The Laboratory of Excellence in Arts and Human Mediations is part of the “Investments for the future” program since 2011. As part of this program, its members conduct research following three main lines: situations, technologies, hybridization.

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