Page:Rolland - People's Theater.djvu/104

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fold attempts.[1] There are other experiments: at Nancy and at Lille; in Flanders, in Limousin and Gascony, in Provence, in the Basque country; and at the People's Universities—the Émancipation of the fifteenth arrondissement of Paris produced Jean Hugues'[2] La Grève in 1900. Especially significant is the work of the Coopération des idées of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, founded in 1886 by workingmen.[3] M. Deherme, the true founder of the People's Universities, established in connection with this movement an eclectic theater in 1899.

The fault with all these attempts was that they were isolated, disconnected, without cohesion, without sufficient publicity and the strength to combat the traditional routine of actors and the indifference of the public. In March, 1899, a small group of young writers on the staff of the Revue d'art dramatique planned to organize at the Exposition of 1900 an international congress for the purpose of

  1. See La Revue universelle, July 6, 1901.
  2. Cahiers de la Quinzaine, 6th cahier of the 3d series.
  3. "A few workingmen, coming to the conclusion that the very brief education given to their children was far from sufficient and therefore somewhat dangerous, and wishing to avoid the oppression of the electoral organizations—where much is said and little thought—came together with their books and their ideas, and agreed to meet regularly one night a week for the purpose of discussion. They first met in the back part of a wine merchant's shop, in 1886, Rue des Boulets." (Henri Dargel: Le Théâtre du peuple à la Coopération des idées, in La Revue d'art dramatique, April, 1903.) Such was the beginning of the Coopération des idées, the name of which was taken from a paper started by M. Deherme in 1894.