Georges Banu


Georges Banu, photo Mihaela Marin

photo Mihaela Marin

Georges Banu (born 1943, Romania) is Professor Emeritus of Theatre Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris II), honorary chairman of the International Association of Theatre Critics and general editor of the series Le Temps du Théâtre published by Actes Sud. He has published many important works on European directors, especially on Peter Brook, Michael Grüber, Giorgio Strehler, Antoine Vitez and Ariane Mnouchkine. He wrote a trilogy about theatre and painting, Le Rideau (1997), L’Homme de dos (2000) and Nocturnes (2005), and a series of books comprising La Nuit (2004), L’Oubli (2005) and Le Repos (2009). His most renowned works include Le Rouge et l’Or, une poétique du théâtre à l’italienne (1989), Notre théâtre – la Cerisaie (1999), L’Acteur qui ne revient pas (1986), La scène surveillée, miniatures théoriques (2008), Amour et désamour du théâtre (2013) and the anthology Shakespeare, le monde est une scène (2009). He has also published L’Enfant qui meurt (2010), Les Voyages du comédien (2012), and recently, L’Inaccompli ou le défi du théâtre (2016) and Tchekhov (2016). Banu has thrice won awards for Best French Book on Theatre. His texts have been translated into Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovakian and Polish. He has directed two films (about Shakespeare and about Chekhov), awarded by UNESCO. He has edited Théâtre et opéra: une mémoire imaginaire (1990), Le Théâtre testamentaire (1991), Le Théâtre de la nature (1992), L’Est désorienté (2000), Le Corps travesti (2007) and Extérieur cinéma (2009). He has collaborated with directors Luc Bondy, Yanis Kokkos, Krzysztof Warlikowski and Patrice Chéreau, and recently, with Thomas Ostermeier and Krystian Lupa on their productions performed in France. He has received honorary doctorates from many European universities. In 2014, the French Academy granted him the Grand Prix de la Francophonie. He is the chairman of the European Theatre Prize.

Georges Banu is the author of notes that provided Grotowski the basis for writing the first version of Performer. His publications also include the essay on the friendship of Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook. Together with Grzegorz Ziółkowski, he edited a selection of texts by Peter Brook, Teatr jest tylko formą. O Jerzym Grotowskim (2007; With Grotowski: Theatre Is Just a Form, 2009). The French edition of the book (2009) includes his introduction. The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has honoured him with the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture.