French theatre laboratory founded in Paris by the actress Louise Lara and the architect Édouard Autant, active from 1919 to 1933. This research group was essentially dedicated to poetry and theatre, from Guillaume Apollinaire to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. They used puppets as early as 1921 in Partage de midi (The Break of Noon) by Paul Claudel (shadow puppetry by André Girard), and in 1922 in Liluli by Romain Rolland (transparent shadows by Frans Masereel). Influenced by the theoretical writings of Edward Gordon Craig and Adolph Appia, the two most important theoreticians and designers of the non-illusionist movement, the Autant-Laras, with their collaborator Akakia Viala, regularly introduced puppets into their performances, most particularly in Les Noces (The Wedding) by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1923 (with puppets made from paper) and in Le Pantoun des Pantoun (The Pantoum of Pantoums) by René Ghil in 1925 (with wayang style puppets).
When the Laboratory ended, the puppets were still shown in many exhibitions, such as La Marionnette et la Danse (The Puppet and the Dance) in 1935, and La Marionnette en France et à l’Étranger (The Puppet in France and Abroad) at the Galliera Museum in 1939. The archives of the group, for whom “the puppet is a complement to stage expression”, can be consulted at the Bibliothèque des Arts du Spectacle (History of Art Institute) in Paris.
- Corvin, Michel. Le Théâtre de recherche entre les deux guerres [Theatre Research Between the Two Wars]. L’Âge d’Homme, [n.d.].
- Le Théâtre universitaire. Paris: Publications d’Art et Action, 1934.