French stage director. Hubert Jappelle studied the violin, the visual arts (École Nationale de Nancy), and settled in Avignon in 1957 where he pursued his studies of the fine arts. He founded his company in 1959, opened a small space (Théatre des Sources) in 1961, and became one of the pioneers of the “Festival Off” of Avignon. From 1966 to 1968, he was the stage director for the Avignon Festival, as well as for the tours of the Centre Dramatique National du Sud-Est (National Drama Centre of the South-East).
His research into puppetry started in 1968 and his creations were primarily for the Festival of Avignon: Fin de partie (Endgame, 1968) by Samuel Beckett, followed by Les Chaises (The Chairs, 1970) by Eugène Ionesco, La Maison Brûlée (The Burnt House, 1973) by August Strindberg, Variations sur Macbeth (Variations on Macbeth, 1975) by William Shakespeare. In 1971, he was invited by Jean Vilar to participate in the official festival where he staged a short opera for puppets by Georges Aperghis, followed by a work by Maurice Ohana in 1978. In 1975, Jappelle’s company became an associate creative organism in the Centre d’Action Culturelle of Cergy-Pontoise, after which, in 1978, he took over an old paper factory in Éragny-sur-Oise, thus becoming the Théâtre de l’Usine (The Factory Theatre).
Before any technique, Hubert Jappelle is concerned primarily with the text, the quality of its interpretation and the perception of the public which together create the drama. The choice of a space that was not a conventional theatre allows him to create an environment specific to each production, with the puppet regularly chosen to interpret the greatest dramatic or literary authors of all time (Ben Jonson, Sophocles, Franz Kafka, Marcel Aymé, Karl Valentin, Nicolas Gogol, Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz).
As a teacher, Hubert Jappelle has run courses at the University of Paris-VIII Saint-Denis, at Paris-X Nanterre, at the Comédie de Caen, as well as the Conservatoire Nationale of the Cergy-Pontoise region. He has written Les Enjeux de l’Interprétation Théâtrale (The Challenges of Theatrical Interpretation, 1997).
- Jappelle, H. Les Enjeux de l’Interprétation Théâtrale [The Challenges of Theatrical Interpretation]. L’Harmattan, 1997.