French director wins Ibsen prize


Ariane Mnouchkine. Photo: Wikipedia.

Oslo – French director Ariane Mnouchkine, founder of the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris, was Tuesday named the winner of the 2009 International Ibsen Award.

The prize is worth 2.5 million kroner (395,000 dollars).

The jury, headed by Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullmann, said Mnouchkine’s productions give the audience a sense ‘of having been part of a tale of enchantment. A tale that is larger than life but at the same time reveals life.’

Her work has dealt with ‘stories of the great crises of civilisation, of long-ago battles and the persecution and desperation of refugees in our own time,’ the citation said.

Mnouchkine, whose productions range from Ancient Greek tragedians to Shakespeare, Molière and Arnold Wesker, founded the Théâtre du Soleil in 1964.

The 70-year-old director is due to be presented the award on September 10 in Oslo.

Last year, British director Peter Brook was named the first winner of the award established by the Norwegian government to commemorate the prolific Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828- 1906). 



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