Premiers théâtres romands (Prethero) 

Project Status


Short Description

The project “Early French-Swiss Theater'' documents the development of theatrical practices in the French-speaking regions of present-day Switzerland between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It contains records of performances, groups and individuals involved in theater activities, and provides access to surviving plays, historical testimonies, archives of performances, and a bibliography that allow researchers and the public to reconstruct the origins of Swiss theatrical culture in French.


This research is a part of the SNSF project entitled “Literary Poetics and Social Uses of Public Communication in French (15th-16th c.)”, that studies the development of public eloquence in French at the time of major upheavals, such as the invention of the printing press and the rise of the Reformation. The SNSF project explores the ways in which the cultural model of “orator”, promoted initially by intellectuals, was shared within wider communities that cultivated specific poetic genres such as verse historiography, occasional poetry, and political theater, and used them as media. Why and how unprofessional authors and ordinary readers instrumentalized literary forms of expression to intervene in the public sphere? At the intersection of literary, cultural and media history, the project engages in a comparative study of unpublished texts and archives origined in France and in French-speaking regions of today’s Switzerland and Belgium between 1460 and 1550.


theater studies

theater archives

fifteen century

sixteen century

history of performing arts

Suisse Romande


cultural history

drama heritage