Jean-Marie Besset

Playwright

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Film, TV & Theatre

Film, TV & Theatre

Jean-Marie Besset has been nominated ten times for the Molière award (France's Tony Award) - six times as Best Playwright and four times as Best Translator. He won in 1999 for his adaptation of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen. He won the Best New Play award from the Syndicat National de la Critique Dramatique (Association of French Critics) for CE QUI ARRIVE ET CE QU'ON ATTEND in 1993, the New Theater Talent prize from the SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers), also in 1993, and the Grand Prize for Theater from the Académie française in 2005. He was named Chevalier (1995) and Officier (2002) in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and Chevalier in the Ordre national du Mérite (2009) by the French government.

Born in Carcassonne, Besset spent his childhood and adolescence in the nearby small town of Limoux, in Southwest France, until his Baccalaureat (1977). With degrees in business (Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales, 1981) and political sciences (Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, 1984), he divided his time between Paris and New York for twelve years.

In 1999-2000, he returned to France to become the artistic director of the Théâtre de l'Atelier, a landmarked Paris theatre acquired by Laura Pels. In 2000, in partnership with producer/director Gilbert Désveaux, he formed the company BCDV THEATRE to initiate and mount projects (among which was a summer theatre festival, NAVA – New Authors in the Aude Valley.)

Besset was elected onto the board of the Society of French Playwrights (SACD) from 2001-2003 and again in 2009. He was a literary consultant for the Theatre du Rond Point from 2002 until 2009. He held the position of Director of the Centre-Dramatique National du Languedoc-Roussillon in Montpelier from 2010 until 2013.

With fellow playwright Mark O'Donnell, he completed a new English version of Feydeau's A FLEA IN HER EAR directed by Bill Irwin at the Roundabout Theatre (New York, Feb-May 1998).

For the screen, Besset co-wrote THE PROPRIETOR, an original screenplay for Merchant Ivory Productions (1995), and has developed film version of his plays, GRANDE ECOLE (Robert Salis; 2004), COMMENTAIRE D’AMOUR (in project), and his stageplay RER was filmed (THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN /André Téchiné, 2009).  More recently, Jean-Marie adapted Alan A|yckbourn's LIFE OF RILEY, which has been made into a film by Alain Resnais - AIMER, BOIRE ET CHANTER (2014).

Recent translations for the stage include Oscar Wilde's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (produced in 2013 in Montpellier and Paris),  Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN, Edward Albee's AT HOME AT THE ZO0 and Pinter's ASHES TO ASHES.

Jean-Marie has also written several new stageplays, LE BANQUET D'AUTEUIL, LE KINE DE CARCASSONNE (in collaboration with Regis de Matrin-Donos), ROCHE FERRE, A  CASE OF LEGAL MEDICINE and a four-hander, LA FILLE ET LE GARCON.

In Development

ProductionCompanyNotes

RED

2019

Montparnasse

An adaptation of John Logan

Other

ProductionCompanyNotes

ALL OVER

Edward Albee

Adapter

AT HOME AT THE ZOO

Edward Albee

Adapter

COUNTING THE WAYS

Edward Albee

Adapter

THE GOAT

Edward Albee

Adapter

TALKING HEADS

Alan Bennett

Adapter

THE UNCOMMON READER

Alan Bennett

Adapter

THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE

Jon Robin Baitz

Adapter

THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED

Douglas Carter Beane

Adapter

HAY FEVER

Noel Coward

Adapter

A HORSE

Christophe Donner

Adapter

AMERIVILLE

Will Eno

Adapter

THOM PAIN

Will Eno

Adapter

THREE DAYS OF RAIN

RIchard Greenberg

Adapter

LONDON ASSURANCE

Dion Boucicault

Adapter

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING

Joan Didion

Adapter

BENEFACTORS

Michael Frayn

Adapter

COPENHAGEN

Michael Frayn

Adapter

DANCING AT LUGHNASA

Brian Friel

Adapter

FULL GALLOP

Mark Hampton & Marie Louise Wilson

Adapter

THE SECRET RAPTURE

David Hare

Adapter

GROSS INDECENCY

Moises Kaufman

Adapter

SHINING CITY

Conor McPherson

Adapter

UNCLE BOB

Austin Pendleton

Adapter

ASHES TO ASHES

Harold Pinter

Adapter

ARCADIA

Tom Stoppard

Adapter

THE INVENTION OF LOVE

Tom Stoppard

Adapter

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST

Oscar Wilde

Adapter

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

Tennessee Williams

Adapter

BAR IN A TOKYO HOTEL

Tennessee Williams

Adapter

VINCENT IN BRIXTON

Nicholas Wright

Adapter

Theatre

ProductionCompanyNotes

Mister Paul

2019

Théâtre de l'Atalante

JEAN MOULIN

2018 - 2019

Theatre De Jazet

LA FILLE ET LE GARCON

2012

Writer

A LA GUERRE COMME A LA GUERRE

2012

Festival NAVA

Co-writer
First performed: 2013

LE KINE DE CARCASSONE

2012

Festival NAVA

Co-writer
First performed: 2012

LE GARCON SORT DE L'OMBRE

2011

Théâtre des Treize Vents

Director

LE BANQUET D'AUTEUIL

2011

Writer

IL FAUT JE NE VEUX PAS

2010

Théâtre des Treize Vents

Director and Adapter

JE NE VEUX PAS ME MARIER

2009

Théâtre des Treize Vents

Writer
First performed: 2010

ROCH FERRE, UN CASE DE MEDECINE LEGALE

2009

Writer

UN COUPLE IDEAL

2008

Writer

PERTHUS

2007

Théâtre du Rond-Point

Writer
First performed: 2008

RER

2005

Théâtre des Treize Vents

Writer
First performed: 2006

UN CHEVAL

2005

Théâtre Pépinière-Opéra (Paris)

Writer and Co-director
First performed: 2006

TROIS JOURS DE PLUIE

2004

Théâtre de l'Atelier

Co-director

ONCLE PAUL

2004

Théâtre du Rond-Point

Co-director

LE JOUR DU DESTIN

2003

Théâtre Montparnasse

Co-director

LES GRECS

2003

Petit Montparnasse

Writer and Co-director
First performed: 2006

RUE DE BABYLONE

2002

Petit Montparnasse

Writer
First performed: 2004

L'ECOLE DE NEW YORK

2000

Writer

COMMENTAIRE D'AMOUR

1998

Théâtre Tristan Bernard

Writer and Co-director
First performed: 2000

BARON

1997

Théâtre Tristan Bernard

Writer and Co-director
First performed: 2002

UN COEUR FRANCAIS

1995

Th Centre national de création d'Orléans, Théâtre Hébertot

Writer
First performed: 1996

MARIE HASPAREN

1992

Théâtre 14 Jean-Marie Serreau

Writer
First performed: 2001

GRANDE ECOLE

1990

Théâtre 14 Jean-Marie Serreau

Writer
First performed: 1995

CE QUI ARRIVE ET CE QU'ON ATTEND

1988

Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse

Writer
First performed: 1993

FETE FOREIGN

1986

Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse

Writer
First performed: 1994

LA FONCTION

1985

Studio des Champs-Elysées

Writer
First performed: 1990

VILLA LUCO

1984

Théâtre national de Strasbourg

Writer
First performed: 1989