A new Sunday rite was initiated in the 1870s, just before the introduction of the Republican school model in France: educationally-minded “classical mornings” that, for more than a century, were addressed primarily to a school audience. From Sundays, they shifted – in keeping with the school calendar – to Thursdays at 2.30pm (by the middle of the twentieth century) and then to Wednesdays. Because new generations no longer identified with the term “classic”, these mornings were done away with in 1997 in favour of a Saturday morning subscription for mixed audiences. School audiences and individual young audience members are now welcomed to all performances.
Copeau, the administrator during the Second World War, reserved Monday evenings for student productions. In the middle of the century, young people also benefitted from partnerships with student associations and youth groups, as well as preferential rates when they attended the theatre individually. The Comédie-Française also negotiates agreements with works councils and cultural clubs.
For more than half a century, conference-visits have presented its art collection and transmitted its history to school groups and associations. As in example of Mignard’s portrait of Molière on the cover of the Lagarde and Michard textbooks, the photographs of the Comédie-Française and TNP productions in the Classiques Larousse editions have marked the collective imagination for generations.