Sartre's scattered commentaries and remarks on theater, published in a variety of media outlets, as well as in the most unlikely of essays (spanning philosophical texts, biographies, and literary criticism), were finally assembled late in Sartre's career and published in one volume, Un Théâtre de situations (Sartre on Theater), put together by Michel Contat and Michel Rybalka in 1973. Inevitably, a number of later or missing theatrical documents then came to light, and an updated edition of Un Théâtre de situations appeared in 1992. There still remained, however, other documents on theater which for one reason or another were not included in the later volume. Two of these documents are published interviews that Sartre gave to the Russian theater journal, Teatr, in 1956 and 1962. It is those virtually unknown interviews by Sartre on theater that we are pleased to publish here for the first time in English translation.
Dennis A. Gilbert is a lecturer in French at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His principal areas of scholarly interest include Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, dramatic theory, and literary criticism. His current writing project is entitled “Sartre's Esthetic of Theater.”
Diana L. Burgin is a professor of Russian and modern languages at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and culture, in particular the poets Sophia Parnok and Marina Tsvetaeva. She has also translated The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov (1995), and recently authored a biography, Performing Life, of the American virtuoso violinist, Ruth Posselt (2016).