André Antoine (31 January 1858 – 23 October 1943) was a French actor, theatre manager, film director, author, and critic who is considered the father of modern mise en scène in France.
The work of the Theatre Libre was said to embrace both Realism and Naturalism. In theatre, Realism is generally thought to be a 19th-century movement which uses dramatic and stylistic conventions to bring authenticity and ‘real life’ to performances and drama texts while Naturalism is commonly seen as an extension to this where an attempt is made to create a perfect illusion of reality. Naturalism is often said to be driven by Darwinism and its view of humans as behavioral creatures shaped by heredity and environment. Antoine believed that our environment determines our character and he would often start rehearsals by creating the set, settings or environment which would then allow his actors to explore their characters and their behaviors with greater authenticity. Often he would only hire untrained actors (a practice still common with young film makers) since he believed that the professional actors of his time could not realistically portray real people.
Google Images Photographs of Antoine.