France’s culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, has named a woman to run the Comédie-Française for the first time since it was founded in 1680. Next month, the actress and stage director Muriel Mayette, 42, will succeed Marcel Bozonnet, who is said to have hoped to remain in the job until 2009.
Mr. Bozonnet, 62, has won plaudits as general manager of the company, France’s national theater. But this spring he provoked a storm of criticism when he abruptly canceled a scheduled new play by the Austrian writer Peter Handke after Mr. Handke attended the funeral of the former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
In an interview with Le Monde, Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres denied that the Handke affair had influenced his decision to replace Mr. Bozonnet. He said he named Ms. Mayette to seek “a generational change.”
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