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aims of your public service. … In this way you will be opening up a path along which the human mind can pursue its way to even greater heights than heretofore … and offer the people an ever new source of instruction and pleasure, and form the national character as you wish."

All these ideas for a national theater which should be a source of instruction were combined on the 20th of Ventôse, Year II (March 10, 1794) in a decree of the Committee of Public Safety, which is the true constitution and basis of the People's Theater.

The Committee, which was that day composed of Saint-Just, Couthon, Carnot, Barère, Prieur, Lindet, and Collot d'Herbois, decreed that "the old Théâtre-Français shall be solely devoted to performances given by and for the people at certain times every month. The building shall bear the following inscription on its façade: PEOPLE'S THEATER. The troupes of actors already established in the various theaters of Paris shall be requisitioned in turn for performances to be given three times each decade. The repertory of plays to be performed at the People's Theater must be submitted to and passed by the Committee, Each municipality is commanded to organize productions which are to be given free to the people every ten years."

The Committee of Public Safety realized that the transformation of the old Théâtre-Français for the purpose of giving popular performances was only temporary. The founders of the People's Theater were right in thinking that there were obstacles,