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probably unsurmountable, to the establishment of a new form of dramatic art in an old building, whose material form, audiences, and traditions would always stand in the way of the development of a new art. And so they endeavored to find a new architectural structure.

On the 5th of Floréal, Year II (April 24, 1794), the Committee of Public Safety "called upon the artists of the Republic to assist in turning the Opera (now the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin) into a covered arena, where the triumphs of the Republic and national festivals might be held"; and on the 25th of Floréal (May 14) Robespierre, Billaud, Prieur, Barère, and Collot signed a decree for the conversion of the Place de la Revolution (now the Place de la Concorde) "into a circus, open on all sides and intended to be used for the national festivals."

The mere founding of the People's Theater was not sufficient: it had to have plays. The Committee, composed of Robespierre, Couthon, Carnot, Billaud, Lindet, Prieur, Barère, and Collot, appealed to the poets on the 27th of Floréal to "celebrate the principal events of the Revolution and compose republican plays." But the Committee was too busy with other things—the struggle against the counter revolution, and with the kings—to be able to devote its undivided attention to "the regeneration of dramatic art." It gave over this difficult task to the Committee of Public Instruction on the 18th of Prairial (June 6, 1794).