Pitoëff, Georges (zhôrzh pēˈtōĕf) [key], 1884–1939, Russian actor-manager. Although he had both engineering and law degrees, Pitoeff was drawn to the theater. He directed his own amateur company in St. Petersburg, and after World War I he emigrated to Paris, where he and his wife, the actress Ludmilla, greatly influenced French theater through their subtle and inventive productions of more than 200 plays. In addition to presenting an international repertoire including Shakespeare, Chekhov, Shaw and Pirandello, the Pitoëffs introduced the works of French innovators such as Cocteau and Anouilh.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.