Théâtre du Petit Trianon

An interesting reproduction of the theatre commissioned by Marie Antoinette for her interest in amateur dramatics. This space is a theatre within a theatre, a meta dimensional space.

World:18th Century Theatre (#08175)
Access Date:May 11, 2023

World: 18th Century Theatre (#08175)
Creator: ggunhouse
Platform: VRCHAT
Access date: 11/03/2023
Venue type: live stage / historic reconstruction
Creator's note: "An 18th century theatre, based on the theatre built for
Marie Antoinette at the Petit Trianon, Versailles."


This theatre space is one of many VR reproductions of historical buildings in VRChat. In this case the world is based on the Théâtre du Petit Trianon at Versailles, also known as Théâtre de la Reine, in reference to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the revolution of 1789. It was designed by Richard Mique and built between 1778 and 1779.

When I entered this world I was faced with three doorways: Balcony, Orchestra Seating or Backstage. This holding space has minimal aesthetic design and is clearly intended as a "non-space." I found this non-space (which in real world theatres is usually limited to backstage) to be a crucial part of the intended performance space. Why?

By adding an extra layer to the world; by not placing the avatar in medias res in the world, the creator "ggunhouse" staged the theatre space as a performance itself. In this configuration, the "Backstage" area of the building is as equally important as the Balcony space, orchestra seating and main stage. In other words, the entire theatrical apparatus is a performance and any performance that takes place inside it is meta-theatrical.

I find this spatial configuration, more than the ornate features of the design, fascinating. Even more so for the fact that the original theatre commissioned by Marie Antoinette was intended as a "small" 250 seat space, tucked away in the palace grounds, that could receive professional performances from members of the Royal Academy of Music, while at the same time enabling the queen to "indulge her passion for amateur dramatics and to put on comedies with her friends whenever she fancied" (source)

The three doors I was presented with on entering this world.

The main stage viewed from the auditorium.

The stage viewed from the balcony.

The ornate ceiling which in the original real world theatre was painted by Lagrenée depicting Apollo surrounded by the Graces and Muses.

The wings of the stage viewed from the balcony.

The passageway to stage left.

The auditorium viewed from the stage.

Ceiling and balcony viewed from the stage.