Jean-Louis Martin-Barbaz began a career as an actor in theatre, notably under the direction of Roger Planchon. He then chose the direction and created plays by Brecht, Shakespeare, Hugo, Goldoni, Racine, Feydeau, Musset, Chekhov, Marivaux.

A major player in theatrical deconcentration, Jean-Louis Martin-Barbaz founded in 1982 the Centre dramatique national Nord Pas-de-Calais – Comédie de Béthune, which he directed for 10 years. A convinced teacher, he created in 1993 the Compagnie-école, which became the Studio-Théâtre d'Asnières, an original structure based on three inseparable pillars, a company, a venue and a theatre school. Great pedagogue, many actors recognize him as their first master in the practice of theatre. Always ready to engage in new projects, in 1996 he founded a theatre festival in his small village of Izieu in Ain.

Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, extends his sincere condolences to his family and loved ones