A History of German Theatre

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Covering German-language theatre from the Middle Ages to the present day, this study demonstrates how and why theatre became so important in German-speaking countries. Written by leading international scholars of German theatre, chapters cover all aspects of theatrical performance, including acting, directing, play-writing, scenic design and theatre architecture. The book argues that theatre is more central to the artistic life of German-speaking countries than anywhere else in the world. Relating German-language theatre to its social and intellectual context, the History demonstrates how theatre has often been used as a political tool. It challenges the idea that German theatre was undeveloped in contrast to other European countries in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, provides a thematic survey of the crucial period of growth in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and discusses modern and contemporary German theatre by focusing in turn on the directors, playwrights, designers and theatre architecture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521833691
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2008
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

SIMON WILLIAMS is Professor and Chair of the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Maik Hamburger was previously dramaturge and director at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin. He has taught theatre in Berlin, Leipzig and Graz.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Maik Hamburger and Simon Williams; 1. German Medieval theatre, c.10–600 Eckehard Simon; 2. German Baroque theatre and the Wandering Players, 1500–1750 George Brandt; 3. Classical theatre and the formation of a civil society, 1720–1832 Anthony Meech; 4. The Realistic theatre and bourgeois values, 1750–1900 Marvin Carlson; 5. The Romantic spirit in German theatre, 1790–1910 Simon Williams; 6. The theatre of dissent from Sturm und Drang to Brecht, 1770–1920 Hilda Meldrum Brown; 7. The rise of the director, 1850–1939 Christopher Innes; 8. Naturalism, Expressionism and Brecht: drama in dialogue with modernity, 1890–1960 David Barnett; 9. Nationalism and its uses in the German theatre, 1790–2000 S. E. Wilmer; 10. The space of the German theatre William F. Condee with Thomas Irmer; 11. Revolutions in scenography in the twentieth century Wilhelm Hortmann; 12. Playwriting in the contemporary German theatre: representation and its discontents, 1960–2006 David Barnett; 13. Directors and actors in the contemporary German theatre, 1945–2006 Michael Raab; 14. Patterns in the German theatre: from Goethe to the present day Erika Fischer-Lichte; 15. Theater-Treffen 2007 Maik Hamburger and Simon Williams.

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