Theatre and Performance in Eastern Europe: The Changing Scene

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The fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe brought about major socio-political changes towards the end of the 20th century. Dennis Barnett and Arthur Skelton explore the effects these changes had on theatre and performance in Russia, the former Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavia, while drawing clear parallels with theatre globally. This fascinating collection of articles describes the various factors contributing to the changes in theatrical performance, including the important move from government control to a capitalist, market-driven environment. The idea of art as business and a consumer product vs. art as a social prerogative or means for national dialogue is a common thread throughout the articles, many of which also look at the role of censorship during the communist era. This collection includes updated reports on vital cultural institutions such as the Moscow Art Theatre, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Sarajevo International Theatre Festival (MESS), and the Hungarian National Theatre Festival at Pécs. Also, a number of important theatre practitioners, directors, and playwrights, such as Boris Eifman, Dušan Kovacevic, Slobodan Šnajder, Arpad Goncz, and Yordan Radichkov, are introduced to the Western reader. Organized according to country, the book presents both an inclusive and general overview of the subject—as well as specific in-depth examinations of the situations in each country—and includes a broad variety of perspectives: from native scholars to outside researchers, from personal memoirs to academic inquiries. The volume concludes with a bibliography, an index, and five informative appendixes listing works of some of the artists and companies discussed.

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Editorial Reviews

Slavic and East European Journal
This volume contains many interesting articles…. It does offer access to information on Eastern European theater and dance that is often difficult to find.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810860230
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/14/2007
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Barnett is assistant professor of theatre at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was a professional actor and director for nearly twenty years, and co-founded and directed Upstart Stage in Berkeley, California. Arthur Skelton is an associate researcher and the former senior lecturer in Drama at the Moray House Faculty of Education in the University of Edinburgh.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Introduction Part 3 Part 1: Russia Chapter 4 1. Power as Nostalgia: The Bolshoi Ballet in the New Russia Chapter 5 2. A Little Orchestra of Hope: Sergei Artsybashev Chapter 6 3. Boris Eifman's Theatre Enigma Chapter 7 4. Oleg Tabakov at the Moscow Art Theatre: An Interview with Alexander Popov Part 8 Part 2: Poland Chapter 9 5. Looking for Politics in All the Wrong Places: Teatr Wybrzee's Educational Theatre Wybrazeak Part 10 Part 3: Bulgaria Chapter 11 6. Yordan Radichkov's Trying to Fly Against Aesthetic and Political Canons Chapter 12 7. Post-Totalitarian Bulgarian Theatre and Drama: Experimenters and Literary Cinderallas Part 13 Part 4: Romania Chapter 14 8. The (R)evolution of Romanian Theatre Part 15 Part 5: Former Czechoslovakia Chapter 16 9. The Devil and Brezhnev's Eyebrows: Czech "Anti-fascist" Theater after the Warsaw Pact Invasion Chapter 17 10. Exiling Time: Czech Theatre's Post-Communist Struggle to Reconcile Legacies with Change Chapter 18 11. Nostalgia and Technology Part 19 Part 6: Hungary Chapter 20 12. Truth, Reality, and Illusion: Arpád Göncz and Hungarian Medea Chapter 21 13. Theatre in Hungary from Past to Pécs, 1984—2001 Part 22 Part 7: Former Yugoslavia Chapter 23 14. Tales from the Wild East Chapter 24 15. Old New Times: A Search for a Cultural Identity in the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia Chapter 25 16. Body in Context: Slovene Theatre at the End of the Transition Chapter 26 17. Croatian Theatre and the War 1992—1994 Chapter 27 18. Making a "MESS" Out of Misery: The Sarajevo International Theatre Festival Ten Years After Chapter 28 19. From the Myth of Artistic Independence to the Myth of Artistic Engagement Chapter 29 20. Between Engagement and Escapism Chapter 30 21. Laughing Through the Changes: The Palliative Theatre of Dušan Kovacevic Chapter 31 22. The Role of the Artist in the Dark Times Part 32 Appendix A: Selected Works of Boris Eifman Part 33 Appendix B: Playwrights of the Post-Communist Czech Republic Part 34 Appendix C: Sarajevo International Theatre Festival Part 35 Appendix D: The Plays of Dušan Kovacevic Part 36 Appendix E: DAH Theatre Performances Part 37 Bibliography Part 38 About the Editors and Contributors Part 39 Index

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