What does history do for theatre and what does theatre do for history. The influence of WWII on theatre in Germany   Lucy ...
Theatre in Nazi Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hitlermusso2_edit.jpg
<ul><li>Although there were well known names working in Germany after 1933; </li></ul><ul><li>Grundgens  provides a much l...
<ul><li>Adam Muller-Gutenbrunn : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>one of the leading, and popular, early ambassadors of extreme natio...
<ul><li>The National Socialist German Workers (aka Nazi) Party was established in 1919. From this there were steps taken t...
Reorganisation of theatre under the Nazis <ul><li>March 1933 – Hitler created the ‘Ministry of Propaganda and People’s Enl...
<ul><li>Despite the control enforced on everyday life in Nazi Germany, the theatre workers had it relatively easy, it was ...
Repressed Theatre <ul><li>Gestures, costumes and original lines could express opposition to the regime. Even musical forms...
WWII <ul><li>The German people were dissatisfied with the contemporary writings and performances, drama could hardly rival...
Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956) <ul><li>Studied Drama and theatre history (1917)  </li></ul><ul><li>Premiere of ‘The Rise and...
<ul><li>The political atmosphere in Russia is poisonous, Friends and Colleagues disappearing during next few years.  </li>...
Biography <ul><li>Brecht was born into a world of conflict and contradictions </li></ul><ul><li>By the time he was 16, wor...
Epic   Theatre <ul><li>- Two sources for Brecht’s Theory. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elizabethan theatre, with swiftly moving n...
Dramatic theatre  <ul><li>Represented all that he hated – Prevailing form of theatre  </li></ul><ul><li>- Theatre of illus...
Political Theatre   <ul><li>In Germany, the connection between theatre and politics has always been more prominent than in...
Exile and Anti-Nazism <ul><li>There are very few German plays of the Nazi period with anti-Nazi themes, which is not surpr...
<ul><li>Brecht and Politics </li></ul><ul><li>[Needle, J, Thomson, P. Brecht, Basil Blackwell Oxford, 1981] </li></ul><ul>...
Modern – Post war German Theatre  <ul><li>“ German theatre still regards itself as a ‘moral institution’ plays should be b...
<ul><li>After the war in Germany, naturally it took time to recover and come to terms with their horrific past.  One way o...
Theatre of the grotesque… <ul><li>This reflection on the previous horrific years – led to a theatre of parodist grotesque....
<ul><li>“ While writers of the victorious allied nations could pour forth novels, plays and films celebrating their war he...
Durrenmatt (1921 – 1990) <ul><li>Shared similar views to Brecht and used the technique alienation to separate the audience...
Documentary drama… <ul><li>“ Documentary Theatre refrains from all intervention, it takes authentic material and reproduce...
Peter Weiss <ul><li>A key figure in the documentary Drama movement.  He famously recreated the Auschwitz trials Die Ermitt...
<ul><li>Directors playing an important part in modern German theatre…  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Falk Richter  </li></ul></ul>...
<ul><li>For a country in which theatre ceased by Nazi barbarism for an extended period, to then go on and produce 2 major ...
References … <ul><li>http://www.arcolatheatre.com/_images/showorig/2006.05.23_10-05-50Investigation.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>...
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Nazi Germany Theatre

  1. 1. What does history do for theatre and what does theatre do for history. The influence of WWII on theatre in Germany Lucy Hammond Teresa Malloy Emily Seekings Gemma Hutchinson
  2. 2. Theatre in Nazi Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hitlermusso2_edit.jpg
  3. 3. <ul><li>Although there were well known names working in Germany after 1933; </li></ul><ul><li>Grundgens provides a much less aggressive approach to Nazi theatre. </li></ul><ul><li>Casper Neher (set designer) and Erich Engel (director). </li></ul><ul><li>Heinrich George and Berhard Minetti (actors). </li></ul><ul><li>Gerhart Hauptmann (one of founding dramatists of Nazi German Nationalism). </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Strauss and his music. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilhelm Furtwangler . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… Hardly ‘artistic wasteland’. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Theatre of the time was saturated with plays by exiles or those speaking on behalf of the victims of Nazism. </li></ul><ul><li>About 4000 people connected with theatre fled from the dictatorship. Jewish actors were either exiled or forced into early retirement. </li></ul><ul><li>Around 2000 writers left the country during Nazism. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who were known to be ideologically opposed to the regime and stayed were sent to concentration camps and killed. </li></ul>Theatrical life was largely untouched by Nazi Ideology: <ul><ul><li>Anything official related to that period is dismissed: </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Adam Muller-Gutenbrunn : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>one of the leading, and popular, early ambassadors of extreme nationalism in the theatre. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1885 - published slanderous pamphlet; ‘Vienna was a City of Theatre’ (‘Wein war ein Theaerstadt’). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Claimed that Vienna was no longer the home to true theatre, due to the corrupting influences of Jewish and foreign imports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wanted to create a “ genuinely popular theatre ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1898-1903 – Director of the ‘Kaiserjubilaums-Stadtheater </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There was constant interaction of theatrical life between Austria and Germany. Racism continued to be a powerful cultural force in Vienna, which later found its way into Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>Between 1906 and 1913, Hitler attended the Wagner productions and witnessed the technical tricks of stagecraft, which influenced his aesthetic concerns for the rest of his life. </li></ul><ul><li>It was in Vienna; he claimed in ‘Mein Kampf’, that he became an anti-Semite, after observing the detrimental cultural influences. </li></ul><ul><li>The Nazi party were eager to absorb many reactionary projects of the Weimar Republic (1918-33) into Nazi ideology to prove that it was not just a ‘party view’. There are lots of practitioners who provide support for this claim; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ernst Wachler (1903). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elizabeth Duncan and Max Merz (1911) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rudolf von Laben (1920). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wilhelm kal Gerst (1914 ) </li></ul></ul>1899 – Viennese newspaper claimed theatre was the victim of an international conspiracy, Bartels was also writing racist dramas in the 1890s. Festivals of Wagner’s operas at Bayreuth came to represent German national defiance against cosmopolitan decadence of Weimar Republic.
  5. 5. <ul><li>The National Socialist German Workers (aka Nazi) Party was established in 1919. From this there were steps taken towards promoting cultural renewal and exploiting existing trends to coincide with Nazi beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>The party programme of 1920 demanded the ‘legal prosecution of those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life’ and ‘suppress cultural events which violate this demand’. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler’s speeches of the ‘20s contained countless references to the detrimental impact of the Jews on theatre, the need for the general public to be in control of theatre and even pre-performance censorship. </li></ul><ul><li>Only in the mid-late 1920’s did the Nazis pay more systematic attention to cultural matters. Party newspapers became particularly influential in ‘suppressing all detrimental influences in literature, the press, the theatre, art and cinema’. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Der Angriff (under Joseph Goebbels’ control) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volkischer Beobachter. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If a performance was deemed unacceptable, objection often surfaced in the form of organised demonstrations. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Preventing a danger to social stability’ was a popular excuse for concealed censorship. </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Rhode – founded first Nazi experimental theatre company in 1925, performing anti-Semitic productions. </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Goebbels also tried his hand at playwrighting. He wrote ‘The Traveller’) which depicted a series of scenes worded to convict liberal democracy, with the Nazi anthem, ‘Horst Wessel Song’, sung at the end. </li></ul><ul><li>More professional dramatists were more successful, for example, Hanns Johst, who wrote ‘The King’ (1920). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Johst also dedicated ‘Schlager’ (1932) to Hitler. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Reorganisation of theatre under the Nazis <ul><li>March 1933 – Hitler created the ‘Ministry of Propaganda and People’s Enlightenment’, responsible for culture, with Goebbels at the helm. </li></ul><ul><li>In April, a specialised Theatre section was created and was later further divided into sub-sections. In the same month the Buhnengenossenschaft was under Nazi control. </li></ul><ul><li>A Civil Service Law on 7th April enabled local authorities to sack personnel regarded as politically or racially suspect. </li></ul><ul><li>22 Sept 1933 – Reich Chamber of Culture </li></ul><ul><li>1st November – New law stating that artistic professionals had to be a member of one of 7 chambers to work in the arts. </li></ul><ul><li>The Theatre Chamber was formed from the combination of Weimar organisations with Goebbels, again, at the top. </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Ley’s Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy) was a Nazi organ formed in 1933. </li></ul><ul><li>Schlosser was appointed the chief theatre censor for the duration of the Third Reich. Repertory lists for individual theatres had to be put forward to the Reichdramaturg Schlosser for approval. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, the Nazi party used legislation and bully tactics to rapidly advance into the cultural realm. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Despite the control enforced on everyday life in Nazi Germany, the theatre workers had it relatively easy, it was even above active, direct propaganda. Total employment was increasing year by year, and salaries were more than substantial. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1936, Goebbels banned art criticism. By 1935, he had condemned the ‘anarchic state’ of the press before the takeover of the Nazis. It was banned because, it was claimed, things hadn’t changed enough over the three years of Nazi rule, meaning reporters would need a licence to practice. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brecht, though, saw the prohibition as a way to control the people’s criticism of the government. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unified Theatre Law of the 15th May 1934 increased propaganda ministry influence over private theatres (20% of theatre companies) and state theatres. </li></ul><ul><li>The law also gave Goebbels the power to employ theatre managers and artistic directors and ban some performances. </li></ul><ul><li>Neremburg Laws of 1935 was crucial for effective segregation, retracting German citizenship from non-Aryan people. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-German words were excluded from the theatre, for example; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parkettplatz (seat in the stalls) became Erdgeschob, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balkon (circle) became Hauptrang. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goebbels also tried to purify the audiences, though this was only realistically possible in 1941 when Jews were forced to wear yellow stars. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Repressed Theatre <ul><li>Gestures, costumes and original lines could express opposition to the regime. Even musical forms can parody and criticise. </li></ul><ul><li>The stories themselves, particularly those about political power, had consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>The culture of victim groups was stamped out or reduced to ghetto status. Judischer Kulturband became the only legal outlet for Jewish theatre practitioners. </li></ul><ul><li>Communism – some communist theatre groups separated after Hitler became Fuhrer. Their members, however, tried to manipulate amateur dramatic societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Some opposition was more open, for example, Werner Finck. Finck used witty political satire in his sketches which received positive reviews, though provoked protests from the Nazis. </li></ul><ul><li>The most overt criticism however, came from exile, particularly Zurich, from such practitioners as Ferdinand Bruckner and Bertolt Brecht. </li></ul><ul><li>Theatre in the occupied and assimilated regions, including the venues themselves, were popular sites for protest. </li></ul><ul><li>Theatre even made its way into the camps. At Auschwitz, German theatre companies had to perform before SS guard, and Buchenwald were allowed a cabaret for the New Year of 1938. </li></ul><ul><li>After 1939, POW were detained in their own camps, though the French President, Francois Mitterrand fondly remembered the poetry and music of those camps, where he himself was confined. </li></ul><ul><li>Before the Final Solution, initially areas of confinement provided the most organised entertainment. In the Warsaw ghetto between 1940 and 42, 6 small theatres offered Polish and Jewish plays </li></ul>
  9. 9. WWII <ul><li>The German people were dissatisfied with the contemporary writings and performances, drama could hardly rival the exhilaration of real life political events. </li></ul><ul><li>WW2 provided a new immediate and communal aspect of theatre. Political dramas were drawn from experiences of conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Under the explanation of a ‘European mission of German Theatre’, the setting up of German theatres in occupied territories was justified. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>German plays rose in the repertoire of Belgian theatre within a year of occupation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From 1942, any member of the Theatre, Music or Film Chambers could be called upon for up to 6 weeks each year for Truppenbetreuung. </li></ul><ul><li>Kraft durch Freude continued to transport wounded soldiers and guards to the Bayreuth festival until 1944. </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressive National plays about war were foremost before 1939. At the start of the war, Schlosser issued a statement urging against the performance of depressing, pessimistic plays. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1943, the government was putting all their effort into supporting ‘opportunities for relaxation’, needed by ‘the working Volk in this difficult time’. </li></ul><ul><li>The shows offered at this time contradicted everything Germany had worked towards, by embracing the decadence of the Weimar Republic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Female high-kicking legs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Theatre became so popular during the war, advance bookings were essential. </li></ul><ul><li>However, in August 1944, Goebbels ordered that all theatres be shut down as part of the ‘total war’ effect. Theatre, music and art sections of the Propaganda Ministry were merged into one cultural department under Schlosser’s control. However, solitary performances did persist. </li></ul><ul><li>Some theatre buildings were allowed to perform small-scale productions, despite significant bomb damage. </li></ul><ul><li>Many actors were sent to the factories, but a few artistic opportunities remained. </li></ul><ul><li>The last operatic concert took place on the 22nd of April, 10 days before Berlin’s unconditional surrender. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956) <ul><li>Studied Drama and theatre history (1917) </li></ul><ul><li>Premiere of ‘The Rise and Fall of the city of Mahoganny’. </li></ul><ul><li>This was an extended version / scenario of the 1927 version, Sets and background projection by Neher. Performances are picketed by uniformed Nazis. 1930 </li></ul><ul><li>Premiere of the piscator an adaptation of The Good Soldier Schweih , form the novel by Hasek. </li></ul><ul><li>This dramatised version is the first from this source. Brecht adapts it as schweih in the Second World War late in his career. ( 1928) </li></ul><ul><li>Premiere of “The Mother” (A Brecht Collective adaptation based on the novel by Maxim Gorki). </li></ul><ul><li>He and Weigel take it on tour to the working class districts of Berlin. Performed on Makeshift stages, Illuminated by car headlights. (1932). </li></ul><ul><li>Radio broadcast of “st Joan of the Stockyards,” which like so much of his work at this time is set in a mythical America. (1932) </li></ul><ul><li>Berlin: The Nazis came to power. He flees, leaving everything behind. Hauptmann rescues some of his library. The rest is confiscated and burnt by Nazis (1933) </li></ul><ul><li>Visits Moscow. Uses the word ‘verfremdungseffekt’ for the first time (translation of the Russian term ‘Priem Ostraneruiye’ – ‘a device for making strange’. )(1935) </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The political atmosphere in Russia is poisonous, Friends and Colleagues disappearing during next few years. </li></ul><ul><li>The citizenship is formally removed by the Nazis) </li></ul><ul><li>As the Nazis march into Denmark and Norway Brecht moves first into Helsinki in Finland </li></ul><ul><li>(1941-7) Brecht establishes himself in California. Tries to write film scripts, but concentrates much of his attention on attempting to get his works staged on Broadway. </li></ul><ul><li>Worked on play Schweih in the Second World War </li></ul><ul><li>(1953) East German uprising. He sends a letter to the authorities supporting there stand against the dissatisfied workers. He feels obliged to be seen as a loyal supporter of The New Communist regime, since it has helped establish his theatre. </li></ul><ul><li>(1954) The original Berlin production of “Mother Courage” is taken on tour to Paris, Where it causes a sensation with international theatre audiences and establishes Brecht as the leading director in post-war Europe </li></ul>
  12. 12. Biography <ul><li>Brecht was born into a world of conflict and contradictions </li></ul><ul><li>By the time he was 16, world war one had broken out </li></ul><ul><li>Financial, political and personal instability were a way of life. </li></ul><ul><li>During the war he managed to be posted as a medical orderly. All his life he never forgot the smell of death </li></ul><ul><li>Key phases of his life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Munich and Berlin 1919 – 33 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Years of exile: 1933 – 48 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Berliner Ensemble 1949 until his death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brecht passionate belief that theatre should not only reflect the world but change it. </li></ul><ul><li>He used his theories of epic theatre to achieve this in direct contradiction to the prevailing genre of naturalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Pete brook said: “…all theatre work today at some point starts or returns to his statements or achievement.” </li></ul><ul><li>[Brook, P, The Empty Space, Penguin, 1986. P80] </li></ul>
  13. 13. Epic Theatre <ul><li>- Two sources for Brecht’s Theory. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elizabethan theatre, with swiftly moving narratives concerning political and personal events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular entertainments with a narrator who explained the moral purpose, accompanied by musical interludes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenging this dream world, a spectator whose awake and alert </li></ul><ul><li>His theatre posed problems which he wanted the audience to leave with a task to be accomplished in the real world. </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative: begins anywhere, continues and stops </li></ul><ul><li>Forces the audience to take decisions </li></ul><ul><li>The human being is alterable and able to alter </li></ul><ul><li>Montage: events are shown in self-contained scenes </li></ul><ul><li>The Recovery of Identity: the epic theatre </li></ul><ul><li>The traditional drama can offer such intoxicants through its rhetorical, declamatory and highly emotional style ( Germans call “pathes”), its sententiousness, the unreality of its plot and setting, so that the spectator identifies with the individual fate of a hero, with the distant scene and is brought to the point where the “burden of existence” is temporarily lifted from his shoulders. In Brecht’s eyes, a contemporary audience at a conventional spectacle is “taken out of itself”, worn down through suggestion, and given an image of the world as a fixed and unalterable entity, which must be taken for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>Verfremdungseffekt, Brecht explains as an “Alienation effect”. </li></ul><ul><li>Now its referred to as distancing, as the term to alienate someone means they are excluded from society </li></ul>
  14. 14. Dramatic theatre <ul><li>Represented all that he hated – Prevailing form of theatre </li></ul><ul><li>- Theatre of illusion – Sucking spectator into a dream world where all the problems were solved in the conclusion of the play </li></ul><ul><li>Provides the audience with sensations </li></ul><ul><li>the human being is taken for granted </li></ul><ul><li>- Feeling: audience allowed to indulge in emotion </li></ul><ul><li>was a catch all title for a huge number if artists, architects, actors, directors of theatre and film, poets and playwrights, who worked in Germany from 1905 – 1925 </li></ul><ul><li>In theatre the movement was dominant before and just after world war one </li></ul><ul><li>By the time Brecht was writing his first plays this dominance was threatened by a “new objectivity” </li></ul>Expressionism
  15. 15. Political Theatre <ul><li>In Germany, the connection between theatre and politics has always been more prominent than in England. Though the German Jacobin Theatre had no following, the revolutionaries of the later generation turned to the theatre in the same way, trade unions and political clubs producing plays of their own to educate the workers. </li></ul><ul><li>There main stream of German drama was capable of sentiment. Unlike the English it is also had a strong under current of amateur plays of Marxist character. </li></ul><ul><li>August Bebel, The socialist leader recalled in the 1860’s there were hundreds of working mans educational clubs. Many of which produced plays with there own home made scenery and costumes. During the period of the anti socialist laws made it impossible to perform or print political drama. </li></ul><ul><li>Before Brecht began his career as a dramatist at the end of the First World War, there was thus a long-standing tradition of political drama in Germany. None of it is likely to be revived on the stage today </li></ul><ul><li>[Gary, R. Brecht the Dramatist, Cambridge University Press, 1976] </li></ul>
  16. 16. Exile and Anti-Nazism <ul><li>There are very few German plays of the Nazi period with anti-Nazi themes, which is not surprising, seeing that no German dramatist in exile could expect to see his plays performed except to tiny audiences. Writing political plays was not necessarily the best form of opposition to Hitler. What Brecht wrote was of varying quality and none of the specifically anti-Nazi plays represents his best work </li></ul><ul><li>Mother Courage; one of the best things Brecht wrote and it is significant of it, as an example of “epic” or “narrative” theatre. It is the series of isolated moments that remain strongly in the memory. Mother Courage, a woman who makes a living at one remove from the war by selling food and drink, and equipment to the soldiers involved in it, is bereft of her grown-up children one after another. She flirts with a Dutch cook, takes an army refugee under her wing. But in the end is abandoned by these at the end, she is left to drag her covered wagon alone, alone, while the war continues into grey infinity. </li></ul>Mother Courage
  17. 17. <ul><li>Brecht and Politics </li></ul><ul><li>[Needle, J, Thomson, P. Brecht, Basil Blackwell Oxford, 1981] </li></ul><ul><li>Brecht had the unique distinction of attracting hysterical or near – hysterical reactions from the camp which one night reasonably have expected him to have applauded him; for the communists, as well as the non – communists, for many years found much in his writing to fear and hate, and little to applaud. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler and the Power of Force </li></ul><ul><li>Brecht misjudged the fullness of the horror of Hitler’s Germany, especially in relation to the Jews. This judgement obviously smacks with hindsight, as one of the remarkable things that emerges from his plays of this period as a whole is that even a man who hated Hitler as virulently as Brecht did have no conception of his depths of lunacy and vileness. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Modern – Post war German Theatre <ul><li>“ German theatre still regards itself as a ‘moral institution’ plays should be both political and socio-critical, mirroring the times and problems of the society out of which they have grown.” </li></ul><ul><li>(www.germany.info/relaunch/culture/arts) </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>After the war in Germany, naturally it took time to recover and come to terms with their horrific past. One way of course to address rebuilding their country was through the theatre. For a while Hitler had banned and outlawed theatre, as during the war it was used to share beliefs, news and boost morale etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore coming to terms with the past inevitably determined the course drama was to take. </li></ul><ul><li>There were 2 main theatrical movements to come out of Germany after the war; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- The Brecht movement of alienating the audience from the play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Documentary theatre </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Theatre of the grotesque… <ul><li>This reflection on the previous horrific years – led to a theatre of parodist grotesque. Writers wrote plays which highlighted the magnitude of the devastation of the war. An example of this writing style is the following quotation from Weiss’ oratorio (ibid) about the Auschwitz; </li></ul><ul><li>We also had a few aspirins </li></ul><ul><li>They were hung up on threads </li></ul><ul><li>Patients with a temperature of less than 100 degrees </li></ul><ul><li>Were allowed one lick </li></ul><ul><li>Patients with a temperature over 100 degrees two </li></ul><ul><li>This parodistic approach gives a disturbing insight into the reality of the camps. There’s a very fine line where the comedy is realized as reality and the horror that this may actually have been the case - spins a new light on the play. This theatre style became ‘one of the most important styles of post war theatre.’ As it brought everyone’s attention to what had happened as a lot of events were kept relatively low key, so this form of theatre was bold and emotive. </li></ul><ul><li>“ They give topical subjects a theatrical form and force audiences to reflect on today’s reality.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>“ While writers of the victorious allied nations could pour forth novels, plays and films celebrating their war heroes or giving prurient accounts of Nazi atrocities, the Germans were forced into a much more serious examination of their own past.” </li></ul><ul><li>As there were so few ‘heroes’ to write about in modern German plays (due to the shear scale of devastation) laughter provided a welcome release… to which Durrenmatt embodied in his work seperating the absurd from the grotesque “the grotesque presupposes a norm while the absurd denies that any norm exists” (German theatre today) </li></ul><ul><li>“ We cannot discover any tragic heroes but only tragedies which are staged by arch butchers and carried out by mincing machines. You cannot make a Wallenstein out of a Hitler or Stalin.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Friedrich Durrenmatt/theatre probleme 1955 Arche Zurich) </li></ul><ul><li>(Wallenstein being one of the major figures of the 30 years war, a heroic soldier and politian – from Bohemia.) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Durrenmatt (1921 – 1990) <ul><li>Shared similar views to Brecht and used the technique alienation to separate the audience from the play, however instead of looking for change in the developing culture, Durrenmatt was looking at his own social vision and what he felt necessary to move on as a nation using comedy as a tool. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The universal for me is chaos. The world (hence the stage which represents this world) is for me something monstrous, a riddle of misfortunes which must be accepted but before which one must not capitulate. The world is far bigger than any man, and perforce threatens him constantly. If one could but stand outside the world, it would no longer be threatening. But I have neither the right nor the ability to be an outsider to this world. To find solace in poetry can also be all too cheap; it is more honest to retain one's human point of view.&quot; (from Problems of the Theatre , 1955) </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the plays that came out of post war Germany that are preformed today (ie. Durrenmatt) are preformed more out of respect than conviction </li></ul>
  23. 23. Documentary drama… <ul><li>“ Documentary Theatre refrains from all intervention, it takes authentic material and reproduces it onstage without altering the content but by adapting the form… critical selection and the way in which extracts of reality are juxtaposed determine the quality of the drama.” </li></ul><ul><li>Documentary Drama simply takes out the creative re-writing of history it merely adapts the presentation and selection of what is shown. Resulting in evocative and realistic performance which deals with facts and the bare essentials of historic truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Documentary drama is a lot more political and has a certain outcome pre determined. </li></ul>(Peter Weiss, Dramen, vol II , Suhrkamp, Frankfurt /main, 1968 p464)
  24. 24. Peter Weiss <ul><li>A key figure in the documentary Drama movement. He famously recreated the Auschwitz trials Die Ermittlung (the investigation 1964- 65) he refrains from personalizing the works, one way of achieving this is by referring to characters as Judge, numbering witness and simplifying speech. </li></ul>http://www.arcolatheatre.com/_images/showorig/2006.05.23_10-05-50Investigation.jpg play bill from the investigation….
  25. 25. <ul><li>Directors playing an important part in modern German theatre… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Falk Richter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas Ostermeier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frank Castorf </li></ul></ul>Richter a modern German director focuses on his own wars with the media and various social issues. He has a very contemporary approach to theatre and is very realistic about how he presents his work; he is influenced by the English culture of in-yer-face theatre. Despite his being very contemporary he is clearly influenced by the history of war in his country and the idea of exposing the grotesque nature of reality so that we become aware and can grow and move onwards. (photo) (www. falkrichter.com/logic/article) The omnipresence of the media: globalisation and neo-liberalism as its motors.
  26. 26. <ul><li>For a country in which theatre ceased by Nazi barbarism for an extended period, to then go on and produce 2 major theatrical influences all within a 30 year period is an inspiration in itself and shows very clearly how history can influence theatre and visa versa. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The popular German themes though not overtly political, they usually have much greater social relevance than most contemporary drama favoured by the English stage.” </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. References … <ul><li>http://www.arcolatheatre.com/_images/showorig/2006.05.23_10-05-50Investigation.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>www.dg-literatur.de/.../22196/Bertolt-Brecht.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>Drewniak, Boguslaw. ‘Das Theatre im NS-Staat: Szenarium deutscher Zeitgeschichte 1933-1945’ (Dusseldorf: Droste, 1983), p.145. </li></ul><ul><li>Dussel, pp. 30-31 (decree); Levi, p. 11. </li></ul><ul><li>Erwin Piscators political theatre – the development of modern German drama – C. D. Innes – Cambridge university press </li></ul><ul><li>[Ewen, F. Bertolt Brecht, His life, His art and His times, Calder and Buyers LTD, 1967] </li></ul><ul><li>Friedrich Durrenmatt/theatre probleme 1955 Arche Zurich </li></ul><ul><li>Weiss’ oratorio (ibid) </li></ul><ul><li>[Gary, R. Brecht the Dramatist, Cambridge University Press, 1976] </li></ul><ul><li>German theatre today - Michael Patterson published 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>Hochhuth, Rolf. ‘Der Stellvertreter’, Der Tagesspiegel, 29 April 1995. </li></ul><ul><li>Karina, Lilian and Kant, Marion. ‘Tanz unterm Hakenkreuz: eine Dokumentation’ (Berlin: Henschel, 1996), pp.49-51. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/fdurren.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Korner, Ludwig. ‘I. Teil: von des deutschen Shauspielers theatralisischer Sendung’, in Frauenfeld, pp. 5-12. </li></ul><ul><li>[Mackey, Sally, Cooper, Simon. Drama and Theatre Studies, Stanley Thomas, 2000] </li></ul><ul><li>[Needle, J, Thomson, P. Brecht, Basil Blackwell Oxford, 1981] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.pacificfront.com/catalog/images/DSC01932.JPG </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Weiss, Dramen, vol II , Suhrkamp, Frankfurt /main, 1968 p464) </li></ul><ul><li>Taylor, Ronald. ‘Literature and Society in Germany: 1918-1945’, Harvester Press, Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble, 1980), p.214 </li></ul><ul><li>Welch. ‘The Third Reich’, p.137 (Goebbels’ speech); Hein, pp. 177-8 (Hitler’s subsidy of Bayreuth); Levi, p.35 (Hitler’s subsidies). </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/weissp/collect2.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hitlermusso2_edit.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>Zortman, Bruce. ‘Hitler’s Theater: Ideological Drama in Nazi Germany’ (El Paso, TX: Firestein Books, 1984), pp.21-5 (Wachler). </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Theatre Under the Nazis’ edited by John London. Published by Manchester University Press, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Revolution in German Theatre 1900-1933’ Michael Patterson, edited by John Russell Brown, School of English and American studies, University of Sussex, Publ. Routledge and Kegan Paul, Boston, London and Henley, 1981. </li></ul>
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