Revolutionary Theater and the Classical Heritage

Inheritance and Appropriation from Weimar to the GDR

by Michael D. Richardson (Author)
©2007 Monographs 257 Pages


This study analyzes the work of three prominent proletarian-revolutionary dramatists at the end of the Weimar Republic. The work of Bertolt Brecht, Friedrich Wolf, and Gustav von Wangenheim is looked at against the backdrop of debates among Marxist intellectuals and artists. Through a discussion of theatrical theory and close readings of individual plays, this work examines the authors’ unique aesthetics and their enactment of a critical appropriation of the German literary heritage. It also investigates their attempts to transform the audience’s relationship to the theatrical production from a passive-receptive to an active-critical one.
This volume offers insights into larger questions of political and cultural continuity that characterized the Weimar and the postwar periods.


ISBN (Softcover)
Geschichte 1925-1933 Deutschland Arbeitertheater Epic Theatre Weimar Republic German Literary Heritage Proletarian-revolutionary
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2007. 257 pp.

Biographical notes

Michael D. Richardson (Author)

The Author: Michael D. Richardson was born on March 15, 1970 in Hackensack, New Jersey. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in German Studies in 1992 and received his Ph.D. in German Studies from Cornell University in 2001. Since 1998, he has been an Assistant Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages at Ithaca College. He has written and presented on contemporary German film and literature, as well as the theater of Heiner Müller. He is currently working on a book length study of American representations of Hitler and the Nazis.


Title: Revolutionary Theater and the Classical Heritage