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Tyrol or Not Tyrol

Theatre as History in Südtirol/Alto Adige


Nóra de Buiteléir

On 19 June 1992 Austria and Italy declared the official resolution of the South Tyrol question – the dispute that had dominated relations between the two countries since the end of the First World War. While this bilingual province is today held up as a triumph of minority rights protection and a model for post-conflict societies across the world, the story of the South Tyrol since its amalgamation into the Italian state in 1919 has been a complex and often turbulent one.
This book investigates the political role of the theatre in reflecting, shaping and subverting patterns of cultural identity among the German-speaking South Tyrolese. Taking as its starting point the representation of history in a series of ambitious theatrical productions from the 1970s to the present, this study offers close readings of texts and performances and an examination of the belated development of professional theatre in the province. The role of theatre is analysed in terms of the broader historical and sociocultural factors at play in the shaping of South Tyrolese identity.


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Acknowledgements vii A Note on Language ix Abbreviations xi Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Setting Out the Story: Establishing a Historiography for South Tyrolese Theatre 13 Chapter 2 Recasting the Hero: Gaismair’s Peasants Take to the Stage 25 Chapter 3 Staging the National Trauma: Dramatic Representations of the 1939 Option 49 Chapter 4 Remade, Refilmed, Restaged, Retold: Ezra und Luis oder die Erstbesteigung des Ulmer Münsters 105 Chapter 5 In the Shadow of the Siegesplatz: Shared Histories from Der Saubohnenprozess to La Scommessa 131 vi Chapter 6 Andreas Hofer Rides Again 179 Conclusion 199 Politics and Theatre in the South Tyrol: A Chronology 203 Bibliography 207 Index 217

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