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The Reception of German Theater in Greece

Establishing a Theatrical Locus Communis: The Royal Theater in Athens (1901-1906)

Michalis Georgiou

The author examines the vigorous reception of the German theater in Greece, a phenomenon that took place along with the process of establishing in Athens, in 1901 the Royal Theater. The multiple aesthetic, social and political forms of this phenomenon provided a "locus of contact" with the German culture and accomplished a function, regarded as the instrument for the development of the bourgeois theater in Greece. This happened through the work of theater practitioners and intellectuals, as well as through the transfer of institutions, theatrical plays, and scripts of direction instructions, decorations, and props. The performances staged were the iceberg in the process of this reception, as they provided a strategy toward the revitalization of the Greek theater, realized in a productive way.

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First and foremost, I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Erika Fischer-Lichte, who has supported me with her scientific advice and thoughtful comments while allowing me room to work in my own way. Furthermore, I am grateful to Prof. Dr. Miltos Pechlivanos’ support, as well as for his insightful discussions and suggestions throughout my thesis.

The bulk of the research was financed by a three and a half-year doctoral scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation (I.K.Y.) in Greece and the International Research Training Group Interart Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.

I am indebted to the staff at the institutions where I did my research: the Museum and Study Center of the Greek Theater in Athens, the Institute for Mediterranean Studies in Crete, the Diplomatic and Historical Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, Archiv der griechischen Gemeinde zur Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit in Vienna and Theatermuseum in Vienna, Thüringisches Staatsarchiv Meiningen, Theater Museum Schloss Wahn in Cologne, and Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin.

For the production of this book, I received a generous printing grant from the Geschwister Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung für Geisteswissenschaften, while part was also funded by Adamas Stiftung Götz Hübner.

I am grateful to those friends, who helped me during the course of my work: Anna Grigoriadou and Dimitris Thomaidis, Antonia Ampatielou, Matthias Becker, Grigoris Kroustallis, Panagiotis Paschalidis and Elena Sokratous, Dionysis Perdikis and Chrysoula...

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