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Theatre in the Berlin Republic

German Drama since Reunification


Denise Varney

This book contains the proceedings of a symposium that took place in Melbourne in September 2006. Its focus is on theatre at the intersection of culture and politics during and after German reunification and the evolution of the Berlin Republic. The book considers how canonical and new theatrical works, including those performed at the renowned former East German theatres – the Deutsches Theater, the Volksbühne and the Berliner Ensemble – resonated with reunification. Topics include the dynamics of theatrical performance, the emergent performative identities, the new alliances between theatre and the world, the re-engagement with history and the shifting perspectives of nationalism, transnationalisation and globalisation. These matters acquire renewed focus with the approach of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the wall in 2009. The book is the first to offer English-speaking readers a collection of essays on the key theatrical productions of this dynamic period of cultural and political change. Underlying the collection is a reaffirmation of the continuing relevance of theatre to events in the public sphere.
Contents: Denise Varney: Theatre in the Berlin Republic: Introduction – Alison Lewis: German Reunification and the Postwar Alliance between German Politics and Culture – Sabine Zolchow: The Island of Berlin – Birgit Haas: The Return of Dramatic Drama in Germany after 1989 – Moray McGowan: What was the Wende and what of the Volk? Fidelio’s questions and the Weavers’ answers – Laura Bradley: Contesting the Legacies of Socialism: Brecht’s The Mother in the Berlin Republic – Laura Ginters: Wir sind das Volk! How a failed revolutionary wrote about the French Revolution - and thereby helped cause one 154 years later: Georg Büchner’s Dantons Tod on the German stage – Denise Varney: Hurting. Hurting. Hurting: Gendered Representations of Reunification in Post-Wende Theatre by Women – Gert Reifarth: Fostering Cultural Schizophrenia: East German Theatres Re-create the GDR – Alexandra Kolb: Goodbye GDR! German Reunification in Johann Kresnik’s Wendewut – John Guthrie: Classical Plays on the Berlin Stage. Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (Schändung) and Schiller’s Maria Stuart – Katrin Sieg: German Theatre and Globalisation.