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Backstage Domains

Playing "William Tell</I> in Two Swiss Communities

Regina Bendix

This study compares the lay theater productions of Schiller's William Tell performed in the villages of Altdorf and Interlaken in Switzerland. The focus is on the «backstage domain» in the broadest sense, including the formation and history of the voluntary associations responsible for the productions and their role in community life, the process of learning the play and rehearsing,and the folklore that arises in the lay acting group context both on and off stage. This backstage look leads to a new understanding of the social workings behind public performances and contributes to the study of public display events.
Contents: Voluntary associations and communal culture, acting and play, the expressive culture of lay acting groups, the Tell Play in everyday life, the backstage domains of public displays, illustrations.