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Northern and Eastern Europe Theatre

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stewart hawley

on 23 January 2017

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Transcript of Northern and Eastern Europe Theatre

Holy roman Empire
Theatre -1800

Northern and Eastern Europe
Court Theatres of German states
1652- Austria imports Italians to stage court entertainments (Burnacini)
1654-court theatre opens at Munich (Bibienas)
proscenium arches, perspective settings, rapid shifts of scenery, and spectacular special effects.
1688- Vienna opens opera (becomes a central part of the German states artistic center
opera becomes the most admired form
Sturm and Drang (Storm and Stress) 1767-1787
subject matters often shocking (rape, baby killing, state sponsored prostitution: The Child Murderess The Soldiers
multiple settings
detailed settings
The Revolt of Neoclassic ideals
The Gotha Court Theatre 1775: each member was a state employee w/ pensions built in the remains of the Hamburg National theatre, non profit (
Ekhof responsible for staging plays
The Karntnertor theatre in Vienna
The Court and National theatre
State Theatres
F.L. Schroder
Troupes and directing managers
Neoclassic wanes and writers idealize the past
emphasis on humans as rational and a faith in emotions
Jesuit Theatre
Took in students that were meant to be leaders in the church and state
1st production 1551 usually at least one performance in every school (200- 769 schools, universities, and seminaries)
used as a teaching tool
students were the cast
professors wrote the scripts
audience: court officials, church dignitaries, parents, municipal authorities
Latin then vernacular and comedy, spectacle and music
Early German Theatre
English companies perform
Clowns become a favorite
companies perform a long play & afterpiece (Nachspiel) Typically a farce
the Clown was the central figure of all pieces
1707 all clowns become-Hanswurst
Joseph Anton Stranizky-
compounded w/ many elements
medieval fool
jolly beer drinking peasant
green pointed hat
red jacket
yellow pants
white ruff
The Reforms of Gottsched and Neuber
Johann Christoph Gottsched: wanted to raise the moral level of Germany & refine artistic taste
Caroline Neuber: raise level of theatrical performances
careful rehearsals
abandonment of improv.
each actor was assigned other duties
control actors personal lives
Banishment of Hanswurst
Johann Freiderich Schonemann took Neuber's ideas
and built upon them.
His group is given the title "Court comedians to the Duke of Schwerin"
Schonemann's son-in-law Johan Frederich Lowen build upon the ideas and forms the Hamburg National Theatre
proposes a nonprofit national theatre
run by a salaried manager
establishes an academy to train actors
high salaries and pensions to attract best actors
German Drama
Lessing 1729-1781
translated Diederot's work
attracted a large middle class audience (1st time)
disavows the neoclassic idealism

Miss Sara Sampson- drew upon the Medea myth-most popular play in Germany-sentimental drama
Minna von Barnhelm
- 1st national Comedy
Emilia Galotti- bourgeios tragedy
French Dramas hold on Germany broke
Lessing still upholds some neoclassic ideas:
universe ruled by a benevolent God
man is good
human mind is capable of solving all important problems
Lessing breaks the hold of French drama as he seeks to discredit them
Translated Diderot's work
English drama was better than French
Friederich Schiller: The Robbers
Friederich Klinger: The Twins
Jacob Lenz: The Soldiers
Goethe: Goetz von Berlichingen
Heinrich Wagner: The Child Murderess
Concern for historical accuracy
practical and realistic set pieces (bridges,walls, ect...)
insisted on perfection
championed Shakespeare &
Storm and Stress writers
produced Lessing's work
Gave the premier of Goethe's
work: Goetz von Berlichingen
performer: known for his Falstaff
recognized as Germany greatest actor
played more than 700 roles
created the Hamburg school of acting
Iffland and Kotzebue
August Wilhelm Iffland
ability to humanize his roles
made his characters seem noble average people
Director of Mannheim acting school
His plays romanticized the simple life:
The Huntsman (1785) (contrasts middle class w/ oppressive aristocrats)

Sought to keep romantic drama out of Berlin :(
August Fredrich von Kotzebue
most popular playwright in the western world from 1761-1819)
36 plays translated into English
wrote over 200 plays
German drama considered most popular and vital during this period

Misanthropy and remorse :
a drama- popular play (considered 1st Melodrama most popular play in Paris 1790s)

He was approached in 1812 by Beethoven, who suggested that Kotzebue write the libretto for an opera about Attila, which was never written. Beethoven did, however, produce incidental music for two of Kotzebue's plays, The Ruins of Athens (Beethoven's opus 113) and King Stephen (opus 117).

Kotzebue was murdered by a theology student
Goethe, Schiller, and Weimer Classicism
Johann Goethe 1749-1832 considered 1st director of the modern stage
A "universal genius"
Götz von Berlichingen -made him the most famous writer of his time
center of the storm and stress school
Goethe goes to italy and changes his writing style
sought to counter the major artistic turns of his day along w/ Schiller
Worked with his actors to:
enunciate, control tempo, taught principles of movement and grouping, posture and stance (tableau)
worked with his actors for several months on their role
rehearsals did not begin until the actors knew their lines
tried to teach and train his audience as well as actors
Most famous work
together they argued:
drama should transform the ordinary
experience rather than create an illusion of life
simple harmonious costumes
rhythmic speech= to lead the audience into ideal truth
tried to create a harmonious picture n to show audience true beauty
This became known as Weimer Classicism
Drama should transform the ordinary experience rahter than create an illusion of real life i.e. Aristole
adopted blank verse (Shakespeare's fav)
Goethe worked with indivuidual actors for sveral months about heir role
tried to create "natural stage movement"
Created tableu dived the stage into squares (SL SR USL DSL)
sought to counter major artistic trends
theatre theorist
Schiller is considered by most Germans to be Germany's most important classical playwright.
The Robbers
Don Carlos
William Tell
Leads to Romanticism
beyond earthly existence there is a higher truth than that of social forms (Kant and Kierkegaard )
the less spoiled a thing is the more likely it is to embody fundamental Truths.
dualities of human nature (body and soul, spirit and flesh, temporal and eternal)
humanity longs for an ideal existence Romans 8:19-21
Art gives us a higher eternal Truth
the ability to obtain Truth requires an exceptional imagination only found in the artist thus art is a superior from of knowledge
Happiness and truth can only be found in the spiritual realm
Romantic Drama in Germany
1804 France offers 10,000 francs for the best tragedy and comedy
none of these plays that won lasted long in favor
melodrama (first called in 1800)
Melodrama (Made Famous by the Germans)
virtuous hero hounded by a villian
hero is rescued from insurmountable odds only after a series of trials
episodic story unfolds after an expository scene
each act ends with a strong climax
all important events occur on stage
usually elaborate spectacle
relief is provided for by a servant or loved one
Poetic Jutice
focus on emotional appeal
Comic relief character
musical underscore of emotions
written in a three act structure
August Schlegel 1767-1845
influenced Samuel Taylor Coleridge
popularized romanticism and brought ideas around Europe
Translated Shakespeare into German
Mood, emotion and Character were the main ingredients of Drama
first to use romanticism as a term
Ludwig Tieck 1773-1853
Familiarizing Germans w/ Shakespeare
by 1820s considered German's leading authority on the theatre
advocated realistic acting
true illusion results from convincing acting not pictorial realism (forced perspective)
advocated a return to the open stage
every element of of production should be supervised by a single autocratic director
The first fully developed box set was used in Berlin 1826
famous for his work on Midsummer-music by Mendelssohn
France rises to Romanticism
Renee Pixerecourt
120 melodramas: most famous-
The Dog of Montarges
French controversy
Racine vs. Shakespeare
Victor Hugo 1802-1885
called for an abandonment of the unities
denounced strict separation of genres
advocated placing dramatic action in w/i historical milieus
art should go beyond the neoclassicist's idealized nature to one that included both the sublime (spiritual qualities) and grotesque (animal nature)
culmination of the "debate"
Hugo's Hernani
pitched battle bt. romantics and neoclassicists
the actors could not be heard over the yelling and fighting
Hernani: "a melodrama w/ an unhappy ending"
French Romantic Playwrights
Alexander Dumas (1802-1870)
The Three Musketeers 1830?
Victor Hugo
Marion Delorme 1831
The King Amuses Himself 1832
Alfred de Musset 1810-1857
A Venetian Night 1830
Scenery costume and lighting
managers seeks to re-create actual places and real events (famous battles w/ 100 people)
historical accuracy increases
two great designers of this period:
Daguerre and Ciceri

Louis Daguerre 1787-1851
invention of 1st effective form of photo
worked on dioramic set pieces (spectator was set on a platform which revolved to reveal different paintings) in order to create the idea of constant change.
used light to create the idea of passing time
Pierre Ciceri

his panorama-dramatique became so popular he opened the first scenic studio studio in Paris
Romanticism in England

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834
Remorse 1813

36 Kotzebue's plays were translated

William Wordsworth
Borders 1796

John Keats
Otho the Great

Percy Shelley

Sir Walter Scott

Famous English actor managers
Kemble Family: Front Rt. Sarah Siddons, lft. John Phillip as cardinal, Chales Kemble seated @ table, UC Stephen Kemble
John Phillip Kemble 1757-1823
Manager of Drury Lane
Shakespeare revivals
advocated historical accuracy
realistic set pieces and design
mounted calvary onstage
Famous actor

Charles Kemble 1775-1854
Brother of Phillip
manager of Covent Garden
1st to use historically accurate costumes in King John 1823
audiences liked it
James Planche- antiquarinism urged for historically accuracy in his other shows. provided impetus for authentic stagng
Sarah Siddons
Sister of Charles and Phillip
Greatest tragic actor of her day
Sarah and Phillip establish an acting style called "classical" (stateliness, dignity and grace)
great emotional intensity
Noted for playing Lady Macbeth
opened up the Kemble school of acting
30 a week
Edmund Kean (actor) 1787-1833
perfected the romantic style of acting
excelled in villians
worked out every moment (beginning idea of beats)
emphasized realism of emotion
50 $ a performance
Charles Macready 1793-1873
sought to give an illusion of real life
lead to the first modern director:
did not allow actors to chose their own place on stage
demanding acting during rehearsals
constantly sought historical accuracy
in costumes & scenery
performed shows 3 times a week
Restored much of Shakespeare's original text
Elizabeth Vestris 1797-1856
Olympic theatre
introduced an early form of musical theatre which Gilbert and Sullivan will be influenced by
created an overall concept for her shows
special consideration to spectacle introduced box set to England
completely enclosed the acting area
realistic box settings (rooms)
Before we go ( A quick overview of American Theatre 1781-1850)
Earliest record of Performance 1665 The Bear and the Cub
First performance in the USA 1781 in Baltimore by Thomas Wall
Bt. 1794-1815 Philadelphia will grow to become the dominate theatrical center
Alexander Reinagle builds: The Chestnut Theatre 1791 & will become the 1st theatre in the world to light the stage w/ gas lights in 1816
Charles Powell Federal St. Theatre Boston 1793
John Joseph Sollee City Theatre in Charleston 1795
Thomas Cooper and the Park Theatre in NY 1798
The Expanding American Theatre 1815-1850
theatre moves westward in 1815 from: Samuel Drake and James Caldwell planting theatre on the Ohio and MS rivers (Ohio, Kentucky, Louisanna, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri
Edmund Kean in 1821
Charles and Fanny Kemble in 1833
Macready in 1826
Vestris 1838
American Born actors
Edwin Forrest debut in NY 1826 @ Bowery Theatre
established an "American" school of acting (physical or heroic) athletic uninhibited performances (rough)
Charlotte Cushman 1816-1876
originally an opera singer
appeared w/ Macready when he came to US
finest american actress of the time in US
acting style consisted of energy and constant motion
American Dramatists:Plays of this time period promote two important native types: The Native American and the Yankee
James Nelson 1784-1858
10 plays- 5 extant: Tears and Smiles (a comedy of manners) The Indian Princess (romantic drama about Pocahontas (1808) 1st play about native americans,
Supersitions (1824) treats witchcraft in New England
Samuel Woodworth (1785-1842)
The Forest Rose (1825) introduced the Yankee character: Jonathan Ploughboy
John Augustus Stone (1801-1834)
Metamora (1829) Native American Chief (Forrest played the role)
George Washington Park Custis (1781-1857)
The Indian Prophecy (1827)
Pocahontas ((1830)
Charles Mathew
A Trip to America (1824) Yankee Character: symbol of American common man
American Stereotypes
Jim Crow: Thomas D. Rice (1808-1860)- introduced singing and dancing american black slave
The City Boy: urban folk hero
City low life: Pierce Egan's Tom and Jerry (1820s)
German theatre
descended from English touring troupes
English troupes had to adapt by simplifying plots and adding low comedy elements, pantomime, music song and dance (spectacle)
English actors developed stock comic fools aka Johan Psset, Stockfish and Pickering

Played mostly to the groundlings

George Jolly troupe was the last English troupe in Germany 1650s
Johann Freiderich Schonemann
Hamburg National Theatre
Johann Friederich Lowen (Schonemann;s son-in-law
blamed uncultivated managers, actors and profit motive, lack of state report, shortage of German dramtists
proposed a permaneant theatre non profit
run by a salaried manager and advocated training actors high salaries and pensions

Opened in 1767-1769
Hamburg Dramaturgy paved the way for future state supported theatres
Sentimental Drama:
the virtues of private life are exhibited, rather than the vices exposed. Sentiment at this period meant feeling or sensibility. While many of the plays were nominally comic, the characters tended to be dull and priggish, the plots bathetic and the language stilted. Despite this, it was popular with the rising middle-class audience, especially in Germany, France and Britain, because it tended to treat them seriously in ways which neither comedy nor tragedy did. For all its dramatic ineptness, it is important in theatre-historical terms, as it marks an important stage in the development of serious prose drama
storm and stress plays:
often formless
rebellious against the neoclassic idea
Evolution of staging:
Plays now demanded practical set pieces: bridges, walls, complex stuff
First steps towards a box set
costumes intended to evoke a historical milieu (social environment)

Both started out as actors turned playwright

beyond earthly existence there is a higher truth
All creation has a common origin ( the less spoiled a thing is the closer it is to truth)
human existence is made up of dualities
art is a superior form of knowledge

Wrote Kaiser Octavianus
Theatre of Common Sense
sought a middle ground bt. romantics and neoclassics
but soon lost its appeal to Realism

Francois Ponsard
Napoleon and Theatre 1807-1850
Napoleon supports 12 then 8 theatres
but soon grows to 28 by the end
each theatre was given a specific rep to follow
1831 these laws were dropped
Nappy liked Neoclassic drama :(
French Melodrama brought a concern for
Pixerecourt- wanted absolute control over all his works (Hugo, Dumas soon followed suit)
actors use curves and circles in blocking
actors had their back to the audience
national sentiment grew
Mikhail Shchepkin first great Russian actor (STAN) ( started out in a serf troupe eventually moved to a professional troupe in 1808 and eventually obtained his freedom)
taught at the dramatic school and toured
Read the play to the compnay before roles were cast and guided actors in the roles
Nigolai Gogol- 1830s The Inspector General
original for its time because it included neither
love story or sympathetic characters (beginnings of Realism
1800 London is the largest city
theatres were enlarged and seating increased
Authorizes minor theatres in Westminster
longer seasons of shows 5-7 months then 10
five or six hours of entertainment
Genre restrictions

Tragedy did not fare well
melodramas were exotic (set in remote places and times) appealed to middle class)
featured the supernatural or unusual
(dogs performing heroic acts etc..)
water tanks were installed in Sadler Wells theatre
Pierce Egan- melodramas of contemporary life and events (
Tom and Jerry,or Life in London
Douglas Jerold-
Black Eyed Susan (1829) most popular play of the century in London
George Cooke 1756-1812
Romantic Acting
Realistic acting
avoided emphasizing rhythm and rhyme
emotionality and madness loss of control
Cooke played villainous roles such as Richard III
and Iago
English Drama

English drama
Dion Boucicault 1822-1890
Irish actor and playwright famed for his melodramas.
Perfected melodramatic stories
highest paid playwright (500,000 for the
employed actors for the run of the show

The Corsican Brothers
The Octorron

William Robertson 1829-1871
first English playwright interested in realism
stries tell of contemporary life and locales
Gilberts and Sullivan
responsible for comic opera in England
encouragaed by Robertson to take up playwrighting
Gilbert wrote the words Sullivan wrote the music
H.M.S Pentafore
The Pirates of Penzance
The ikado

English theatrical traditions
Charles Fetcher
Played Hamlet contempoary
realistic acting style
classic and contemporary drama was the same
entered through doors and not the wings
Mrs. Bancroft and Robertson
Bancroft perfected an acting style called domestic realism
Bravura acting: emphasized ensemble effects
establish the single playbill
established matinee performances
acted behind the proscenium arch
orchestra level became the favored seating area

Dame Ellen Terry
played with Edmund Kean a chile
son was Gordon Craig
Powerful actress (Ibsen rewrote Doll House for her)
Henry Irving
actor manager
partnered with Terry
pushed England toward pictorial realism
make use and art of stage lighting
experimented with colored lacquered
1st perfomred to be knighted
Tech Innovations
Vampire Trap
: Vampire Trap: invented for James Planché's 1820 adaption of Polidori's The Vampyr. It involved two spring leaves that parted under pressure and immediately reclosed. Placed in the floor or stage wall, it could give the impression a figure was passing through solid matter
Corsican Trap (ghost glide)
made for Dion Boucicault's 1852 adaption of Alexandre Dumas' The Corsican Brothers, involved an ascending track, on which a wheeled cart could be run, rising up out of the stage through a 'bristle' trap - a trapdoor covered with bristles painted to match the scenery. Once on the stage and in view, the track was covered by a sliding arrangement reminiscent of that of a roll-top desk; towhit, nothing was seen except the ghost rising up through the floor and gliding across the stage
1890 stage innovations cont.
treadmills were installed in corsican traps to create:
horse races
chariot races for Ben Hur
Herbert Beerbohm Tree
a versatile and skilled actor, particularly in character roles, by his later years, his technique was seen as mannered and old fashioned.founded the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1904 and was knighted, for his contributions to theatre

Antonio Ceste opera Il pomo d'oro
set for the underworld
Franz Lang: Jesuit Theatre director, producer, paywright who started as an actor in the Jesuit school at age 13.
Best known for his
Discourse on Stage Movement
c. 1720
Freedom fpr tje rules of French neoclassicism
function of theatre -to communicate the play to the audiecne in terms of action, spectacle, and speech
The beginning and end of stage movement is to move the audience in the way the director intends
The director should posses a strong imagination, trained in Latin, rhetoric, pooetics, music, art and psychology and should have complete control over the staging
Acting: natrual talent is not enough. Actor must be disiplined and trained in techinique on order to have effective stage movement and presence
Give adive on how to convey emotion through body movements (Engel pg 185)
English companies:
had to "dumb" down plots (make them simple)
added low comedy slap stick elements
Developed Stock comedic characters
added Germna prahses to plays
Last Enlgish troupe was
George Jolly
during 1650s (was an actor, an early actor-manager and a theatre impresario of the middle seventeenth century. He was "an experienced, courageous, and obstinate actor-manager" who proved a persistent rival for the main theatrical figures of Restoration theatre, Sir William Davenant and Thomas Killigrew.
Jolly eventually organised a company of fourteen actors, his English Comedian Players, and led them around Europe from 1648 to 1659.
They began in Germany, and were in Poland and Sweden in 1649 and 1650. They regularly performed in Vienna and Frankfurt, and may have performed before the future King Charles II in Frankfurt in September 1655.[2]
The company came to include German as well as English actors over time, and apparently adapted its personnel to the countries in which it operated.
Jolly also brought woman actors onto the stage in Germany in 1654,
1st All German Troupes
Carl Andreas Paulsen 1620 c
German actor/manager toured 1650-87
toured nothern and Eastern Europe
used a play rep which inlcuded: English Spainish and French playwrights : Kyd, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, and Caleron
Fist to stage Marlow's Dr Faustus in Germany
staged plays with little rehearsal and discipline

The Velthen Company: called Velthenska sällskapet in Sweden, and Hochdeutsche Hofcomödianten in Germany, was a travelling German Theatre Company, active in Germany, Poland, the Baltic and the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden between 1678 and 1712.
The company played a vital role in the theater history of Scandinavia, were a local theater was not yet developed and where it toured from at least the 1690s onward: in 1707, it became the first professional theater to have performed in Norway.

The company was founded by Johannes Velten upon is marriage in 1678, from the theater company Hochdeutsche Hofcomödianten, which was previously led by his father-in-law. The company had a monopoly in Saxony, and was regarded as one of the best in Germany.

Upon the death of Velthen in 1692, the theater company was taken over by his widow Catharina Elisabeth Velten.
Bourgeois tragedy (German: Bürgerliches Trauerspiel) is a form of tragedy that developed in 18th-century Europe. It is a fruit of the enlightenment and the emergence of the bourgeois class and its ideals. It is characterized by the fact that its protagonists are ordinary citizens.
Goethe and Schiiller lead to the maming of the Germany National theatre
Jena Romanticism (German: Jenaer Romantik; also the Jena Romantics or Early Romanticism (Frühromantik)) is the first phase of Romanticism in German literature represented by the work of a group centred in Jena from about 1798 to 1804.

The group of Jena Romantics was led by the versatile writer Ludwig Tieck. Two members of the group, brothers August Wilhelm and Friedrich von Schlegel, who laid down the theoretical basis for Romanticism in the circle’s organ, the Athenaeum, maintained that the first duty of criticism was to understand and appreciate the right of genius to follow its natural bent.

By 1804, the circle in Jena had dispersed. A second phase of Romanticism was initiated two years later in Heidelberg with Heidelberg Romanticism and in Berlin with Berlin Romanticism.
Heidelberg Romanticism[edit]

Romantic view of Heidelberg Castle ruins
Heidelberg was the centre of the epoch of Romantik (Romanticism) in Germany. The phase after Jena Romanticism is often called Heidelberg Romanticism (see also Berlin Romanticism). There was a famous circle of poets (the Heidelberg Romantics), such as Joseph von Eichendorff, Johann Joseph von Görres, Ludwig Achim von Arnim, and Clemens Brentano. A relic of Romanticism is the Philosophers' Walk (German: Philosophenweg), a scenic walking path on the nearby Heiligenberg, overlooking Heidelberg.

The Romantik epoch of German philosophy and literature, was described as a movement against classical and realistic theories of literature, a contrast to the rationality of the Age of Enlightenment. It elevated medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be from the medieval period. It also emphasized folk art, nature and an epistemology based on nature, which included human activity conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage.
On the Way to Melodrama
Many early Melodramas were closet dramas becuse writers refused to write for the stage.

Fate tragedies: te tragedy, also called fate drama German, Schicksalstragödie, a type of play especially popular in early 19th-century Germany in which a malignant destiny drives the protagonist to commit a horrible crime, often unsuspectingly.

Adolf Mullner’s
Der neunundzwanzigste Februar
(1812; “February 29”) and
Die Schuld (the Debt)

Zacharias Werner’s
Der vierundzwanzigste Februar
(1806; “February 24”) are among the best-known examples
Romantic France
Kemble's troupe of English actors tour

Hugo's Hernani:
used words not considered appropriate for tragedy
shifted the moods of his scenes frequently mixed with humor and seriousness
showed death and violence on stage
broke unities of time and place
George Sand 1804-1876
French Woman playwright in the romantic style
The French Theatres
Parisian theatres retained a rep shows ran for 100 nights
patrons had to present their tickets three times:

the Bureau Dramatique 1829: calculated roylaties for the playwright and boycotted any theatre who refused to accept the work of their authors who recieved 10-15% of the receipts (French playwrights were the first to collect roylaties for their work)

Every theatres had a claque (well trained group of audience members) who were paid to respond in certain ways to certain events in the play in order to ensure success of their play (eventuall actors require for them to recieve a certain amount applause) dueling claques
French Actors
Joseph Talma
MLLe Mars
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