Contemporary Drama in the 1960s: A Contested Space

Laura Bradley

in Cooperation and Conflict

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589630
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595479 | DOI:
Contemporary Drama in the 1960s: A Contested Space

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Contemporary GDR drama operated in a contested space, whose parameters were continually being redefined. This chapter focuses on the two major contemporary drama controversies of the 1960s: Peter Hacks's Die Sorgen und die Macht at the Deutsches Theater and Moritz Tassow at the Volksbühne. The Culture Ministry backed both productions, and they were banned only after their respective premières. The chapter examines how and where the pressure for these production bans originated. It identifies significant differences of opinion within the cultural bureaucracy, showing how Berlin's regional Party authorities took a harsher line than the Ministry. This was partly because of the tensions between the Ministry's tasks; it was charged with promoting as well as controlling contemporary drama. The chapter also investigates how theatre practitioners reacted to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and how theatres dealt with the logistical challenges presented by the closure of the GDR's borders.

Keywords: Berlin Wall; contemporary drama; Peter Hacks; Deutsches Theater; Volksbühne

Chapter.  14830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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