Chapter

The Prague Spring: Allegories and Allusions

Laura Bradley

in Cooperation and Conflict

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589630
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595479 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589630.003.0003
The Prague Spring: Allegories and Allusions

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After exploring reactions to the Prague Spring in the GDR's theatres, this chapter investigates stagings that were premièred after the invasion of Czechoslovakia and elicited contrasting responses from the authorities. At the Deutsches Theater, a production of Faust I by Adolf Dresen and Wolfgang Heinz evaded all pre‐performance controls, only for its iconoclasm and allusions to censorship to spark a scandal at the première. At the Berliner Ensemble, meanwhile, Manfred Karge and Matthias Langhoff were transforming Aeschylus's Sieben gegen Theben into a powerful allegory of the invasion of Prague. But as SED members at the BE alerted the authorities before the première, pre‐performance censorship averted a scandal. This chapter shows how the reliance on internal controls caused censorship practice to diverge, even in the same city.

Keywords: Prague Spring; Berliner Ensemble; Deutsches Theater; Faust; Sieben gegen Theben

Chapter.  13003 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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