A History of the Berliner Ensemble (Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre)

A History of the Berliner Ensemble (Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre)

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David Barnett
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 3/19/2015
EAN 9781107059795, ISBN10: 1107059798

Hardcover, 524 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.9 cm
Language: English

The Berliner Ensemble was founded by Bertolt Brecht and his wife Helene Weigel in 1949. The company soon gained international prominence, and its productions and philosophy influenced the work of theatre-makers around the world. David Barnett's book is the first study of the company in any language. Based on extensive archival research, it uncovers Brecht's working methods and those of the company's most important directors after his death. The book considers the boon and burden of Brecht's legacy, and provides new insights into battles waged behind the scenes for the preservation of the Brechtian tradition. The Berliner Ensemble was also the German Democratic Republic's most prestigious cultural export, attracting attention from the highest circles of government, and from the Stasi, before it privatised itself after German reunification in 1990. Barnett pieces together a complex history that sheds light on both the company's groundbreaking productions and their turbulent times.

1. The Berliner Ensemble as an opportunity to establish a new type of theatre
2. The founding and the first season of the Berliner Ensemble
3. The Berliner Ensemble's years at the Deutsches Theater
4. Brecht's last seasons at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm
5. Developing the Brechtian legacy
6. Making theatre politically after the Berlin Wall
7. Years of crisis
8. A new beginning
9. A new crisis
10. A safe pair of hands
11. Crisis and stagnation
12. Wekwerth's last stand
13. From gang of five to power of one
14. The last hurrahs