SFB 1369 Cultures of vigilance

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Controlling Theatre: Theatre, Politics and the Public Sphere after 1918

teilbereich_198x149px_a03Project A04

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme; PD Dr. Nic Leonhardt


Carolina Heberling; Sabrina Kanthak

Project Description

The project deals with the question of how the relationship between theatre, politics and the public sphere changed between 1918 and 1936 as a result of the abolition of censorship, increased financial commitment by the public sector and control by public opinion, understood here as the press and the theatre audience.

On the basis of two case studies, the Münchner Kammerspiele and the Münchner Residenztheater, we will examine what happens when practices of control and surveillance are shifted directly to the institutions on the one hand and to the public on the other. These two aspects will be examined in detail in two areas:

  1. the term decensorship will be used to describe the effects of the numerous theatre scandals, which led to a new and contradictory adjudicative function of the public
  2. the transformation of court theatres into state theatres and the transfer of municipal theatres into public ownership led to the revaluation of the office of the Intendant, which advanced to become a figure of vigilance mediating between politics, the public and the internal management of the theatre. The working hypothesis is that political, institutional, and social vigilance can be seen as different vectors and levels of control and orientation that enter into a new conflictual interrelationship.