theatre

Sarah Bernhardt – the First World Star

Sarah Bernhardt – the First World Star

On October 22 (or 23), 1844, French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt was born. She is considered the most famous actress of her time and was one of the first world stars. “Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He belongs to his character, to his author, to his public.” – Sarah Bernhardt, as quoted in The Art of the Theatre (1925), p. 171 Sarah Bernhardt – Early Years…
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Emanuel Schikaneder – The Most Talented Theatre Man of his Era

Emanuel Schikaneder – The Most Talented Theatre Man of his Era

On September 1, 1751, German impresario, dramatist, actor, singer and composer Emanuel Schikaneder was born. So you have never heard of Schikaneder? Oh, but for sure you have heard of Mozart [1], and Schikaneder wrote the libretto of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s popular opera The Magic Flute [7]. Moreover, he was often referred to as “one of the most talented theater men of his era” and was the builder of the Theater an der…
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Charlie Chaplin – Master of Comedy and Beyond

Charlie Chaplin – Master of Comedy and Beyond

On April 16, 1889, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was born. He rose to fame in the era of silent film and became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, The Tramp. Chaplin is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years and encompassed both adulation and controversy. “Wars, conflict, it’s all business. “One…
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The Idea of Tolerance in the Theatre and Essays of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

The Idea of Tolerance in the Theatre and Essays of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

On January 22, 1708, German author of the enlightenment Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was born. With his dramas and his theoretical writings, which are above all committed to the idea of tolerance, this enlightener showed the further development of the theater a significant path and had a lasting influence on the public impact of literature. Lessing is the first German dramatist whose work is still being performed in theaters without interruption. “The true…
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Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

On January 5, 1921, Swiss author and dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born. Dürrenmatt was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author‘s work included avant-garde dramas, philosophical crime novels, and macabre satire. Especially his play “The Physicists” (1961) deals with questions of scientific ethics and humanity‘s ability to handle its intellectual responsibilities. “A story is not finished, until it has taken…
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Ingmar Bergman – the Best Film Director of all Times

Ingmar Bergman – the Best Film Director of all Times

On July 14, 1918, Swedish director, writer, and producer Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born. Since he often worked on theatre and film almost parallel in his development, both the stage and the film were reciprocally impulse generators for the respective other medium. In 1997, Bergman was honoured at the Cannes Film Festival as “Best Film Director of All Times”. “When we experience a film, we consciously prime ourselves for illusion. Putting aside…
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Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

On June 5, 1898, Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director Federico Garcia Lorca was born. He is among the leading figures of the Generación del 27, which includes poets such as Vicente Aleixandre, Dámaso Alonso, Rafael Alberti, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén and Gerardo Diego. Together with Ramón del Valle-Inclán, he renewed the Spanish theatre, which was frozen in late Romantic formulas and flat naturalism. Federico García Lorca – Youth in Granada Federico…
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Calderón de la Barca – one of the finest Playwrights of World Literature

Calderón de la Barca – one of the finest Playwrights of World Literature

On January 17, 1600, Spanish poet and playwright of the Spanish Golden Age Pedro Calderón de la Barca was born. His work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theatre. As such, he is regarded as one of Spain’s foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature. ¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí. ¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión, una sombra, una ficción, y el mayor bien…
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Max Reinhardt – From Bourgeois Theatre to Metropolitan Culture

Max Reinhardt – From Bourgeois Theatre to Metropolitan Culture

On Sep. 9, 1873, Austrian-born theatre and film director, intendant, and theatrical producer Max Reinhardt was born. Through the dramaturgically motivated use of the revolving stage, sculptural decorations, the work with fixed side towers and staircases as possibilities for performing, the circular horizon with its depth dimension, the indirect lighting, the play on podiums projecting into the auditorium, and on the arena stage, the mass direction or the chamber play concept, Reinhardt…
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The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht

The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht

On February 10, 1898, German poet, playwright, theatre director, and Marxist Bertolt Brecht was born. A theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht is best known for his contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production. There are few areas of modern theatrical culture that have not felt the impact or influence of Brecht’s ideas and practices. “It is not enough to demand insight and informative images of reality from the theater. Our theater must…
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