De-Monopolizing the Public Sphere: Politics and Theatre in Nineteenth-Century Germany
2012 (English)In: Theatre research international, ISSN 0307-8833, E-ISSN 1474-0672, no 2, 148-162 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article traces the theatre's desire to access the political public sphere in the early nineteenth century. By investigating a case study of a severe incident of censorship and police intervention at the Königstädtische Theater in Berlin in 1828, the aim is to show that the playwright Gotthilf August von Maltitz and his actors were driven by the desire to represent political topics on stage and to act as performative players in the public sphere. The theatre thus became a rival forum to the absolutist power still claiming a monopoly on public action and public speech in Prussia at the time.
This article focuses on an incident of censorship and police intervention at the Königstädtische Theater in Berlin in 1828, occasioned by a performance of Gotthilf August von Maltitz's The Old Student (Der alte Student). Identifying how the playwright and his actors sought to represent political topics onstage allows me to explore how theatre functioned as a potential player in an incipient public sphere. In turn this reveals how the desire to represent political topics onstage and to become a performative player in the public sphere was already under way in the 1820s, well before the revolutionary turbulence of 1848.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. no 2, 148-162 p.
19th Century Theatre, Public Sphere, German Theatre
Performing Art Studies
Research subject Theatre Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114335DOI: 10.1017/S0307883312000053OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-114335DiVA: diva2:791545