Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Elektra (1901) written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and produced at the Little Theatre in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt in October 1903

A scene from Elektra (1901) written by the German playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874 - 1929) and produced at the Little Theatre in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt (1873 - 1943) in October 1903




"Hofmannsthal turned to the Greek tragic tradition in his first attempt after his turn-of-the-century crisis of language to produce a drama for the stage. The fourth century in Athens had been an era during which he felt poets had fulfilled their socialresponsibility. Hofmannsthal hoped his  Elektra would be for him and his time what the Electra of Sophocles had been for him andhis—a poet speaking to his world. It was immensely popular and ran in several languages across Europe for several years. Das Burgtheater in Wien, which now runs a multitude of Hofmannsthal’s plays as exemplary of the Austrian cultural heritage, refused to produce the premiere of the Elektra. It was not on his Vienna that Elektra’s screams first fell. It was in Berlin, the cultural and political antagonist of Vienna, under Max Reinhardt
im Berliner Kleinen Theater on the 30th of October, 1903 that it was first produced."
 

Der Kaufmann von Berlin (1929) written by Walter Mhering and produced at the Volksbuhne in Berlin under the direction of Erwin Piscart around 1930

A scene from Der Kaufmann von Berlin (1929) written by the German playwright Walter Mhering (1896-1981) and produced at the Volksbuhne in Berlin under the direction of Erwin Piscart around 1930




"Seine Lieder, Gedichte, Chansons und Theaterstücke machten ihn früh berühmt – und verhasst: Sein Theaterstück Der Kaufmann von Berlin (1929), eine Persiflage auf die Inflationsgewinnler, uraufgeführt von Erwin Piscator an der Berliner Volksbühne, provozierte einen Skandal, die SA demonstrierte vor dem Theater; Joseph Goebbels verfasste im Angriff einen ganzseitigen Hetzartikel gegen ihn mit der Überschrift An den Galgen. Viele seiner Bücher landeten während der Bücherverbrennung am 10. Mai 1933 auf dem Scheiterhaufen. Mehring entging nur knapp seiner Verhaftung durch die SA, emigrierte, wurde 1939 in Frankreich interniert und konnte 1941 durch seine Flucht aus dem Lager St. Cyprien der Auslieferung entgehen und über La Martinique in die USA entkommen."

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sturmflut (1926) written by Alfons Paquet and produced at the Volksbühne in Berlin under the direction of Erwin Piscator in February 1926

A scene from Sturmflut (1926) written by the German playwright Alfons Paquet (1881 - 1944) and produced at the Volksbühne in Berlin under the direction of Erwin Piscator in February 1926








"Paquets Drama Sturmflut hatte im Februar 1926 an der Berliner Volksbühne Premiere. Regie führte Erwin Piscator, der nicht zuletzt durch diese Inszenierung von Sturmflut in den Rang des wohl innovativsten und aufsehenerregensten Theaterregisseurs der Weimarer Republik aufrückte."

Zwölftausend (1927) written by Bruno Frank and produced at the Kammerspiele in München around 1930

A scene from Zwölftausend (1927) written by the German playwright Bruno Frank (1887 - 1945) and produced at the Kammerspiele in München around 1930


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Trommeln in der Nacht (1919) written by Bertold Brecht and produced at the Kammer Schpiel, München in 1922

A scene from Trommeln in der Nacht (1919) written by the German playwright Bertold Brecht (1898 - 1956) and produced at the Kammer Schpiel,  München in 1922




"Mit Karl Valentin parodierte er 1922 das Stück in den Münchner Kammerspielen. Brecht war eng mit Karl Valentin befreundet, den er auch als Künstler sehr schätzte."


Razzia (1927) written by Hans Rehfisch and produced at the Schiller Theater, Berlin in 1927

A scene from Razzia (1927) written by the German playwright Hans Rehfisch (1891 - 1960) and produced at the Schiller Theater, Berlin in 1927




Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Duell am Lido (1926) written by the German playwright Hans Rehfisch and produced at the Schauspielhaus, Berlin, under the direction of Leopord Jeßner in 1926

A scene from Duell am Lido (1926) written by the German playwright Hans Rehfisch (1891 - 1960) and produced at the Schauspielhaus, Berlin, under the direction of Leopord Jeßner in 1926


Die Entfesselte Wotan (1923) written by Ernst Toller and produced at „Die Tribüne“ in Berlin around 1925

A scene from Die Entfesselte Wotan (1923) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and produced at „Die Tribüne“  in Berlin around 1925




"Nach der kurzen Phase der Münchner Räterepublik, an der Toller als begnadeter Rhetor und politische Leitfigur beteiligt war, wurde die Uraufführung seines Stücks Die Wandlung, das während des Ersten Weltkriegs entstanden war, in der Inszenierung Karlheinz Martins am Berliner Theater „Die Tribüne“ am 30. September 1919 zu einem außerordentlichen Erfolg. Ein paar Monate später setzte sich die wirkungsmächtige Ausstrahlung in Stuttgart fort, wo auf die von Ferdinand Skuhra am dortigen „Deutschen Theater“ inszenierte Premiere am 27. Januar 1920 mit Fritz Wisten als Friedrich-Darsteller und Willi Baumeister als Bühnenausstatter noch zahlreiche Aufführungen folgten."

Hinkemann (1923) written by Ernst Toller and produced in Dresden under the direction of Wicke? in 1924

A scene from Hinkemann (1923) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and produced in Dresden under the direction of Wicke? in 1924




"On January 17, 1924 a production of Hinkemann opened in Dresden, Germany. This date marked a turning point for the critical acceptance of this play. The play was suddenly considered to be a political statement against the current government.  Rioters disrupted the play's performance    The Dresden reviews concentrated primarily upon the disturbance and barely focused on the play itself.  However, this event called the “Dresden Scandal” changed the favorable reception of the play in Germany, but it did not stop additional productions. Cecil Davies mentions in his book The Plays of Ernst Toller (1996) that there were eleven German productions of Hinkemann in the year 1924."

"Die Tragödie erschien 1923 unter dem Titel Der deutsche Hinkemann. Die Uraufführung des Heimkehrerstücks erfolgte am 19. September 1923 am Alten Theater Leipzig unter der Regie von Alwin Kronacher. Die Aufführungen in Berlin und Wien im darauf folgenden Jahr fanden unter Polizeischutz statt, da zuvor jene in Dresden im Januar 1924 von Nationalsozialisten gestört worden waren."

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Masse Mensch (1920) written by Ernst Toller nd produced at Volksbüne in Berlin under the direction of Jürgen Fehling in September 1921

Two scenes from Masse Mensch (1920) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and produced at Volksbüne in Berlin under the direction of Jürgen Fehling in September 1921




"In der provisorischen Festungshaftanstalt Eichstätt, wo Toller zunächst inhaftiert war, schrieb er im Oktober 1919 "Masse Mensch", "Ein Stück aus der sozialen Revolution des 20. Jahrhunderts". Das "den Proletariern" gewidmete Drama wurde am 17. November 1920 im Nürnberger Stadttheater als geschlossene Veranstaltung vor Gewerkschaftern uraufgeführt. Unter der Regie von Jürgen Fehling (1885-1968) wurde es an der Berliner Volksbühne am 29. September 1921 zu einem Riesenerfolg."

Masse Mensch (1920) written by Ernst Toller and produced at the City Theater) of Nürnberg in 1920

A scene from Masse Mensch (1920) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and produced at Stadttheater (City Theater) of Nürnberg in 1920




"Masse Mensch. Ein Stück aus der sozialen Revolution des 20. Jahrhunderts ist ein Drama in sieben Bildern von Ernst Toller, das, im Oktober 1919 geschrieben, 1921 bei Gustav Kiepenheuer in Potsdam im Druck erschien. Es wurde am 15. November 1920 unter der Regie von Friedrich Neubauer im Stadttheater Nürnberg uraufgeführt."

Set designs for Masse Mensch (1920) written by Ernst Toller and drawn by Hans Strobach around 1925

Set designs for Masse Mensch (1920) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and drawn by Hans Strobach around 1925






"Toller's Expressionist drama Masse-Mensch, “first put on paper in . . . the first year of the German revolution, in the prison-fortress of Niederschoenenfeld” (p. viii), here translated from the German by Nonesuch partner Vera Mendel herself. The frontispiece is a tipped-in photograph of the Volksbühne production, taken by Lisi Jessen, with three more Jessen photographs showing three of Hans Strobach's set designs. All of the photographs are photogravures."

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Die Wandlung (1917-18) written by Ernst Toller and produced at the Tribüne, Charlottenburg under the direction of Karl Heinz Martin in 1919

A scene from Die Wandlung (1917-18) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and produced at the Tribüne, Charlottenburg under the direction of Karl Heinz Martin in 1919




"1919 wurde darin die Tribüne von dem Regisseur Karl Heinz Martin, dem Schauspieler Fritz Kortner, dem Dramaturgen Rudolf Leonhard und dem Geldgeber Franz Wenzler als Experimentiertheater und erstes Berliner Privattheater eröffnet. Zur Premiere inszenierte Karl Heinz Martin “Die Wandlung” von Ernst Toller mit dem jungen Fritz Kortner in der Hauptrolle."

Die Wandlung (1917-18) written by Ernst Toller and produced at the Anten Theater, Leipzig around 1923

A scene from Die Wandlung (1917-18) written by the German playwright Ernst Toller (1893 - 1939) and produced at the Anten Theater, Leipzig around 1923


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Ein besserer Herr (1926) written by Walter Hasenclever and produced at the City Theater of Berlin under the direction of Hilbert around 1930

A scene from Ein besserer Herr (1926) written by the German playwright Walter Hasenclever (1890 - 1940) and produced at the City Theater of Berlin under the direction of Hilbert around 1930


stage-design by Ernst Stern for Antigone (1917) written by Walter Hasenclever and produced around 1920

A stage-design by Ernst Stern for Antigone (1917)  written by the Germn playwright Walter Hasenclever (1890 - 1940) and produced around 1920




"At first, Hasenclever was pro-war and volunteered for military service; soon, however, he came to reject the war. He simulated mental illness and was released from duty in 1917. That same year he was presented with the Kleist Prize for his passionate adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone."

Der Sohn (1914) written by Walter Hasenclever and produced at the Hof- and Nationaltheater Mannheim under the direction of Richard Weichert in 1918

A stage-sketch for Der Sohn (1914) written by the German playwright Walter Hasenclever (1890 - 1940) and produced at the Hof- and Nationaltheater Mannheim under the direction of Richard Weichert in 1918




"Die erste Inszenierung, die dem expressionistischen Charakter des Stücks gerecht wurde, war die von Richard Weichert, welche am Hof- und Nationaltheater Mannheim am 18. Januar 1918 Premiere hatte."

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Nebeneinander written by the German playwright Georg Kaiser (1878 - 1945) and produced at Die Truppe, Berlin, in 1923

A scene from Nebeneinander written by the German playwright Georg Kaiser (1878 - 1945) and produced at Die Truppe, Berlin, in 1923




"Steckel verblieb hier bis 1923 und spielte im selben Jahr mit der Theatergruppe „Die Truppe“ in Shakespeares Der Kaufmann von Venedig und bei der Uraufführung von Georg Kaisers Nebeneinander."
 

Zweimar Oliver (1926) written by Georg Kaiser and produced at the Dresden Theater around 1930

A scene from Zweimar Oliver (1926) written by the German playwrighgt Georg Kaiser (1878 - 1945) and produced at the Dresden Theater around 1930



Gilles und Jeanne written by Georg Kaiser and produced at the Altes Theatre, Leipzig, around 1920

A scene from Gilles und Jeanne written by the German playwright Georg Kaiser (1878 - 1945) and produced at the Altes Theatre, Leipzig, around 1920



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

From Morning to Midnight (1912) written by Georg Kaiser and produced at the Theater Guild in New York around 1920

A scene of Von Morgens bis Mittennachts (From Morning to Midnight 1912) written by the German playwright Georg Kaiser (1878 - 1945) and produced at the Theater Guild in New York around 1920




"Here is what the bank scene looked like in Kaiser’s original play (from a 1922 book). This is clearly an ordinary-looking bank and the actors’ clothes are not full of paint. The black background is the only similarity:

From Morn to Midnight stage play bankOkay, let’s think. Did
director Martin (this was his first film by the way) have a liking for experimental art? Why yes he did; before trying out filmmaking he had become very successful at putting on “expressionist” dramas, like Ernst Toller’s 1919 play Transfiguration."
 

Von Morgens bis Mittennachts (1912) written by Georg Kaiser and produced at the Deutshes Theater in Berlin around 1920

A stage-design  for Von Morgens bis Mittennachts (1912) written by the German playwright Georg Kaiser (1878 - 1945) and produced at the Deutshes Theater in Berlin around 1920