Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Ethics of documentary drama in German theatre of the 20th century


Downloads per month over past year

Bregović, Monika. (2017). Ethics of documentary drama in German theatre of the 20th century. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Comparative Literature.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij književnosti, izvedbenih umjetnosti, filma i kulture) [mentor Petlevski, Sibila and Balme, Christopher].

[img] PDF (English) - Registered users only
Download (1MB) | Request a copy


Documentary drama is a specific form of political theatre based on original documentary material such as newspapers, photographs, diaries, and legal records, which are used for political purposes. The aim of this dissertation was to analyze the development of the genre with respect to the political circumstances in which it appeared, with the underlying assumption that its political and ethical potential remains historically relative. The dissertation compares three waves of documentary theatre that appeared in 20th -century German theatre: the first wave produced by Erwin Piscator during the Weimar Republic; the documentary theatre of Peter Weiss and Rolf Hochhuth that appeared during the 1960s; and the postdramatic documentary performances of the “Rimini Protokoll”. Since the purpose of the dissertation is to analyze the subversive potential of documentary theatre with respect to its historical context, the methodological approach varies for each example analyzed. The first wave is analyzed with respect to the predecessor of documentary drama – agitprop theatre. Piscator’s documentary productions are analyzed with respect to the new media and technology he used to mediate original documentary material, including visual documents such as film and photography. Since the second wave made use of traumatic documents which preserved the memory of the Second World War, the political potential of the documentary plays of the 1960s is investigated with respect to the ethics of representation. While the documentary playwrights used historical accounts of Nazi genocide and the concentration camps to reveal the past that had been forgotten for two decades, these traumatic events required the development of appropriate methods of theatrical representation. For the third wave, the analysis focuses on the role of theatre in the production of the public sphere, and the comparison of non-professional performers to public intellectuals. The political potential of “Rimini’s” performances lies in the fact that the documentary presence of the performers produces dissensus, which encourages the creation of a public sphere revealing a multiplicity of possible regimes of the sensible.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: German documentary theatre, ethics, politics, trauma, agitprop, public sphere, public intellectual, Peter Weiss, Rolf Hochhuth, Erwin Piscator, “Rimini Protokoll”
Subjects: Comparative literature
Departments: Department of Comparative Literature
Supervisor: Petlevski, Sibila and Balme, Christopher
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij književnosti, izvedbenih umjetnosti, filma i kulture
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 08:21
Last Modified: 23 May 2017 08:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item