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Dramaturgy Database

Das Ende der Berlinischen Dramaturgie: Oder wie kann ein Staatstheater funktionieren?

For seven years Ernst Wendt worked as a dramaturg in close collaboration with the director Hans Lietzau, first in Munich, then at the newly formed Berliner Staatliche Schauspielbühnen: This is a complex of three stages, the Schiller-Theater, the Palace Theater and the Workshop, of which Lietzau was appointed general director (intendant) in 1972. The original intention was to unify the individual theaters with a collective dramaturgical concept and a collective season, and this novel idea was described as “Berliner dramaturgy”. Wendt found himself very disheartened with the Berlin administration by mid-1975, and he left to work as a director and a dramaturg in Munich.

In this interview that Henning Rischbieter conducted with Wendt in the fall of 1975, Wendt talks about this failed endeavor. Large theaters, he states, need dramaturgy as a means of mediating between diverging wants and interests. The dramaturg furthermore should in his opinion not be too ‘theoretical,’ but have a pragmatic and critical approach to both the productions and the overarching ideological strategies of the company as a whole: the dramaturg should function as its first critic.

Source made available with consent of the editors of Theater Heute.

Rischbieter, Henning. “Das Ende der Berlinischen Dramaturgie: Oder wie kann ein Staatstheater funktionieren?”. Theater Heute 9, nr. 5 (1975): 16-19.