Wendy Arons

Wendy Arons is Professor of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Her research interests include German theatre, 18th- and 19th-century theatre history, feminist theatre, and performance and ecology. She is author of Performance and Femininity in Eighteenth-Century German Woman’s Writing: The Impossible Act (Palgrave Macmillan 2006), and co-editor, with Theresa J. May, of Readings in Performance and Ecology (Palgrave Macmillan 2012). She has published articles in Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, The German Quarterly, Communications from the International Brecht Society, 1650-1850, Text and Presentation, and Theatre Journal, as well as chapters in a number of anthologies. In 2012 Prof. Arons received a three-year NEH “Scholarly Editions and Translations” grant to support the first complete and annotated translation into English of G.E. Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy. She has also translated plays from German into English, including Brecht’s The Good Person of Sezuan in collaboration with Tony Kushner. She is the author of an arts and culture blog called The Pittsburgh Tatler (http://www.wendyarons.wordpress.com).

The Schauspielhaus as a World-Theater/Kurt Hirschfeld as a World Dramaturg

In this presentation I will offer an overview of the international repertory of the Schauspielhaus from ca. 1939-1964, connecting the selection of world- and German-language premieres to the dramaturgical, aesthetic, and social mission for theater articulated by Hirschfeld throughout his career. Moreover, I will describe how his vision of the role played by theater in society was not only international in scope but also international in influence: the deliberately eclectic mix of classical and modern, native and foreign plays that characterized the Spielplan of the Zürich Schauspielhaus in the postwar years not only served as a model for the postwar German stage, but also for the US regional theater movement, which was founded in the postwar era on some of the same idealistic principles that undergirded Hirschfeld’s dramaturgical philosophy.

Panel – Kurt Hirschfeld – New Beginning and Romanticization –