Kleist on Stage, 1804-1987 by William C. Reeve

By William C. Reeve

Due to the fact an account of each recognized staging will require a number of volumes, Kleist on level is proscribed to significant productions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland that attracted greater than the standard press assurance, and to interpretations and diversifications outdoor the German-speaking nations. Reeve offers a chronological degree heritage of every of the performs, starting with Die Familie Schroffenstein and finishing with Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. He additionally discusses a number of the difficulties confronted by way of a director trying to positioned a Kleistian drama on level, and pleads for higher realizing and cooperation among the educational and theatrical traditions.

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Extra info for Kleist on Stage, 1804-1987

Sample text

From the gridiron hung wooden poles, arranged to intimate a church, a forest, or even the cave of the conclusion. Each time the action became threatening or led to actual friction, a loudspeaker emitted appropriately suggestive electronic music. Despite reservations - the slowmotion ending caused some laughter and negative critical response - a general consensus emerged that the director and his collaborators had demonstrated convincingly, "wie sich das unzeitgema'Se Stuck gegenwartig machen und aufregend spielen la'fit" (Giinther Schlofi).

The Zeitung fiir die elegante Welt (4 April 1808) claimed: "Diesem Kruge ging's libel. " The actor Anton Genast blamed the failure on the inappropriately drawn-out speeches of Heinrich Becker's Adam. 4 The Zeitung fiir die elegante Welt speaks of the last act as being too long-winded and Sembdner has argued convincingly that the Weimar Hoftheater used what is now categorized as the long variant text. The "Buchausgabe" of 1811 (the manuscript has been lost) reduced the 514 lines of the original, longer version to a mere 56 but included it as a "Variant" in the appendix.

Hence, one would assume that some entertainment could have been derived in Gottingen from a parody: "Aber die Langeweile kehrt denn doch nach einer kurzen Zeit des Eingewohnens ein, man lachte nur noch iiber Gags ... "25 "Eine kunstvoll inszenierte Parodie ha'tte daraus einen MordsspaG machen konnen. "28 In the critic Eo Plunien's i8 Kleist on Stage opinion, the director took the drama much too seriously, and this only succeeded in frequently producing the totally opposite reaction in his audience.

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