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Radka Kunderová to present at the IFTR Galway Conference on July 15

Redefining theatre's social role in the post-1989 Germany is a topic of Radka Kunderová's this year's presentation at the IFTR annual conference.

News from Jul 09, 2021

"Theatre ReDefined" Principal Investigator Radka Kunderová will present her paper "Redefining Theatre’s Social Function: Erika Fischer-Lichte and Joachim Fiebach on German theatre after 1989" within the General Panel on July 15, 2021, from 10 PM (CEST). 

How was theatre's social role reconceptualized after the fall of Communism in East Germany and the German reunification in 1990? What new concepts of theatre’s social function did theatre scholars invent when facing the new social reality and aesthetic trends? And what was the relation between the so-called postmodern theatre of the 1990s and the category of theatre's social function?

Prior to and through 1989, theatre enjoyed an exceptionally influential position in East Germany. Its political and social impact culminated within the “Gentle Revolution“ when theatre makers co-organized anti-government strikes and took part in forming the pro-democratic oppositional movement. However, the situation in the early 1990s, after the GDR was integrated into the former West Germany, has frequently been labelled as a “crisis” of theatre. A number of commenters and historians argue that theatre lost its social relevance and struggled for its economic survival and its audiences. During the 1990s, numerous debates were taking place discussing the future role of theatre in the society. 

in her paper, Radka Kunderová will analyze how the social function of theatre was redefined in the post-1989 era by two leading German theatre scholars - Erika Fischer-Lichte and Joachim Fiebach. Their rather contradictory views of the 1990s German theatre and their differing visions of theatre’s social role will be compared and contrasted, drawing on a close analysis of their articles. In doing so, issues such as performativity, transformation, and social criticism will be discussed.

For further information on the conference, please see the IFTR website. 

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