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Theaterentwürfe deutschsprachiger Autorinnen im 20. Jahrhundert / Annette Bühler-Dietrich.

Publication | Library Call Number: PN2642.W65 B84 2000

In the 20th century, theatre has turned into a heterogeneous space of conflicting visual and auditory sign systems. This dissertation explores how women playwrights envisage the viewing and listening place of theatre, how they restructure stage-audience relations, and how they define the theatrical constitution of meaning. Six plays by acknowledged women authors of the 20th century—Marieluise Fleißer, Else Lasker-Schüler, Nelly Sachs, Gerlind Reinshagen, and Elfriede Jelinek—are discussed, each play in a chapter of its own. These chapters are accompanied by a general introduction, which deals with overall structural changes in theatre and with feminist approaches to theatre. Many of these plays have been analyzed before, but only thematically. It is, however, the structural boldness of these plays which is of greatest significance. Looking at these plays as blueprints of theatre which reach beyond the classical elements of character and action, I use as a starting point the semiology of theatre as set down by Anne Ubersfeld. Reading plays as texts written specifically for the theatre and thus different from lyric and prose narrative, Ubersfeld's methodology supplies useful tools for analyzing the theatricality of plays. A focus on the conflictual relation of sight to sound in these plays makes it possible to delineate the change women playwrights make on stage: speech no longer is used to express only character, character is replaced by puppets or “textual plane” (Jelinek). The theatrical sign systems are set apart and against each other, shattering univocal meaning and denying audience identification. Thus, before the war, Lasker-Schüler and Fleißer undermine the representational model of theatre. In exile, Lasker-Schüler and Sachs stage the historical rupture of the Third Reich and the Holocaust in their plays. Reinshagen and Jelinek, in view of this historical and aesthetic caesura, ward off or perpetuate this tremor of signification. Together, these texts create the blueprint of a theatre which radically questions theatrical means and established conventions.

Bühler-Dietrich, Annette.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:47:00
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