Worlds of German design in the twenty-first century

Authored by: Matt Cornish

The Routledge Companion to Scenography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138917804
eBook ISBN: 9781315688817
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781317422266.ch38

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Abstract

Much of what is seen in German theatre today feels sui generis or even ex nihilo but has precedent in the twentieth century, particularly in the work of Bertolt Brecht and his close collaborators Caspar Neher, Teo Otto, and Karl von Appen. Neher, one of Brecht’s earliest and longest-serving artistic partners, saw himself as a Bühnenbauer rather than a Bühnenbildner, the latter being an “artistic creator of the stage,” while the former means something like “builder of the stage.” A Bühnenbauer is less concerned with interpreting a play and producing harmony; instead, he or she make scenes that are “integral component[s] of the play’s dramaturgy,” elevating scenography, as Christopher Baugh states, to “an act of performance” (Baugh 2006: 263).

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