S. Wilmer's National Theatres in a Changing Europe (Studies in PDF

By S. Wilmer

This publication examines some of the ways that nationwide theatres have shaped and advanced through the years, and different features they've got bought reckoning on the character of the political regimes and cultural conditions during which they've been positioned. It additionally highlights the problems those associations come upon this present day, in an atmosphere the place nationalism and nationwide identification are more and more contested by way of international, transnational, nearby, pluralist and native agendas, and the place financial forces create conflicting calls for in a aggressive industry.

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Although my remarks will focus on the National Theatre in Europe, I will also look more briefly at some of the ways this essentially European idea was interpreted outside of Europe, since these variations often shed important light on the assumptions and dynamics of the concept itself. This concept of a National Theatre, like the modern concept of ‘nation’ upon which it rests, is European in origin, and these two concepts evolved together in the years just before and after the French Revolution.

Much the same concern clearly lay behind Ataturk’s establishment of a National Theatre in Turkey in 1947, an important element in his conscious Westernizing of Turkish culture. The opening of National Theatres in Greece in 1930 and in Macedonia and Albania in the late 1940s gave the Balkans the greatest concentration of such theatres in Europe by mid-century. A National Theatre began to be discussed in Korea in 1946, and the project gained momentum with independence in 1948 and an early act of the new National Assembly calling for a Korean National Theatre, which opened in 1950.

33–7. See Sarah Bryant-Bertail (2000), Space and Time in Epic Theatre: The Brechtian Legacy (Rochester: Camden House), p. 122. Yeats to Gilbert Murray, 24 January 1905, quoted in D. R. Clark and J. B. McGuire (1989), W. Yeats: The Writing of Sophocles’ King Oedipus (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society), p. 8. 2 National Theatres: Then and Now Marvin Carlson The term National Theatre is in such common usage around the globe that it seems fairly transparent, but as is the case with any term widely adopted across nationalities and cultures, when we consider individual usages we find that there are almost as many varieties of National Theatre as there are National Theatres themselves.

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