This chapter introduces the challenges that theatre presented to those seeking to control it in the GDR. It argues that an inclusive approach is necessary in order to understand GDR theatre censorship, as a complex system of controls and rewards helped to constitute how theatrical processes worked. It relates this approach to theories of constitutive censorship, drawing particularly on the work of Pierre Bourdieu. The chapter goes on to explore the origins and implications of the GDR authorities' denial of censorship, showing how a euphemistic discourse evolved to describe the controls on culture. It introduces the key institutions involved in theatre censorship, explaining how the controls were rooted in theatres themselves. Stasi informers were just one part of this internal network. The final sections outline the source materials, methods, and structure of the book.
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