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Cooperation and ConflictGDR Theatre Censorship, 1961-1989$
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Laura Bradley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199589630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589630.001.0001

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Dresden and Bautzen in the Late 1980s: Performing Perestroika

Dresden and Bautzen in the Late 1980s: Performing Perestroika

(p.231) 7 Dresden and Bautzen in the Late 1980s: Performing Perestroika
Cooperation and Conflict

Laura Bradley

Oxford University Press

As Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost aroused hopes for change in the GDR, the Culture Ministry came under mounting pressure to reform theatre censorship. Irina Liebmann launched a campaign for an ‘Authors' Theatre’ that would première new plays, free from state control. This chapter investigates how the national debate about theatre censorship affected negotiations over productions in the Dresden region. It focuses on two world premières: Jürgen Groß's Revisor oder Katze aus dem Sack at the Deutsch‐Sorbisches Volkstheater in Bautzen and Christoph Hein's Die Ritter der Tafelrunde at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden. The fact that these plays were premièred at all indicates that real changes were underway in the theatre repertoire. The Ministry's determination to override local opposition aroused considerable resentment amongst cultural functionaries in Dresden, even though the region's First Secretary Hans Modrow was sympathetic to the productions.

Keywords:   Ritter der Tafelrunde, Revisor, Deutsch‐Sorbisches Volkstheater, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Irina Liebmann

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