Modern German Political Drama 1980-2000

Modern German Political Drama 1980-2000

Birgit Haas


Camden House



A comprehensive survey of the renaissance of the German political drama in the years surrounding reunification.
The last two decades of the 20th century gave rise to a renaissance in the genre of the political drama in Germany. Although political drama has always been a mainstay of German literature, it has been of particular significance during the years surrounding the Wende, or reunification, of 1989. This book is the first comprehensive study of politically engaged German drama writing in the 1980s and 1990s, covering the works of key playwrights during the period and providing an analysis of oppositional theater before and after reunification. It treats the range of current political topics and their repercussions in drama writing, including reunification, women's issues, the media, politicized environmentalism and the Greens, and right-wing radicalism. In addition to established playwrights such as Heinar Kipphardt, Franz Xaver Kroetz, and Heiner Müller, the book looks at the younger generation of playwrights: writers such as Oliver Bukowski, Dea Loher, Marius von Mayenburg, Albert Ostermaier, and Theresia Walser. It gives an overview of recent German political drama through analysis of more than forty contemporary plays, clearly tracing connections between politics and theater. Each chapter is preceded by a short introduction into the respective political topic, providing the framework for the study of drama as a political tool and making it easy for students to see the multiple ways in which plays respond to political change. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in drama and theater studies and German literature.

Birgit Haas teaches in the German Department at the University of Heidelberg.


October 2003
249 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571132857
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
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Table of Contents

1: Outcasts
2: Green Issues
3: The Memory of the Holocaust
4: The Decay of the GDR
5: Reflexions on German Reunification
6: Women in Society Today
7: Terrorism in Germany
8: Right-Wing Radicalism in Germany after Reunification
9: Media and Politics


...makes available essentially reliable readings of a rich assortment of plays by contemporaneous dramatists -- several of whom have escaped the attention of literary scholars. GERMAN QUARTERLY

Until now no work existed that synthesizes the political drama produced in Germany in the two decades since the fall of the wall in 1989. Haas has brought about that synthesis..., analyzing 28 authors and 54 plays. A work on the role of the media in German political life concludes this well documented work. ETUDES GERMANIQUES

Haas chooses plays which in recent years have been forgotten or are little known and succeeds in drawing a sophisticated and comprehensive picture of the theatrical landscape of the 1980s and 1990s. MONATSHEFTE

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