THE STATE ACTING ACADEMY OF EAST BERLIN: A History of Actor Training From Max Reinhardt’s Schauspielschule to The Hochschule Für Schauspielkunst “Ernst Busch”

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This study deals with the establishment of Reinhardt's school, the training that took place until WWII (including the implementation of nazi officials at the institution), the program of study during the German Democratic Republic, and finally the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch". By offering a detailed account of actor training methods which existed shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the study examines the shift in emphasis from a socialist Realistic school of acting, as one of the state institutes of the GDR, to a more eclectic, broad-based approach. As witneessed in 1993, the tprofram showed the influence of Reinhardt's theories of acting as well as those of Stanislaviski and Brecht. Several of the schools' main teachers and leaders throughout its almost ninety year history are profiled, with their corresponding theoretical views included.


"This school is the finest in Germany and has a legacy dating back to one of the world's first and foremost theatrical directors, Max Reinhardt. . . Of particular interest to Western theatre scholars is [Earnest's] exacting and insightful treatment of the theory behind actor training during the Soviet era of occupation. His book has first-hand information as to the acting teachers and their approaches to theatre training. . . he has spent time interviewing former students of the school and incldues inforamtion about them and by them. . . . [Earnest's] work is of such magnitude and importance that it should have been published years ago." – Herbert Sennett

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Justification for the Study, Methods of Research, The German Acting Profession

1.The Development of Theatre, The Actor, And Actor Training: Theatre in the Germanic Region; Gottsched and Neuber – Early Reforms; Ekhof and the Beginnings of Acting Theory; the Hamburg Dramaturgy – Lessings' Theoretical Statement; Schroeder, Iffland and Devrient Romantic Acting Styles; Goethe and the Weimar School; Eduard Devrient; Schreyvogel and Saxe-Meiningen – the Ensemble Approach; Development of Acting Styles in the 20th century; Antirealistic Acting;Max Reinhardt; Reinhardt's Theatrical Vision' Reinhardt's Work with Actors; Founding of the Schauspielschule; The Schauspielschule 1910-1935; The Schauspielschule in the Third Reich

2.Development of East German Aesthetics: German Theatre After the War; The German Democratic Republic; Socialist Realism in the USSR; The Development of East German Theatre Aesthetics; Stanislavski – the Model for Performance; Bertolt Brecht – The "Other" Approach

3.Stattliche Schauspielschule Berlin: State Academies Established; Staatliche Schauspielschule Berlin; Program of Study at the State Acting Academy; Leadership of the State Acting Academy (1962-1989); Work with Brecht and Stanislavski; Hans-Peter Minetti

4.The Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch": Hochschule Status and the Eighties – Ernst Busch, German Reunification; Theatre Training 1992-1993 – Facilities for Instruction – Schöneweide Campus; studiotheater BAT; Theater Am Park; Curriculum – Acting, Speech Training; Movement; Theater Science; Directing; Choreography

5.Actors Present and Past – Student Perspectives of the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch": Student Body; Student Perception of the Acting Program; Employment Prospects; Former Students Reactions to the Program; Dieter Mann; Christine Schorn; Frank Lienert; Daniel Morgenroth

6.Conclusion: Evaluation of the HfSK; Suggestions for Further Study

Appendices; Bibliography; Index

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