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Theatre and War 1933-1945
Performance in Extremis
Edited by Michael Balfour
208 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-762-4 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 2001)
ISBN 978-1-57181-497-5 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (October 2001)
eISBN 978-1-78920-365-3 eBook
On an April evening in 1934, on the River Arno in Florence, an air squadron, an infantry, a cavalry brigade, fifty trucks, four field and machine gun batteries, ten field radio stations, and six photoelectric units presented a piece of theatre. The mass spectacle, 18 BL involved over two thousand amateur actors and was performed before an audience of twenty thousand.
18 BL is one of eleven extraordinary essays collected together for the first time. The essays have been selected and edited from a wide range of publications dating from the 1940s to the 1990s. The authors are academics, cultural historians, and theatre practitioners - some with direct experience of the harsh conditions of Europe during the war. Each author critically assesses the function of theatre in times of world crisis, exploring themes of Fascist aesthetic propaganda in Italy and Germany, of theatre re-education programmes in the Gulags of Russia, of cultural "sustenance" for the troops at the front and interned German refugees in the UK, or cabaret shows as a currency for survival in Jewish concentration camps.
Michael Balfour is currently head of BA in Drama, Theatre and Television at King Alfred's, Winchester and an award winning writer of theatre, film and radio scripts.
Subject: Performance Studies WWII History
Area: Germany Europe
PART I: THE AESTHETICS OF FASCISM
Chapter 1. The Adventures of Mother Cartridge-Pouch
Jeffrey T. Schnapp
Chapter 2. Theatre and Politics of the Mussolini Regime
Chapter 3. Towards an Aesthetic of Fascist Opera
Chapter 4. Hitler’s Theatre
PART II: THEATRE, OCCUPATION AND CURFEW
Chapter 5. The War Years
Chapter 6. The Role of Joan of Arc on the Stage of Occupied Paris 65
PART III: THEATRE BEHIND BARBED WIRE
Chapter 7. German Refugee Theatre in British Internment 83
Chapter 8. Thespis Behind the Wire – A Personal Recollection
Chapter 9. The Muses in Gulag
Chapter 10. Cabaret in Concentration Camps
PART IV: THEATRE AT THE FRONT
Chapter 11. Brigades at the Front
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