Manfred Brauneck (Germany)
2010 Balzan Prize for The History of Theatre in All Its Aspects
Former Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Hamburg
and Director of the Centre for Theatre Research
For his wide-ranging account of two and a half millennia in
the History of European theatre, as well as his research on currents
and events of an international nature in the world of theatre.
Institute Administering Research Funds: German Centre of
the International Theatre Institute, Berlin
Adviser for the General Balzan Committee: Gottfried Scholz
The Role of the Independent Theatre in Contemporary European Theatre:
Structural and Aesthetic Changes
Manfred Brauneck has designated half of his Balzan Prize to a research
project, which investigates the interaction between changes within
social and legal conditions for performing artists, changing methods
of production and distribution of theatre art and the shifting dialectics
of content versus form in European contemporary theatre. The role
of independent theatres in the holistic systems of theatre culture
will be the centre of focus.
The different theatre systems in Europe are going through a fundamental
change. Shifting prerequisites, new production methods and structures
of organisation have changed the content of the theatre as well
as its reception. Studying this context will be an important aspect
of the project. One of the most important factors driving these
changes are the breakdown of the political systems in Eastern Europe
after 1990 with emerging new paradigms in social and cultural life,
followed by the increasing pace of globalization, which has been
changing the shape of Europe fundamentally since the 1990s.
These vectors have created more flexible and decentralised production
structures, new cooperative relationships and brought new technologies
to the planning and the direct creation of theatrical forms of expression
as well as changes in the distribution processes (e.g., increased
orientation towards target audiences, PR/marketing, internationalisation,
event orientation etc.). All of these elements change the nature
of the work and the living conditions of theatre artists in a lasting
way. But, existing studies are remaining to the respective local/national
contexts or, are focused on single aspects (e.g., mobility, social
Thus an overview will be created, interweaving five thematic trans-European
1. The general comparative study "Unity in Diversity":
Transnational and Intercultural Exchange in Contemporary European
Theatre (Working Title) by Friederike Felbeck tends to investigate
and compare performances, individual artists and their collectives,
their working conditions and artistic output. It will focus on structural
and aesthetic changes in a diversity of national cultural contexts
since 1990 and analyse local and regional clusters of transnational
and intercultural exchange. This study is supervised by Dr. Barbara
Müller-Wesemann, University of Hamburg.
2. The overview study Independent Theatre in European post-socialistic
countries by Andrea Hensel analyses the specifics of independent
theatre in comparison to public theatre and their role in re-shaping
the theatre culture in Eastern Europe after 1990. This study is
supervised by Prof. Günther Heeg, University of Leipzig.
3. The comparative study Independent Theatre for Children (and
Young People) in Europe since 1990: Differences, Changes, Visions
by Tine Koch will concentrate on the most important changes concerning
the conditions, structures, forms and themes in the European professional
independent theatre for children aimed at the age group up to 12
(and young people up to 18) over the last 20 years. This study is
supervised by Dr. Barbara Müller-Wesemann, University of Hamburg.
4. Artistic Ways of Working and Critique in Contemporary Dance-
and Performance Art at the Intersection of Production and Aesthetics
by Dr. Petra Sabisch aims at investigating qualitatively how changing
conditions of production and distribution affect artistic ways of
working within the field of contemporary dance and choreography.
This study is supervised by Prof. Gabriele Brandstetter, FU Berlin.
5. Theatre and Migration. The impact of migration on the European
Theatre by Dr. Azadeh Sharifi analyses the impact of migration
on European theatre by artists and theatre groups with a "migration
background". This study is supervised by Prof. Wolfgang Schneider,
University of Hildesheim.
All studies will consider emerging new forms of music theatre and
the role of theatre education as inter-sectional topics.
All studies will include early research work and locally available
material as well as personal interviews, questionnaires, and comparative
field studies in different European countries, chosen, according
to the respective research topics. The project will constitute the
foundation for a representation of essential shifts in production
methods and content of theatre work over the last twenty years.
In addition, the project tends to draw conclusions and draft recommendations
for cultural political steering, in particular for the implementation
process of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of
the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which the UNESCO passed
The whole project is being supervised by Prof. Manfred Brauneck
and coordinated by Andrea Zagorski (ITI Germany).
Colloquia: Structural Changes in European Theatre held at
the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute, Berlin,
20th October 2011; 27th and 28th January 2012 and 4th April 2012
A significant number of colloquia are projected and five of them
have already been scheduled, including one on the occasion of the
Transeuropa Festival in Hildesheim at the beginning of May 2012
and another in November 2012 during the Euroscene Festival in Leipzig.