Free theater

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Independent theaters (also called off-theaters or off-off theaters ) are theaters alongside the established theater business that pursue unconventional concepts, have a small or no permanent ensemble and have to get by on a low budget . Occasionally, independent theaters receive state subsidies .

Origin of the term

In the 19th century, freedom of theater was closely related to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly as aspired values. The granting of play permits was regulated, and theater censorship of the plays performed was common until the 20th century . When the court theaters lost their dominance after the First World War and were replaced by the public theaters of the 20th century, the free theater in Europe saw itself as free space compared to the city or state theater and the commercial theater performances of private entrepreneurs.

The term off-theater is based on the term off-Broadway , which has been used since the 1960s . Independent theater groups like the Group Theater opposed the dominant, large theater producers like the Theatrical Syndicate and later the Shubert Organization in New York City .

Government subsidies were not common among American models, so they were and are dependent on private patrons. In most European countries, on the other hand, it is not the private commercial companies and foundations that are responsible for the theater industry, but city and state theaters, which are publicly financed. In addition to them, free groups are established. In the Netherlands , independent theaters are now almost exclusively involved in public theater life.

Some of these theaters receive financial support in the form of tax revenues, whereby in most cases it is contributions per production and rarely permanent support. To distinguish it from the "established" independent theaters, the increase in off-off theater was used as a term for stages without state funding. These are partly amateur companies , partly professional theater artists who are looking for ways of expression far removed from the established theater business. A number of them are organized in the Federal Association of Independent Theaters and in the respective regional associations of their federal states as well as in urban associations such as the Coalition of the Independent Scene Berlin , the Network Freie Szene München eV or the Association Free Theater Stuttgart .

List of Free Theaters

Off-theater prices


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Michael Walter: Opera. History of an institution. Chapter legal issues . Page 219–276. JB Metzler'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung , Stuttgart 2016. ISBN 978-3-476-02563-0 .
  2. ^ Roswitha Körner: Theater censorship . In: Manfred Brauneck , Gérard Schneilin (ed.): Theater Lexikon 1. Terms and epochs, stages and ensembles. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag , Reinbek 1986, 5th completely revised new edition August 2007, ISBN 978-3-499-55673-9 .
  3. ^ Society for Theater History (ed.): From rubble emerged: Theater in Germany after the Second World War. Small writings of the Society for Theater History, Society for Theater History e. V., Berlin 1991. No ISSN .
  4. Jürgen Brinkmann. Off-Off-Broadway: The American Experimental Theater of the Sixties. Dissertation at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel , bound manuscript, Kiel 1973. No ISBN.
  5. ^ Stephen J. Bottoms: Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement. Univ. of Michigan Press, Michigan 2004. ISBN 978-047-2114-00-9 .
  6. Manfred Brauneck: The free theater in contemporary Europe , transcript, Bielefeld 2016, p. 19.
  7. Small written inquiry "Hamburg's Off-Theater - Numbers, Data, Facts" and answer from the Senate (printed matter 20/13809) dated December 9, 2014.
  8. Wendell C. Stone: Caffe Cino. The birthplace of off-off Broadway. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale 2005.
  9. Off-Off-Theater in Hamburg: “Amateurs also belong” , in: Spiegel Online , July 27, 2010, accessed on February 27, 2017.
  10. Free Theater | Landeszentrum Spiel & Theater Sachsen-Anhalt e. V. Retrieved May 8, 2017 .
  11. DAS OFF THEATER from Vienna
  12. See e.g. B. DIE ZEIT No. 32, August 4th 1978.
  14. LICHTHOF Theater Hamburg
  15. ^ RAM children's theater from Hildesheim
  16. ^ Siren opera theater from Vienna