Theater group

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A theater group is a group of people who gathered at the theater to play and in related fields for the functioning of such and the theater performance provides. It can be used as a community theater - or as an amateur theater group be constituted, depending on the level of training of members: laity have no training (. So can, for example, a football club decide a Christmas pageant perform), while amateurs can work professionally quite have the appropriate knowledge and, but don't live from their work in the theater, but have other sources of income.

This article excludes the professional theater of the large and established theaters . The treatment of amateur play groups is also dispensed with here.


Theater groups emerged during the great crises of capitalism , especially the war and post-war times of the 20th century. In many places, the “ workers theater” was created to educate the masses (politically) (here in Germany Erwin Piscator , who was modeled on the Agitprop theater of the Russian Revolution worked). Forerunners were traveling theaters far earlier, such as the Italian Commedia dell'arte and the English or Dutch folk theater groups that traveled through Central Europe, and the stages of the Elizabethan theater ( William Shakespeare ), which were constituted as independent groups and as pioneers of European professional theater such as are also considered a role model for the independent theater groups. They stood in opposition and competition with the established cultural scene, even if they farces aufführten.

Forms of work, content and financing

Some theater groups work collectively, i. That is, they make all decisions related to a performance together, or work under one director . You play plays by an author (published by certain theater publishers who offer plays for groups and sell booklets with limited performance rights) or work out your own repertoire in group direction, which may be published by a publisher or self- published.

The spectrum extends from children's theater to school theater and folk theater to senior theater ; the plays cover the spectrum from pure entertainment to political plays; The form of representation includes all possibilities available in the performing arts up to experimental theater. Rented or own rooms or public streets and squares serve as performance venues (see: Street theater ), certain groups go on trips as guest performances or touring theaters (here also with their own or rented tents).

Certain groups work independently of public support as “free theaters”, others enjoy moderate financial support from the municipalities' cultural budgets, which seldom go beyond renting the premises. Many theaters are therefore also registered as “registered associations” (eV), often with “ non-profit status ”, and can thus receive donations. In this case, however, all members of the theater group have to forego personal financial support for legal reasons and work more or less on a voluntary basis .

In the meantime, a number of theater groups that began as “free” or still exist as such have long been part of the official cultural scene and contribute to its diversity.

See also

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