Theatrescapes is a podcast of the Centre for Global Theatre History at LMU Munich. It is dedicated to conversations and book reviews about the global or transnational histories of the performing arts of theatre, dance, opera, circus, etc. from the early modern period to the 21st century. Guests include scholars and artists, theatre and cultural practitioners from around the world. At Theatrescapes, the world is at the microphones for the world.
We would like to thank the Legon Palwine Band from Accra, Ghana, for letting us use their great music for the podcast!
The Berlin Wall – On the erection of the Berlin Wall on 13 August, 1961 and its impact on German theatre
Host: Nic Leonhardt
Speakers: Nic Leonhardt (Host), Rebecca Sturm (theatre researcher, guest)
Technical Support: Aydin Alinejad
Music: Legon Palmwine Band, Accra
Exactly sixty years ago, on 13 August 1961, the Berlin Wall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall) was erected. It was not just any architectural structure, but was specifically intended to seal off the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from the western part of the city of Berlin and the surrounding areas. The Wall was 167.8 km long (https://www.berlin.de/mauer/geschichte/bau-der-mauer/) –a stone wall of ideological, political and mental historical significance for the people on both sides of the Wall. Sixty years have passed since the Wall was built; it lasted 28 years. And although it fell in 1989, it has not lost its symbolic weight to this day.
In this episode of the Theatrescapes podcast, I talk to the young theatre historian Rebecca Sturm about the consequences of the building of the Wall for theatre in Berlin and in West and East Germany in the period after 1961.
Rebecca Sturm (http://developing-theatre.de/staff/) studied theatre studies at the LMU Munich and has been a research assistant in the ERC project Developing Theatre. Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 (GA No. 694559) since 2016. Her PhD project examines the role of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) during the Cold War. Founded in 1948 under the umbrella of UNESCO), the ITI's aim from the beginning was to create a worldwide network of theatre professionals and to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding. In her project, Rebecca Sturm particularly focuses on the two parts of Germany, East and West, which both became member states of the ITI in the 1950s.
In this episode, Nic Leonhardt, theatre scholar and host of Theatrescapes, introduces into the programme and agenda of the new podcast.
About the host: Nic Leonhardt is a theatre scholar and senior lecturer in theatre studies at LMU Munich. Her research focuses on theatre history of the nineteenth and twentieth century and is strongly interdisciplinary and transnational in approach. Since 2016 she has been the senior researcher and associate director of the European Research Council project “Developing Theatre” at LMU Munich, as well as director of the Centre for Global Theatre History.