Cultural Mobility, Networks, and Theatre
The Stagings of Ibsen's Gengangere (Ghosts) in Berlin, Paris, London, New York, and Budapest between 1889 and 1908
Keywords:Intercultural theatre, touring, theatre historiography, transnationalism, national paradigm, theatrical networks, cultural mobility, independent theatre movement, Théâtre Libre, Freie Bühne, Independent Theatre Society, Московский Художественный театр (МХАТ), Thália Társaság
The Budapest premiere of Henrik Ibsen’s Kísértetek (Gengangere) was on 17 October 1908 by the Thália Társaság, a Hungarian independent theatre. Though banned earlier, by 1908, Ibsen’s text had already been played all over Europe. Between 1880 and 1908, the search of IbsenStage indicates 402 records, but probably the actual performance number was higher. The popularity of the text can be seen in the fact that all the independent theatres staged it, and most of the famous and less famous travelling companies and travelling stars also kept it in their repertoires. Though, usually, the high-artistic independent and the commercial international and regional travelling companies are treated separately, here, I argue for their close real and/or virtual interconnections, creating such a theatrical and cultural network, in which the local, the regional, the national, and the transnational interacted with and were influenced by each other. At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such interaction among different forces and agents on different levels was one of the special features of cultural mobility (Greenblatt) which characterized intercultural theatre culture, existing in Europe and America, and extending its influence almost all over the globe.
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