Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-8tfrx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-28T22:47:20.032Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Consuming the Canon: Theatre, Commodification and Social Mobility in Late Nineteenth-Century German Theatre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2006


Max Reinhardt's theatre is an intriguing example of the social function of commodification in the late nineteenth century; while critics praised him as the leading figure of a renewed theatre, they also blamed him for a merely decorative style. Notwithstanding the fact that economic success was a substantial precondition of Reinhardt's theatre, Reinhardt's style was highly eclectic and determined by a visual or pictorial order rather than by literary concepts. But this theatre not only followed an aesthetic programme, it also answered to a major change in German society: the process of urbanization which produced a new community of urban dwellers which had to be integrated in the role models of society. The paradoxical reception of Reinhardt thus is not only a matter of taste but rather the hallmark of bourgeois theatre in a period of transition, rearticulating the cultural legacy by commodifying it for a new audience.

International Federation for Theatre Research 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)