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Chapter 2 - A Public Migrant Theatre

Inventing Institutional Traditions and the Becoming of an Artistic Organisation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2023

Jonas Tinius
Affiliation:
Saarland University
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Summary

Chapter 2 introduces the case study at the heart of this book, the Theater an der Ruhr, and traces its institutional formation in the post-industrial Ruhr valley. This chapter builds on archival material and fieldwork in the archives of the Theater an der Ruhr in the theatre studies collection on Schloss Wahn in Cologne, suggesting new ways for combining ethnographic and historiographic methods for studying the institutionalisation of theatres. Documenting how its founders negotiated federal patrons and municipal funding, this chapter explores the political economy of public theatres and how they articulate their own forms of ‘artistic critique’ against the economisation of cultural production (Boltanski and Chiapello[1999]). It also describes, on the basis of a series of interviews and founding contracts and critical reception at the time, how and why the founders of the Theater an der Ruhr created an institutional structure that facilitates long phases of rehearsals, analysing its underpinning by an avant-garde understanding of ‘autonomous artistic creation’ irreducible to profit.

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Chapter
Information
State of the Arts
An Ethnography of German Theatre and Migration
, pp. 68 - 101
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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