New Book Out: Theatre Across Oceans. Mediators of Transatlantic Exchange (1890-1925) (N. Leonhardt)

We are delighted to announce that a new monograph developed within the framework of the Centre for Global Theatre History just came out. Theatre Across Oceans. Mediators of Transatlantic Exchange (1890-1925) by theatre historian Nic Leonhardt was recently published with Palgrave Macmillan. The book allows the reader to enter and understand the infrastructural ‘backstage area’ of global cultural mobility during the years between 1890 and 1925. Located within the research fields of global history and theory, the geographical focus of the book is a transatlantic one, based on the active exchange in this phase between North and South America and Europe. Emanating from a rich body of archival material, the study argues that this exchange was essentially facilitated and controlled by professional theatrical mediators (agents, brokers), who have not been sufficiently researched within theatre or historical studies. The low visibility of mediators in the scientific research is in diametrical contrast to the enormous power that they possessed in the period dealt with in this book. 

 

Nic Leonhardt: Theatre Across Oceans. Mediators of Transatlantic Exchange (1890-1925). London: Palgrave Macmillan (Transnational Theatre Histories)

”We have a double pandemic here” – A conversation with Clara de Andrade & Gustavo Guenzburger from Brazil – A new episode of the Theatrescapes Podcast

Theatrescapes Podcast Logo

Theatrescapes Podcast LogoWe are happy to announce that we just launched a new episode of our Theatrescapes Podcast ! This time, Theatrescapes host Nic Leonhardt speaks with Clara de Andrade and Gustavo Guenzburger from Rio, Brazil, about the challenges COVID-19 as well the political situation in Brazil have brought to both their artistic and academic work since then. 

Clara de Andrade and Gustavo Guenzburger are theatre makers and theatre researchers from Rio, Brazil. The Centre for Global Theatre History has a long-standing relationship with the couple and UNIRIO. In early 2020, Clara and Gustavo were Visiting Fellows of the Centre and of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project “Developing Theatre”  at the Institute of Theatre Studies at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. When they were about to return in March, the pandemic broke out …

Clara de Andrade is a Brazilian actor, singer, teacher and researcher in Theatre Arts. Her main field of research is the transnational networks of the Theatre of the Oppressed and Theatre for Development. She has been working and researching at institutions such as UNIRIO, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3) and was Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Global Theatre Histories & Developing Theatre Project at LMU Munich.

Gustavo Guenzburger is a Brazilian artist, activist, teacher and researcher in Theatre Arts. His main field of interest are transnationality and modes of production in theatre. He has been teaching and researching at institutions such as UNIRIO, UERJ, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3) and was Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Global Theatre Histories & Developing Theatre Project at LMU Munich.

The Theatrescapes Podcast is produced by the Centre for Global Theatre Research and the ERC project Developing Theatre (GA No. 694559) Pat LMU Munich. 

The Podcast episodes  are available here, on iTunes, Google Podcast and Spotify

Please follow our updates here on this blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

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Special thanks go to our colleague Aydin Alinejadsomeh who conjures everything around the technology.

We would also like to thank the Legon Palwine Band from Accra, Ghana, for letting us use their great music for the podcast!

 

Theatrescapes – GTH Centre Launches the first Podcast on the Histories of Global Theatre

 

The audio podcast Theatrescapes focuses on the Global Histories of Theatre and the Histories of Global Theatre. It is produced by the Centre for Global Theatre History at LMU Munich.

The Centre for Global Theatre comes up with a new format: in June, we launch our audio podcast: Theatrescapes !  

Theatrescapes takes up those topics that have engaged the Centre’s researchers and its international network since its beginning: Stories and case studies about theatre in a global context, mainly from a historical perspective, but also reaching into the present. The podcast is dedicated to conversations and book reviews about the global or transnational histories of the performing arts, of drama, dance, opera, circus, etc., from the early modern period to the 21stcentury. Guests and interview partners include scholars and artists, theatre and cultural practitioners from around the world. At Theatrescapes, the world is at the microphones for the world.

The variety of topics at Theatrescapes is unique and requires curation. The podcast is therefore structured in series of 3-5 episodes each, dedicated to areas of focus.

A short intro episode in early June will be followed by the first series, Theatre (Research) in Times of Covid, that explores how the global pandemic situation has impacted theatre practice and research. In conversation with theatre scholar Nic Leonhardt, host of the Theatrescapes podcast, theatre practitioners and arts supporters, researchers and faculty members from South America, Asia and Europe describe challenges and opportunities of that special time period that is making history.

We welcome listeners from around the world! 

If you have suggestions for topics and conversation partners, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Special thanks go to our colleague Aydin Alinejadsomeh who conjures everything around the technology.

We would also like to thank the Legon Palwine Band from Accra, Ghana, for letting us use their great music for the podcast!

Theatrescapes is available here, on iTunes, Google Podcast and Spotify

Please follow our updates here on this blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

 

New chapter out on Global Theatre History (in Middell (Ed.): Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies)

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies was published just in time for the end of the year. In a chapter of this handbook edited by German historian Matthias Middell, Nic Leonhardt describes the approaches and methodological challenges of Global Theatre History.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Forrest Kilimnik (Leipzig Centre for Area Studies), who was responsible for the careful and patient editing of the contributions to this comprehensive volume.

Nic Leonhardt: “Global Theatre History”, in Matthias Middell (Ed.): The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies. London: Routledge 2018, Part VIII: (Trans)cultural studies, Chapter 52.

New Publication Out: Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946 von meLê Yamomo


meLê Yamomo, former PhD student of the Global Theatre Histories research project and Assistant Professor of Theatre, Performance, and Sound Studies at the University of Amsterdam, has just published his PhD thesis Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946.

His project examines the intersection between sound and modernity in dramatic and musical performance in Manila and the Asia-Pacific between 1869 and 1948. During this period, tolerant political regimes resulted in the globalization of capitalist relations and the improvement of transcontinental travel and worldwide communication. This allowed modern modes of theatre and music consumption to instigate the uniformization of cultural products and processes, while simultaneously fragmenting societies into distinct identities, institutions, and nascent nation-states.

His project examines the intersection between sound and modernity in dramatic and musical performance in Manila and the Asia-Pacific between 1869 and 1948. During this period, tolerant political regimes resulted in the globalization of capitalist relations and the improvement of transcontinental travel and worldwide communication. This allowed modern modes of theatre and music consumption to instigate the uniformization of cultural products and processes, while simultaneously fragmenting societies into distinct identities, institutions, and nascent nation-states.

Taking the performing bodies of migrant musicians as the locus of sound, this book argues that the global movement of acoustic modernities was replicated and diversified through its multiple subjectivities within empire, nation, and individual agencies. It traces the arrival of European travelling music and theatre companies in Asia which re-casted listening into an act of modern cultural consumption and follows the migration of Manila musicians as they engaged in the modernization project of the neighboring Asian cities.

meLê Yamomo: Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946. Palgrave-Macmillan (2018).

Doug Reside, PhD, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Global Theatre History

We are very pleased to announce that Doug Reside, PhD, curator of the Billy Rose Collection at the Library of the Performing Arts, New York, will join the Centre for Global Theatre History, LMU Munich, as a visiting fellow in January 2018.

In close collaboration with the Centre’s Academy of Digital Humanities in Theatre Research, he will give a talk, teach a seminar for students of theatre studies, DH, media culture and dramaturgy of the LMU Munich and the Theatre Academy August Everding, and will be holding workshops for the research team of the ERC project Developing Theatre.

His talk How do you Catch A Cloud and Pin it Down: Preserving Digital Creativity on Wednesday, 17 January, 12-1:30pm, is open to the public and will be taking place at the Institute for Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80799 Munich, room #109.

Short biography Doug Reside

new series: A Cultural History of Theatre (ed. C. B. Balme & T. C. Davis), Bloomsbury

Edited by Tracy C. Davis and Christopher B. Balme, this new Cultural History of Theatre series offers an insightful survey from ancient times (500 BCE) to the present. The set of six volumes covers a span of 2,500 years, tracing the complexity of the interactions between theatre and culture.
Each volume discusses the same themes in its chapters, namely Institutional Frameworks,  Social Functions, Sexuality and Gender, The Environment of Theatre, Circulation, Interpretations, Communities of Production, Repertoire and Genres, Technologies of Performance, and Knowledge Transmission: Media and Memory.

Volume 1: A Cultural History of Theatre in Antiquity (Edited by Martin Revermann)
Volume 2: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Middle Ages (Edited by Jody Enders)
Volume 3: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Early Modern Age (Edited by Robert Henke)
Volume 4: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Enlightenment (Edited by Mechele Leon)
Volume 5: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Empire (Edited by Peter Marx)
Volume 6: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Modern Age (Edited by Kim Solga)

Five GTH Centre members contributed to volume 5, A Cultural History of theatre in the Age of Empire: Jim Davis, Nic Leonhardt, Derek Miller, Stanca Scholz-Cionca, and Laurence Senelick.

New Publication Out: The Bayreuth Enterprise (1848-1914) by Gero Tögl


Gero Tögl, former PhD student of the Global Theatre Histories research project and associate of the GTH Centre, has just published his PhD thesis The Bayreuth Enterprise, 1848-1914.

In this monograph, Gero reassesses the early history of the Bayreuth Festival between 1848 and 1914 from the perspective of a transnational social project dedicated to the ‘regeneration’ of modern societies and istitutional reform.  Based on recent debates in globalization theory, ethnography, and anthropology, the book focuses on the interplay of seemingly contradictory aspects such as financing and anti-capitalist ideology, nationalism and the cosmopolitan reach of Wagner’s ideas, artistic monopolization and global marketing.

Gero Tögl: The Bayreuth Enterprise (1848-1914). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2017. (ISBN  978-3-8260-6011-3) 

New Article Out Now: Theatrical Institutions in Motion (C. Balme)

The first peer-reviewed publication of the new ERC project “Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945” just came out in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (vol. 31, 2, 2017).

In his paper “Theatrical Institutions in Motion: Developing Theatre in the Postcolonial Era” the project’s principal investigator Christopher Balme examines the complex transnational processes that led to an institutionalization of theatre in emerging nations after 1945.

Christopher Balme: “Theatrical Institutions in Motion: Developing Theatre in the Postcolonial Era”, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 31, no. 2, 2017, pp. 125–140.

Article available on Project MUSE.

 

Facelift of GTH: new Centre, Logo, Website

Same agenda – new concept.

Same web address – new face.

New centre  – new logo.  

 

After five truly fruitful and successful years and due to its ongoing disciplinary relevance, we reframed the DFG funded research project Global Theatre Histories as a Centre for Global Theatre History.

Our new website went online recently. Check it out!

If you have any questions regarding the Centre’s agenda, possible fellowships, seminars, talks, etc, please do not hesitate to contact Nic Leonhardt, director of the GTH Centre, via n.leonhardt [at] lmu.de

We would like to thank Maryam Khosrovani for the logo !

 

“Developing Theatre” – Presentation of our new ERC Research Project

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http://www.world-theatre-day.org/

Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 reads the title of our new ERC funded research project under the umbrella of the Centre for Global Theatre History.

On Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 12 (s.t.)-2pm the project’s leaders and researchers will introduce to the agenda of Developing Theatre at the Institute of Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80799 Munich, room #109. 

Abstract

This new research project, sponsored by the European Research Council, proposes a fundamental re-examination of the historiography of theatre in emerging countries after 1945. It investigates the institutional factors that led to the emergence of professional theatre in the post-war period throughout the decolonizing world. The particular focus will be on the massive involvement of internationally coordinated ‘development’ and ‘modernization’ programs both East and West. The project will introduce the concepts of epistemic community, expert networks and techno-politics to theatre historical research as a means to historicize theatre within transnational and transcultural paradigms and examine its imbrication in globalization processes.

With contributions by Christopher Balme (PI), Nic Leonhardt (Associate Director & Senior Researcher), Gautam Chakrabarti (PostDoc), Rebecca Sturm (PhD candidate).

The project website will be online soon.

Contact: n.leonhardt @ lmu.de

 

 

Public Talk by Helen Gilbert: “Deep Time, Slow Violence, Haunted Lands”

The Centre for Global Theatre History cordially invites you to this guest lecture by Helen Gilbert, professor for theatre studies and currently a Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre, Munich.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 14 December, 12-2pm at the Institute for Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80796 Munich, room 109.

Her talk aims to set up a dialogue between philosophical debates informing the concept of the anthropocene (loosely defined as the age of unprecedented human disturbance of the earth’s ecosystems) and recent indigenous performances concerned with the effects of climate change, not just on indigenous lands and lifeways, but also in global terms.

Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of several influential books, notably Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia (2007) and Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics (1996). From 2009–14, she led the transnational ERC-funded project on indigenous performance across the Americas, the Pacific, Australia and South Africa. She has curated experimental performance work in universities and museums and brought performance-based insights to scientific research, notably in Wild Man From Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (2014). Recent books: In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017) and Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas (2014).

Iconic Royal Opera House Mumbai Reopens (with a little help from LMU theatre historians)

Royal Opera House: view from the road
Royal Opera House: view from the road (Photo: Christopher Balme)

Tonight, on 20 October 2016, the historic Royal Opera House (ROH) in Mumbai will reopen after extensive restoration.  Under the direction of award-winning conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah the opera house has been restored to its original state when it first opened in 1912. The building has been owned by the Gondal family since the early 1950s and their commitment to its conservation has made this task possible. The LMU Global Theatre Histories project contributed to the restoration effort by providing the conservation team with rare written and visual material describing the interior of the building. Theatre historian Christopher Balme is researching the career of the theatrical impresario Maurice E. Bandmann (1872-1922) who built the ROH together with a Parsi coal merchant J.F. Karaka. While researching a term paper for a MA seminar, a student research assistant David Berger located an extremely rare publication in the Bavarian State Library, J.J. Sheppard (ed.), Territorials in India:  A Souvenir of Their Historic Arrival for Military Duty in the “Land of the Rupee”. From the Royal Opera House, Bombay. Prepared in Accordance with the Instructions of the Proprietor, J. F. Karaka. (1916). This publication (World Cat lists only two extant copies), funded by the proprietor of the ROH, contains a detailed description with photographs of the interior. In a recent interview Lambah acknowledged this help.The restoration itself has been a huge job as she stated on the eve of the opening: ““More than 54,000 days of manpower, skilled craftsmanship, stone sculptors, stain glass conservators, art restorators and technical engineers have gone into recreating this piece of history. About 100 years ago the Opera House was India’s most stunning cultural venue. We hope with this restoration it would open its doors once again to some of the finest live performances in music, dance, theatre, fashion and opera.” The opening tonight is a historic event and has attracted a great deal of media attention. Balme was interviewed recently for one of India’s leading online cultural publications, scroll.in,  to gain more information about Bandmann and his largely forgotten role in India’s theatre history.

View of the stage be
View of the stage before restoration (Photo: Christopher Balme)

Negotiating the Entertainment Business: Theatrical Brokers around 1900

Brokers Detail

Special focus issue of the Popular Entertainment Studies Journal, Vol 6, No 2 (2015)

Guest Editor: Nic Leonhardt (Munich)

“Between the artist who seeks for an engagement and the manager always on the look out for an extraordinary ‛novelty,’”, write Hughes Le Roux and Jules Garnier in Acrobats and Mountebanks (1890), “a third person necessarily intervenes, the middle-man, who arises everywhere between buyer and seller. And, in fact, at the present time all the principal cities of the world have their agents for performing artists of every kind. These personages are very important, and make large profits.”

Profits, Copyright, Royalties, Networking… From a transnational historical perspective, neither theatre as an art form nor theatre as a business can work without the patronage of professional mediators. When French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) toured Europe, South and North America in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, she could not do so without professional agents and managers. They were responsible for arranging her contracts, negotiating her royalties, taking care of the travel logistics, (ship, train, accommodation, customs), arranging her itinerary, the transport of her costumes, and the press work. Despite their enormous influence , the practices, connections and circuits of artistic brokers in the period under consideration have been, in the main, under-researched.

The current issue of the Popular Entertainment Studies journal gathers a selection of papers from the international symposium “Cultural Brokers. Nomenclature, Knowledge and Negotiations of (Performance) Agents, Managers and Impresarios (1850-1930)”, which took place in October 2014. This conference, organized by Nic Leonhardt, and generously funded by the Center for Advanced Studies of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the German Research Foundation, brought together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds such as English and American Studies, History, Theatre Studies, and History of Law, in order to exclusively and intensively discuss the profession of brokerage in the larger theatrical world in the period under discussion. The focus was therefore on the profession of theatrical brokers, agents, and impresarios who functioned as crucial cultural mediators in the fields of the performing arts and media in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, and Africa between 1880 and 1930.

Table of Contents

Nic Leonhardt: Editorial

Christopher Balme: Managing Theatre and Cinema in Colonial India: Maurice E. Bandmann, J.F. Madan and the War Films’ Controversy

meLê yamomo: Brokering Sonic Modernities: migrant Manila musicians in the Asia Pacific, 1881-1948

Tracy C. Davis: International Advocacy for Fire Prevention: Calculating Risk and Brokering Best Practices in Theatres

Louis Pahlow: Industrialised Music Brokers as Competing Market Players: The Administration of Music Rights in Germany (ca. 1870-1930)

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