Erwin Piscator & Weimar Theater

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Erwin Piscator-Weimar Theater

Spring 2020

Taught By: Drew Lichtenberg

Section: AX

CRN: 7134

Credits: 4

This seminar focuses on Erwin Piscator and the central role he played in the theatrical experiment of Weimar Germany. Working chronologically, we will survey Piscator’s early association with radical Berlin Dada and Communist agitprop performance, his mid-­20s invention of forms such as the “epic” and the “documentary” theater, and his utopian “Totaltheater” design with Walter Gropius of the Bauhaus. The result of this period of artistic ferment was the creation of a new and widely influential modernist dramaturgy, a “Piscator line” of the epic theater running in parallel to the more famous Brechtian line. As we will see by the end of the course, Piscator’s influence continued through the 20th century up to today, through the post-­World War II rebirth of the documentary form, the American avant-­garde performance of groups such as the Living Theatre (formed by his student at the Drama Workshop at the New School, Judith Malina), and contemporary experiments in episches-­dokumentarisches-­total-­theater today, such as those of the recently retired Frank Castorf at the Volksbühne and other Piscatorian “postdramatic” artists working today. Primary texts will be synthesized with secondary readings and representative criticism. One midterm and a final, take-­home “review” paper are required, as well as regular weekly quizzes on the reading materials. The rest of your grade will consist of regular attendance and active participation. This course fulfills the dramatic literature requirement and global perspectives requirement for Theater majors and minors.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (LARS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 3, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 12, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:45am 12/6/2019 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 4:00pm - 6:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/24/2020 - 5/8/2020