Prof. Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter
Prof. Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte
According to Fischer-Lichte, "Across all cultures, theater is more than merely an art institution. Theater always has a political dimension as well as social implications, and very often it is tied to religious rituals." With increasing globalization, the world of theater coalesces, as different cultures intersect and influence each other. The stage becomes a "laboratory" for testing new forms of living together.
Both scholars of Freie Universität Berlin work under the assumption that these types of interconnections do not lead to a homogenization of the various cultures of theater, but rather to many new differentiations. "A good example is the productions by Ong Keng Sen or Ariane Mnouchkine, who work with elements from many different theater cultures. These productions fulfill various functions, and many new nuances originate this way," states Fischer-Lichte. Brandstetter provides a second example with dance theater. As the result of many international meetings and workshops around the world, a new form of dance uniting elements of ballet, modern dance, and hip hop has arisen. "But the new style is only apparently uniform. A closer examination shows that there are great regional differences."
The research is intended to describe variations and analyze them under consideration of regional points of view. The new research school will work closely with Freie Universität's Center for Area Studies as well as its departments of art and cultural studies. In addition, it will also cooperate with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Goethe Institute.
The federal subsidies include funding for ten fellowships for visiting scholars from such diverse areas as Asia, India, Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and the Near East. The fellows will ensure an international perspective in research and will also contribute to teaching students. Professors Fischer-Lichte and Brandstetter are confident that the new research school will "make major contributions to research and teaching."
Journalists may obtain additional information from:
- Professor Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte, Institute for Theater Studies at Freie Universität, Telephone: 030 / 838-50340
- Professor Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter, Institute for Theater Studies at Freie Universität, Telephone: 030 / 838-50336