From scaffold to theatre: theatre in the Low Countries from the 17th till the 20th century

Course Code :2005FLWTLN
Study domain:Film and theatre
Academic year:2017-2018
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:45
Credits:6
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Hubert Meeus
Thomas Crombez

3. Course contents *

In the seventeenth and eighteenth century the theatre in the Low Countries evolved from amateur performances on a scaffold to a completely equipped professional theatre. This evolution is also clear in the repertoire. Playwrights become more and more aware of the classical drama theory, but there are also fierce opponents of this theory and even of the theatre in general. The theoretical discussion as well as the implementation will be studied on the basis of representative texts.

In the 19th century the theatre is professionalized. In 1853 the 'Nationael Tooneel' in Antwerp is the first Flemish company to get subsidies from the government.Theatre and drama reflect bourgeois culture and ethics. Political awareness results in the constrcution of prestigious theatre houses in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent. Whereas Holland dominates 19th century Dutch-speaking theatre both in numbers and quality-wise, the most interesting and innovative experiments ( e.g. constructivism) are staged in Flanders in the twenties. After the Second World war the most important developments are the so-called 'kamertheaters' (small playhouses), the political theatre of the 60s and 70s, the Flemish Wave (highly influential theatre by Flemish companies and directors) and the retheatralization of the postdramatic theatre.