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Individual Projects:

The number of plays that were transferred onto Vienna's stages is so great that a concentration on the most outstanding playwrights and plays is deemed necessary, as is the selection of interesting aspects of cultural transfer. In the abstracts listed below, a short outline of each individual project will be given.

Pleasing and Teasing the Audience. Oscar Wilde: An All-Time Favourite of Viennese Stages in the Twentieth Century
Dissertation project Sandra Mayer

This sub-project investigates the parameters and characteristics of the sustained presence of Oscar Wilde's plays on Vienna's stages and their public and critical reception throughout the twentieth century against the interdisciplinary backgrounds of socio-cultural and historical contextualisation, reception theory/history, drama translation, and cultural transfer. more

A Dramatist for All Seasons: George Bernard Shaw in Vienna
Dissertation project Barbara Pfeifer 

I intend to explore the phenomenon of the omnipresence of the plays of George Bernard Shaw on the Vienna stage in the 20th century, particularly in the inter-war years, even in times of crisis and in politically highly sensitive periods, as well as the reception of the Irish iconoclast's hybrid dramas by Viennese audiences and critics. more

Selective Perception and Time-Lag as Cultural Parameters: Society Drama and the Well-Made Play on the Vienna Stage in the Inter-war Years
Rudolf Weiss

Against the background of the troubled inter-war years, this project explores the circumstances of the conspicuously delayed transfer of plays from London to Viennese theatres as well as the processes of selection which resulted in the production of significantly more society dramas and well-made plays than aesthetically and politically challenging stage works. more

Transcultural Theatre
Brigitte Dalinger

Eine Vielfalt unterschiedlichster Theatertexte aus dem englischsprachigen Raum wurde im Lauf des 20. Jahrhunderts auf Wiener Bühnen aufgeführt. Diese Texte wurden (meist) übersetzt und damit in sprachlicher, dramaturgischer und ästhetischer Hinsicht, darüberhinaus aber auch auf ihrer performativen Ebene den lokalen Theaterbedingungen angepasst. Dieser Prozess der Übersetzung und Aneignung "fremder" bzw. "fremdsprachiger" Theatertexte in all ihren Facetten soll mithilfe der gezielten Sichtung der betreffenden Literatur in diesem Projekt theoretisch fundiert werden.

Norbert Bachleitner

Bans of English plays (e. g. by G. B. Shaw) and text cutting by state authorities will primarily be discussed, but acts of auto-censorship leading to the exclusion of plays from the repertory, or to its 'attenuation' during the production process, also deserve attention. Among the crucial questions of the project the following is the most important: What is the extent and nature of the influence of politics on theatrical production in a given epoch? more

Theatre Between Re-education, Re-orientation and Commercialism: The Reception of American and British Drama 1945-54
Hilde Haider

In the political context of Austria's occupation, this contribution investigates the production, adaptation, and reception of contemporary anglophone drama on Viennese stages, embedded in the tug of war between the politically responsible cultural officers, individual initiatives by theatre directors returned from exile (Viertel and Firner among others), publishers' interests and, in some cases, dramatists who were regarded with suspicion in the U.S. (and who were produced especially at the Scala).

Austro-American Cultural Transfer in the Period after World War II
Dieter Fuchs

The focus will be on popular drama performed at the Theater in der Josefstadt as part of the American re-educational programme after World War II. Many popular plays perceived at the time as genuinely 'American' have a central European pedigree: what appears at first sight to be a one-way cultural transfer from West to East turns out to be a transatlantic dialogue in the best sense of the word. more

Tradition or Innovation? Shakespeare at the Burg in the post-war decade
Elke Mettinger-Schartmann

Historians have repeatedly pointed out that post-war Vienna was characterised by tradition and continuity. In the post-war decade Shakespeare, the "third German classic", was the most frequently performed playwright at the Burg. This project seeks to acknowledge innovations that were nevertheless recognisable in the various components that constitute the Burg as a site of Bourdieu's field. more

The Bard and the Burgtheater: Transforming Shakespeare on the Stage of Austria's National Theatre in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Postdoc project, Ludwig Schnauder

This project examines the appropriation of Shakespeare on the stage of Austria's national theatre, the Burgtheater, in the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The focus is on the productions themselves, the translations used, the reception and the changing historical-political context. more

Viennese Versions of Beckett and Pinter
Ewald Mengel

Production history illustrates that two of the most famous classic plays, Waiting for Godot and The Caretaker, were not very successful on Vienna's stages. My hypothesis is that the lack of understanding which is clearly expressed in the reviews is 'home-made', that is, it depends on the specific quality of the Viennese audiences' expectations and a number of errors and misunderstandings in the course of the translation and reception process. more

Social Criticism and Politics on Vienna's Stages: The Example of Osborne and Bond
Ewald Mengel

The obvious scarcity of political and socio-critical plays on Viennese stages is due to the phenomenon of blockage, and demands an explanation. Conversely this applies to the continuing circulation of playwrights such as Bond and Osborne. An analysis of the reception of Osborne and Bond in Munich and Berlin will serve the purpose of comparison. more

Irish Plays in Vienna
Werner Huber

This project sets out to explore the reception and reception history in Viennese theatres of Irish authors and Irish plays (excluding Wilde, Shaw, and Beckett). The focus will be on images of Ireland and Irishness as conditioning factors; the methodology will accordingly be cultural-studies-oriented with a predominance of 'imagology' (the study of national images and stereotypes). more

Hilde Spiel (1911-1990): a Career in Cultural Transfer
Barbara Olsson

Having emigrated to London in 1936, Spiel settled in her hometown Vienna in 1963. Interculturality sharpened her power of observation and sensitivity to language. This study will examine how, in the two decades following her return to Vienna, she contributed to cultural transfer by reporting on the city's theatre life as cultural correspondent for the FAZ and by translating the most successful plays of, among others, Stoppard and Saunders.

Comedy Dialogue in Contemporary Stage Translation: From Transcoding to Cannibalizing
Mary Snell-Hornby

This project is based on the holistic concept of the stage text as a multimodal genre dependent on the interplay of verbal and nonverbal elements. As text written to be performed, stage dialogue poses great problems for the translator. An outstanding challenge is Tom Stoppard, noticeably under-represented on Vienna stages: the project will investigate how far this is due to the 'faithful' German translations by Hilde Spiel which show too little consideration of their dramatic potential. more

Modern American Classics on Vienna's Stages
Margarete Rubik

I will focus on the way the cultural transfer of American plays was effected. Were they understood as products of a particular national context or excised from the source culture and perceived as trans-cultural products speaking to 'everyone'? I will also trace the history of their reception and analyse the conventions which presented particular translation problems. more

English Language Theatre in Vienna: The International Theatre
Jonathan Sharp

Against the background of the history and format of the International Theatre I shall investigate play choice and production concept, areas fundamentally affected by a reciprocal expectation system between audience and directorship. I will consider the perpetration of non-critical images of the UK/USA and their reception by the public and media, as well as the IT's place in the theatrical scene of Vienna, its importance to communities within the city and its cultural role in a multi-cultural environment. more

English-Language Theatre in Vienna Since 1963 – An Analytical Survey
Martin Buxbaum

The proposed research paper will trace the growth of English-language theatre in Vienna from 1963 to the present in order to enhance our understanding of the role of English-language theatres/companies in Vienna and to analyse cultural transfer from English-speaking countries through the example of stage plays. Particular emphasis will be put on criteria for play selection and possible trends, a comparison of English-language plays performed in the original with the selection of such plays performed in German translation, questions of textual changes and cultural transfer and, finally, audience and critical reception of English-language productions in Vienna.

Diploma Theses:

Alan Ayckbourn on Viennese Stages: The Reception of His Plays and Processes of Cultural Transfer Involved
Anita Gritsch

The plays of Sir Alan Ayckbourn - one of the most productive contemporary British playwrights, as it is widely agreed - have been staged with varying intensity in Viennese theatres over the past four decades. Although his work, consisting of mostly comedies and farces as well as a number of children's plays, could generally be said to be set in an English middle class-context, it has been translated into more than 40 languages and been honoured with numerous international awards. more

Barbara Kainz: to be announced
Drama and Cultural Transfer: John Osborne in Vienna
Maria Kasser
The heat of Tennessee Williams' American South on Viennese stages: The critical reception of The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire
Cornelia Kubinger

The diploma thesis will focus on Tennessee Williams' plays The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, which both constitute literary milestones in American drama. Employing performance criticism, it will investigate the public response to and critical reception of the dramatic productions of these two plays on Viennese stages and compare them to critical reactions in New York. more

Die Rezeption der Bühnenwerke Tom Stoppards in der österreichischen Presse - eine Untersuchung der deutschen Übersetzungen Hilde Spiels
Antonina Lakner
The Reception of Arthur Miller's All My Sons and His Most Celebrated Play, Death of a Salesman
Hano Pipic

The diploma thesis will examine in detail Arthur Miller's plays All My Sons and Death of a Salesman, examining the response and criticism which these dramas received in America and comparing them to the production and reception on the theater stages of Vienna from the late 40s to the late 90s. more

Edward Bond's Plays in Vienna: The Reception of a Socio-Critical Dramatist
Bernd Plank
The Reception of Neil LaBute's Plays in Vienna
Gunda Weiss
Drama Translation and Cultural Transfer: The Reception of Harold Pinter in Vienna
Marion Zissernig
Drama and the Problems of Cultural Transfer: Schnitzler in London, Stoppard in Vienna
Julia-Stefanie Maier

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