By David G. John
Fritz Bennewitz (1926-1995) used to be the director-in-chief of East Germany's Weimar nationwide Theatre. notable in his skill for cultural and linguistic adjustment, he directed productions in twelve international locations, continually adapting indicates to lead them to significant to neighborhood audiences. significantly, Bennewitz carried out stagings of Goethe's Faust in 4 various languages over a sequence of 7 productions — 3 in pre-unification Weimar, one within the reunited Germany, and one every one in manhattan, Manila, and Mumbai.
The first finished account of Bennewitz's awesome occupation, Bennewitz, Goethe, Faust is additionally a pioneering examine of intercultural interpretations of Faust. David G. John brings to mild formerly unknown archival fabrics — together with annotated playbooks, correspondence, translations, movies, and reception info — as good as unpublished construction pictures from the stagings mentioned within the e-book. Bennewitz, Goethe, Faust makes a cogent argument for this director's position along the 20 th century's maximum theatre innovators.
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Extra info for Bennewitz, Goethe, 'Faust': German and Intercultural Stagings
After the accident he wore glasses with one opaque lens, giving him at ﬁrst a sinister look, but he carried on as before as if nothing had happened. Frau Mertes nursed him back to health. It was an act of great kindness which Bennewitz never forgot. After his recovery, Bennewitz was abroad for long periods with increasing frequency, during which their relationship is reﬂected through his unfailing personal and domestic correspondence with her. It was Frau Mertes as well who ﬁrst collected his extensive writings, personal papers, director’s notes, books, and the many other objects connected with his theatre career, which she later entrusted to the Fritz Bennewitz Archive.
He was also a great admirer of Brecht. Bennewitz’s commentaries on the stage in general and his own efforts to direct were always underpinned by socialist dogma, rather than by apolitical aesthetic theory. The upcoming chapters on his Weimar stagings of Faust will present the dogmatic 38 Fritz Bennewitz context of each production and attempt aesthetic assessments within it. His ﬁrst Faust of 1965 (Part I) and 1967 (Part II) was the most deeply entrenched in this dogma, when he and many other GDR artists and citizens were highly optimistic about their new state and its politics.
Despite his guarded personal life, he was gregarious beyond those limits, especially abroad. His papers include thousands of personal and business letters with thoughts on a wide variety of subjects, including human relations. The letters in the FBA begin in 1943, with one addressed to ‘Seekadett Fritz Bennewitz’ (Letters, Unknown sender) when he was serving as a junior member of the navy in Berlin, and at this early stage there is also a notable cluster of loving letters from his future ﬁancée Cornelia Brenner, suggesting that at least in his youth he enjoyed intimacy with the opposite sex as well.
Bennewitz, Goethe, 'Faust': German and Intercultural Stagings by David G. John