Which country created the first plays

Contemporary history in Hessen - data · facts · background

Performance of the Büchner drama “Woyzeck” in Darmstadt, September 24, 1919

With the performance of a version of the drama “Wozzeck” (“Woyzeck”) staged by Drama Director Willy Löhr (1873–1940) by the Hessian State Theater, a play by the Vormärz poet and revolutionary Georg Büchner (1813–1837) comes for the first time ) also on stage in Darmstadt. After the theater in Meiningen (in the Free State of Saxony-Meiningen), the Landestheater is the second former court theater to include the revolutionary drama fragment in its repertoire shortly after the November Revolution and the end of the monarchy.

Shortly after the revolution, the writer (and later Büchner Prize winner) Kasimir Edschmid (1890–1966) criticized the Darmstadt court theater “delighted"Have, Büchner,"the most revolutionary German genius“Never having played.1

In the press the premiere of the play is greeted with exuberance by the left-wing “Hessian People's Friend”:Darmstadt's biggest son is finally moving into his hometown", With a work that"a pulse of the last magnitude"Can be attributed to"as at most Shakespeare made him". The more conservative “Darmstädter Tageblatt”, on the other hand, is less euphoric: “The tragedy shows a strong spirit and enormous dramatic power, but it is, and in the interests of the poet, it should not have gone unmentioned, not a fully developed work. […] In Wozzeck's fate, the poet wants to portray the misery of the oppressed, or, as they say, the fourth estate, which cries out for liberation and vengeance, and in this sense the play was probably a revolutionary drama in its time, although there is a total lack of generalization of personal fate.“2

Eight days earlier, another “Woyzeck” version by Arthur Hellmer (1880–1961) was shown for the first time in Frankfurt am Main in the New Theater in Mainzer Landstrasse, which he co-founded.

Löhr's interpretation of Büchner's drama fragment will initially be shown four times in Darmstadt. Apart from a performance of the “Wozzeck” opera by Alban Berg (1885–1935) staged in the 1930/31 season, “Woyzeck” can only be seen there again in 1954 in a version by Gustav Rudolf Sellner (1905–1990).

  1. Quoted from Wolfram Viehweg, Georg Büchner's “Woyzeck” on the German-speaking theater, part 2, vol. 1, Norderstedt 2008, p. 31. ↑
  2. Quoted from ibid. ↑
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"Performance of the Büchner drama" Woyzeck "in Darmstadt, September 24, 1919", in: Contemporary history in Hessen (Status: 4.8.2020)
Events in August 1919 | September 1919 | October 1919