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Germany's Reception of the Broadway Musical
An interdisciplinary conference by the Kurt-Weill-Gesellschaft Dessau

Dessau, Germany, 7-9 March 2008

CALL FOR PAPERS Proposals in English or German should be submitted by 18 February 2007. Please send proposals (no more than 400 words), together with a brief CV, to The performance history and reception of the Broadway musical in Germany (both the genre as a whole and individual, paradigmatic works) still await a systematic analysis. This conference will focus on the stage musical, whose scattered sources are insufficiently documented and catalogued, thus causing scholars in the past to resort to film versions, which were readily available but inadequate substitutes. Especially welcome, though not mandatory, are papers on Weill. His oeuvre is at the heart of a key aesthetic debate that touches on this cultural transfer (in which the 1948 German production of "Knickerbocker Holiday" played a pioneering role). Papers should address one or more of the following areas: 1. Productions Which works entered the canon of German theaters? Which filtering mechanisms prevented works that had achieved classic or iconic status in the U.S. from succeeding in Germany? Which musicals were produced outside of Germany's subsidized theater system? How could a production system evolve that took off from (and ran parallel to) the subsidized system and aimed to accommodate the musical's financial and artistic needs? What roles were played by institutions such as Theater des Westens or Stella Entertainment AG? 2. Receptions Objects of study should be German-language productions of individual works or the genre as a whole. How were they perceived and evaluated? In addition to press reviews, papers should also take into account scholarly and popular book publications (e.g., "Musicalfuehrer"). Where appropriate, film versions, cast albums, and hit numbers ("standards") can be considered as well. 3. Adaptations Which challenges arose in the process of translating book and lyrics (and do they differ from those encountered in the translation of other theatrical genres)? How did theaters handle the genre's demands on performers and production team? Which steps were taken to address the cultural politics as well as the economic conditions of the German market? Participants should refrain from lengthy discussions of plot line or structure of a single work. The program committee will begin evaluating and discussing proposals immediately after the deadline. The results will be communicated in March 2007. Currently, the conference is planned to be held at the historic Bauhaus. The Advisory Board of the Kurt-Weill-Gesellschaft Dessau (A. Eichhorn, N. Grosch, M. Heinemann, E. Juchem, J. Lucchesi, J. Schebera, St. Weiss) Back to top of page
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