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Extra resources for The New York Review of Books (March 20, 2014)

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47 Before Wallenstein Goethe did not show an ambition to develop a distinctive style or to improve the repertoire, though from the start of his directorship he was concerned to improve the standard of acting and of speaking, which remained a preoccupation of his, as we can see from the Regeln für Schauspieler. One wonders what direction the theatre would have taken if Iffland had not accepted Berlin’s offer but had replaced Goethe as “Intendant” at Weimar. That Goethe tried to attract an actor and director of Iffland’s calibre and experience was a highly practical move but also indicates an absence at that time of any ambition to create a distinctive neo-classical stage.

2 For the last of those years, from September 1783 to August 1784, he was employed as “Theaterdichter”. 4 The Mannheim National Theatre was founded in 1778,5 the name clearly evoking the spirit of the Hamburg National Theatre project of the previous decade. 6 From the start it had strong links with the Kurpfälzische Deutsche Gesellschaft, founded in 1775. In 1778 the Elector Karl Theodor of the Palatinate transferred his court to Munich on his accession to the throne of Bavaria and took with him the company, Theobald Marchand’s, that had been playing at the theatre.

Vol. 2. 16 On Dalberg’s requirements for the stage adaptation see Otto Schmidt: Die Uraufführung der Räuber – ein theatergeschichtliches Ereignis. In: Schillers Räuber: Urtext des Mannheimer Soufflierbuches. Ed. by Herbert Stubenrauch and Günter Schulz. Mannheim 1959. Pp. 151–180. 40 such as Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter, an admirer of the French tradition, and professional theatre people such as Schröder believed the Sturm und Drang threatened all the progress that had been made towards raising the standard of theatre and of acting in particular.

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