MAX REINHARDT 1873-1940
- Max Reinhardt arrived at a time when the modern theater was booming with new ideas and ready to try new styles. Theories of Zola, Wagner, Strinberg, and Appia grabbed the eyes of artists.
- Reinhardt used the writings of composer Richard Wagner as a source of aesthetic theory as well as his ideas of the music drama. they shared in the belief that it was the responsibility of the modern stage to recreate a perfect mixture of music, poetry, dance, and song, which they beleived to be instinctive to man. They sought to appeal to the senses and the feelings, and the bringing together of all these arts on one stage was Wagner's theory of the "total art work."
- Reinhardt rejeceted the realistic stage and searched fro new, expressive, and emphatic ways of visual, scenic, and musical representation, which led him directly to experimentations with ways of mixing the arts.
ELEMENTS OF HIS WORK
- A key element in Reinhardts work came from expressionism. The common quality to all expressionist drama is anti-realism. The expressionist always sought to paint an unashamedly personal vision of the world, and in doing so would often subvert the realistic objectivity that others held as an ideal. His plays were of social or political protest, often of freedom against authority, marked by nightmarish mood and vivid color in the setting and lighting. This expressionism lent the directors alot of freedom, because much of the drama was left unspoken and unseen, leaving an artist a hole they were eager to fill. This was a characteristic of German theater from the 1910's - 1920's.
- One of Reinhardts most important characteristics was his search for the perfect playhouse. Through the years, he learned that size and shape could determine and control the purpose of the drama. He used large arenas as well as small theaters. He seemed to know instinctively what he wanted. This talent contributed to the idea that the theater director was indeed a creative artist.
- If Reinhardt had one special gift, it was his eclecticism. he was the most versatile director the theater has ever seen. He embraced realism (later only to discard it), symbolism, and expressionism in the perfect mixture, for each play.
VITAL STATISTICS TO UNDERSTANDING HIS GENIUS
- The average director today shutters to commit himself/herself to more than two or three productions a year
- In his first 12 years, Reinhardt averaged almost 20 performances a year
- He peaked at 48 productions between 1916-1917
- The Centenial Festschriff published by The State University of New York in 1973 counted some 452 plays on 23,374 occasions between 1905-1930
- He managed 30 different theaters and companies in his lifetime
NOTABLE ARTISTS WHOSE WORKS HE DIRECTED
Link to Solid Audio; Audio Company that is doing a Reinhardt seminar.
German Composers; Refernce to Wagner.
- Romeo and Juliet
- Merchant of Venice
- Midsummers Night Dream
- Oedipus Rex
- The Inspector General
- Twelfth Night
- King Lear
- Don Carlos
- Taming of the Schrew
- Comedy of Errors
- Much Ado About Nothing
- Living Corpse (Tolstoy)
- The Pelican
- Hedda Gabler
- Magic Flute
- Marriage of Figarro
- Julius Caesar
- The Merchant of Yonkers (Wilder)
- No other links to Max Reinhardt, significant links that is, found.
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