In many European countries mass theatre was a widespread expression of ‘community art’, which became increasingly popular shortly before the First World War. From Max Reinhardt’s lavish open-air spectacles to socialist workers’ Laienspiel (lay theatre), theatre visionaries focused on ever larger groups for entertainment as well as political agitation.
Despite wide research on the Soviet and German cases, examples from the Low Countries have hardly been examined. However, mass plays in Flanders and the Netherlands had a distinctive character, displaying an ideological heterogeneity not seen elsewhere. Mass Theatre in Interwar Europe studies this peculiar phenomenon of the Low Countries in its European context and sheds light on the broader framework of mass movements in the interwar period.
Editors: Thomas Crombez (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp) and Luk Van den Dries (University of Antwerp)
Contributors: Staf Vos (Het Firmament), Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles/Rits), Evelien Jonckheere (Ghent University), Ad van der Logt (Leiden University), Frank Peeters (University of Antwerp)
Corpus Toneelkritiek Interbellum aims to collect a large corpus of documents from Flemish inter-war theatre (500+ documents; 1,000,000+ words). It consists of reviews and other short texts on theatre (such as essays and lectures), coming from diverse sources (newspapers, specialized theatre journals, and book collections of reviews).
Some well-known critics of the Flemish interbellum period will be strongly represented in the corpus, such as Willem Putman, Lode Monteyne, and Victor J. Brunclair.
The source publications of the corpus include periodicals such as Hooger Leven, Het Vlaamsche Land, Averbode’s Weekblad, Ons Volk Ontwaakt, De Ploeg, Tooneelgids (1921-1940), Tooneelleven (1934-1944), Pogen, Het Tooneel (1915-1940), Pelgrim, Het Vlaamsche Land, Jong Dietschland (1927-1933), and Ruimte.