La contesa e il trionfo: Otto Brahm e le testimonianze sulla Freie Bühne
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The study examines an essay written by Otto Brahm and published in October 1909 in the «Berliner Tageblatt». A careful reading of the entire document entitled Freie Bühne, complete with the last three pages handwritten by the author, reveals its autobiographical character centred on the director experience of the Theaterverein. Since its foundation in 1889, the society has pursued the objective of eliminating the empty schematics and restrictions of conventionalism proposed by the stages of the late nineteenth century, of spreading the Naturalist movement and of welcoming dramas by progressive authors such as Henrik Ibsen and Gerhart Hauptmann. Only two years after its institution, a myriad of associations were spreading in Germany and Europe, committed to the construction of a ‘free stage’. Some examples emerged on the model of Berlin society are the Akademisch-dramatische Verein directed by Ernst von Wolzogen and the Intimes Theater of Josef Valle Hunkele in Munich, the Literarische Gesellschaft in Leipzig, led by C. Heine, W. Harlan, K. Martens, H. von Weber and F. A. Beyerlein as well as the Independent Theatre Society founded in London by the Dutch Jakob T. Grein. By telling a story regarding personal experiences, Brahm’s essay is a valuable testimony on the origin, evolution and affirmation of the Freie Bühne and on the conversion of Berlin, the city of many theaters, into the city of the theater in the international context.