Article Title

Documentary Drama: Form and Content


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

The documentary drama of the sixties is often thought of as a mode indigenous to that decade. Statements to this effect are particularly frequent in West Germany, where the vogue of documentary playmaking was first discernible. In his prefatory comments to an anthology of texts from Theater heute, published in 1970, Henning Rischbieter writes: "wie lange scheint das schon her! Wer denkt noch an Kipphardts Prozessmontage In der Sache J. Robert Oppenheimer, an Peter Weissens szenisches Konzentrat des Auschwitz-Prozesses unter dem Titel Die Ermittlung?"1 The documentary days of political drama are over: political commitment in the theatre has found other and better outlets, Rischbieter concludes. He confines his observatfons to the West German scene, where they may have greater claims to validity than elsewhere. Even so they are questionable. The documentary method may have lost the position it had in the mid-sixties, but experiences gained from it have undeniably helped to nourish quite recent developments, in Germany and elsewhere.

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