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an Austrian theater in Vienna. It opened on Mar. 14, 1741, under the name the Royal Theater at the Court. In the 1740’s operas and ballets were produced here with performances by Italian and French artists. In 1751 an Austrian dramatic troupe performed in the Burgtheater for the first time and then gradually pushed out foreign companies. The Burgtheater became the center of theater life in Austria. In 1776 it was renamed the Court and National Theater. One of its first directors was the actor and stage director J. F. Brockmann; in 1814 the theater came under the direction of the journalist and stage director J. Schrey vogel. Schreyvogel introduced the plays of Shakespeare and Goethe into the repertoire, and succeeded in getting the censorship’s bans lifted from the plays of Schiller and Lessing. Plays by F. Grillparzer were produced in the Burgtheater in the 1820’s. From 1849 to 1867 the theater was headed by the stage director H. Laube and became one of the leading European theaters. From 1870 to 1881 the theater was headed by F. von Dingelstedt, who paid special attention to the sets and music for productions. Plays by L. Anzengruber and H. Ibsen and the tragedies of Shakespeare were produced during this period.
In 1888 the theater moved to a new building. From 1899 to 1910 one of the leading actors of the Burgtheater was J. Kainz. In the beginning of the 20th century classical drama was the basis of the Burgtheater’s repertoire (including plays by L. Tolstoy). Plays by contemporary writers were performed at the Academic Theater, a branch of the Burgtheater. Among the leading actors of the Burgtheater in the 1930’s and 1940’s wereG. Reimers, R. Asian, E. Balser, and M. Eis. The theater building was demolished in a bombing in 1945 and was rebuilt in 1955. Among the theater’s most important productions in the 1950’s and 1960’s were Lessing’s Nathan the Wise, Schiller’s Maria Stuart, and Goethe’s Faust.
In the 1960’s the Burgtheater company included A. Scoda, P. Wessely, A. Hörbiger, A. Schmid, K. Gold, K. Dorsch, and H. Thimig.
REFERENCESIgnatov, S. Istoriia zapadno-evropeiskogo teatra novogo vremeni. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Laube, H. Das Burgtheater. Leipzig, 1868.
Alth, M. Unser Burgtheater. Vienna, 1955.