The Concept of Acting School in the German-Speaking Sphere in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
人文論叢 : 三重大学人文学部文化学科研究紀要
During the first half of the nineteenth century in the German-speaking sphere,theater gradually intensified its function as a moral institution in civil society and contributed to strengthening the national identity of the German people. The actors’ role in national enlightenment was also intensified. This paper deals with the concept of an acting school advocated by influential figures like Edward Devrient（1801-1877）, Karl Gutzkow（1811-1878）,and Heinrich Theodor Rötscher （1803-1871）. From the viewpoint of theater history and contemporary artistic discussions, it investigates the idea and function of such acting schools by focusing on the image of actors educated by the academic system to become ideal models for the nation. The concept of acting school was connected to the school system and to school politics in Germany, because the establishment and reorganization of public education had progressed especially in the first half of the nineteenth century, and national education became one of the primary purposes of the state. The concept of theater school contributed not only to the progressively changing awareness of actors as artists, but also functioned to structuralize actors into a new national theater system, in order to evoke the national emotion and identity of audiences and to unify the people nationally through actors’ superior acting methods.