Making Theatre at War: Cultural Networks and Urban Space in Lemberg/Lviv/Lwów (June 1914 – June 1915)

Making Theatre at War: Cultural Networks and Urban Space in Lemberg/Lviv/Lwów (June 1914 – June 1915)

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Dr. Oksana Dudko

Center for Urban History

December 25, 2013

Center for Urban History, Lviv

Theatre has become a popular phenomenon of a modern city. Urban theatrical culture of Lviv was being created during the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. During this period the main city theatres were founded and a number of new venues appeared. Prewar Lviv was also a city of developed national – Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish – theatrical traditions.

War in many ways became a turning point of theatre life in the city. The Great War meant not only collapse and deterioration of urban theatre structure of Lviv but also changes, transformation and creation of new cultural practices. The war not only suspended a possibility of development but also created a new context, highlighted new values, transformed physical and mental borders, forced appearance of spaces for exchange and interaction. It has also stimulated a process of rethinking a role and a purpose of theatre and of searching for new aesthetics in theatre.

The presentation aimed to analyze symbolic meanings of culture during the war in wider political, economical, and social context by investigating networks of theatre communities and changes in cultural space and landscape of Lviv. The presentation took a closer look at several case studies in order to understand how different theatres responded to the war.

Seminar is a part of the series "Urban Spaces of Lviv/Lwów/Lemberg: Imagination, Experiences, Practices"