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Dream-Playing: Accessing the non-texts of Strindberg's A Dream Play in Dusseldorf 1915-18

“Dream-Playing: Accessing the non-texts of Strindberg’s A Dream Play in Düsseldorf 1915–18” is an interdisciplinary research project placed at the University of Gothenburg, engaging junior and senior scholars from musicology, dance-ethnology, art history and visual studies, and the history of ideas. By looking beyond the canon of early stagings of the drama, the overarching aim of the project is to explore a production of A Dream Play (Ett drömspel/Ein Traumspiel) that premièred in Düsseldorf 16 October 1918 in the final phase of the First World War. Co-directed by Swedish scenographer-director Knut Ström (1887–1971) and German actor-director Paul Henckels (1885–1967), and with music by Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871–1927) it was the third production ever of the drama in Germany. While most of the reviewers valued the performance as a considerable artistic achievement, some of them also expressed ambivalences and critical opinions, indicating a contextual complexity worthy of further exploration. As astonishingly little is known about A Dream Play in Düsseldorf, it can be argued that an interdisciplinary investigation of this topic can make new contributions to our knowledge about the early productions of a play that Strindberg described as: “my most beloved Drama, the child of my greatest pain”. Firstly, by conducting in-depth explorations of the intriguing materials found in several archives in Germany and Sweden the project seeks to reveal some diverse dimensions and tensions of A Dream Play in a particular historical context. Secondly, by allowing some of the investigations to expand their subject in time and space, the project has an ambition to propel new thoughts and questions that can travel across the individual subprojects, and feed into ideas for further research.

Project leader: Astrid von Rosen
Participant researchers: Alf Björnberg, Mats Nilsson, Viveka Kjellmer, Bia Mankell, Ylva Sommerland and Per Magnus Johansson.
Project duration: 2013–2016
Funding: The Faculty of Arts, by a specified strategic initiative

Contact Information

Astrid von Rosen

PO Box 200, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Visiting Address:
Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, room 2245

+46-(0)31-786 2784

Page Manager: Felicia Bigot Klinteberg|Last update: 11/2/2016

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