During the late nineteenth century a remarkable combination of circumstances and individual talents permitted the Court theatre of a small German state to become the theatrical sensation of its age. The Meiningen Court Theatre developed into an international touring company under the leadership of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen. This book is based on a wide range of published and unpublished contemporary documents, photographs and sketches (many of which are reproduced here). Professor Osborne provides a broad cultural-historical context for the emergence of the Meiningen Company and describes in detail the style and staging of productions, as well as the personality and directorial method of the Duke himself. Two famous items in the Company's repertoire, Julius Caesar and Prinz Friedrich von Homburg, are selected for particular attention. The Meiningen Company became famous throughout Europe, and became a source of inspiration to future directors of the modern theatre such as Antoine, Brahm and Stanislavsky.
This book will become the standard work on the subject, important to students of German drama and cultural history and to those with an interest in the development of modern theatre.