Mass Theatre in Inter-War Europe
Flanders and the Netherlands in an International Perspective
In many European countries mass theater was a widespread expression of "community art" that became increasingly popular shortly before World War I. From Max Reinhardt's lavish open-air spectacles to socialist workers' Laienspiel (lay theater), theater visionaries focused on ever larger groups for entertainment as well as political agitation.
Despite wide research on the Soviet and German cases, examples from the Low Countries have hardly been examined. However, mass plays in Flanders and the Netherlands had a distinctive character, displaying an ideological heterogeneity not seen elsewhere. Mass Theatre in Inter-War Europe places this peculiar phenomenon of the Low Countries in its European context and sheds light on the broader framework of mass movements in the interwar period.
Contributors: Staf Vos (Het Firmament), Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles/Rits), Evelien Jonckheere (Ghent University), Ad van der Logt (Leiden University), Frank Peeters (University of Antwerp)
Thomas Crombez is affiliated Researcher at the University of Antwerp and teaches Philosophy of Art and Theatre History at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and Philosophy at Sint Lucas Antwerpen.