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PRECURSORS OF THE THEATER

81

d'Auvergne, Austerlitz; above all, Les Miracles de la Révolution.

It was through Michelet that the artistic ideals of the Revolution and the thinkers of the eighteenth century have come down to those of us who are endeavoring to found a People's Theater.

But other countries have anticipated our efforts. In 1889 a Volkstheater was established in Vienna; it opened with Anzengruber's Der Fleck auf der Ehr! In 1894 Herr Loewenfeld opened the Schiller-Theater in Berlin. A year later it had six thousand subscribers. A company of thirty actors played a repertory of ancient and modern plays: from Calderon and Shakespeare to Ibsen, Dumas fils, and the contemporaries. The theater was so successful that two other Schiller-Theaters were established in the same city.[1]

The art department of the Maison du Peuple of Brussels, which, since 1892 had offered literary and musical entertainments, joined hands in 1897 with the Toekomst (The Future), a Flemish choral and dramatic society, founded in 1883, and instituted a series of performances in the beautiful festival hall of the Maison du Peuple, which holds three thousand people.[2] The plays produced were: The Weavers of Hauptmann, The Power of Darkness of Tolstoy, An Enemy of the People and The

  1. For the Schiller-Theater see p. 102, note 1, and the articles of Jean Vignaud: Un théâtre populaire à Berlin in the Revue d'art dramatique (Oct. 5, 1899), and of Adrien Bernheim in Le Temps (1902).
  2. On the performances at the Maison du Peuple of Brus-