How did the expressionist theater come about?

In the first few years after the First World War, pieces that were still expressionistic were performed. Some were made before or during the war, and some afterwards.


The plays by Ernst Toller, Walter Hasenclever and Georg Kaiser were among the plays listed. Mass misery and hunger become the topic here - what preoccupied people after the war.

For example, the pieces "Die Wandlung" (1919), "Masse Mensch" (1920) and "Die Maschinenst├╝rmer" (1922) were written by Ernst Toller. Georg Kaiser wrote "From morning to midnight" (1912) and "Gas" (1918). In 1917 Walter Hasenclever wrote the antique play "Antigone" into an anti-war drama.

The expressionist drama

It is typical of these pieces that they do not follow the classic structure in acts and scenes, but rather offer a sequence of individual stations or episodes. That is why one speaks of the station drama. In terms of content, it was often about a change.

The main character was often a young man who was engaged in a conflict - with his father, with society or with fate. The people were "typed", i.e. H. they have no individual traits and often no names either, it just means "father", "daughter", etc.


The expressionist dramas were replaced around the mid-twenties by the works of neo-factual authors, including Bert Brecht in particular, but also Ferdinand Bruckner and G├╝nther Weisenborn. Toller now also wrote new, factual dramas, e. B. "Hurray, we're alive!" (1927).