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01/2015 Theater and Film


In the opinion of many parents and teachers, theater is pedagogically and intellectually particularly valuable, and thus, from their first (play) schooldays on, children visit age-specific theater productions, view fairytale operas or get involved in their own productions. Disregarding organized institutional events, however, the situation presents itself rather differently: Trips to the theater with the family or of teenagers on their own are a farcry from common. While theater for children and young adults holds a rather subordinate position in young people’s media consumptions pectrum, the cultural and economic relevance of films for young adults in particular is increasing steadily; including the Harry Potter-, Twilight- and Lord of the Rings series and the more recent TheFault in Our Stars, some of the highest-selling blockbusters of the last years have been filmic adaptations of children’s and young adult literature.

The comparable combination of sound, visual and production-immanent characteristics of children’s films and theater invites a shared discussion of the two genres. In accordance with our topic, this issue of interjuli is strongly focused on reception. Apart from being able to offer a substantial review section, we have interviewed three different experts: Jürgen Kirschner from the Children’s and Adolescents’ Theater Center of the Federal Republic of Germany explains the current situation of children’s theater in Germany, and theater producers and actors Stefan Dehler and Christoph Huber discuss their work with the theater troupe stillehunde. Further, Beata Kornatowska gives us an insight into the world of fairytale operas in Poland, Christian Stewen discusses the aesthetics of identification in children’s films, and Michael Stierstorfer looks at the current wave of mythological adaptations in children’s literature. Franziska Matthes presents the findings of a study concerning children’s film preferences while Daniel Volaric elaborates on the possibilities of dramatic adaptations of children’s classics.