“Der gute Mercks” : The Skill of an Excellent Memory - Lars Rebehn (Puppentheatersammlung Dresden)

Lars Rebehn (Puppentheatersammlung Dresden)

Deutsche Version zum Herunterladen : de_text_lars_rebehn_der_gute_mercks_2022_02_21.pdf

URL : https://nakala.fr/10.34847/nkl.f55bzz17

DOI : 10.34847/nkl.f55bzz17


This paper examines the repertoire as a whole and the texts available to individual puppeteers, and marionette artists collectively, between the 17th and 19th centuries, as well as the question of how this can be determined.

“Der gute Mercks” – The Skill of an Excellent Memory



Very little is known about the puppet theatre repertoire before 1720. A few title lists have survived, but not much is left in the way of playbills or descriptions of individual performances. Generally the repertoires of travelling actors and puppeteers were comparable and it is likely that they were relatively similar in the 17th century, but this is hard to verify. In an analysis of puppet theatre’s specific style, it would be interesting to investigate how the repertoires diverged over the decades. While the repertoire for actors had already been substantially modernised in around 1730, the early 19th century puppet theatre repertoire featured considerably more plays dating from the 17th century and thus offers something of a time capsule for some of the early, shared(?) repertoire of puppet and actors’ theatres in Germany.

Even though there were more sources for professional actors’ theatre in the period before 1720, taken as a whole they were still relatively limited. Researchers are eager to highlight Protestant school theatre and Catholic Jesuit theatre on which there are numerous written records. However, for a number of reasons, their plays were not really suitable for performances by professional actors without being substantially adapted first.[1]

From around 1720 onwards, an increasing number of playbills for series of guest performances have survived, allowing the reconstruction of lists of pieces in the repertoire performed by companies of actors. Unfortunately, there are fewer featuring performances by puppeteers.[2] Newspaper advertisements became important sources of information in cities from about 1800, and in smaller towns after 1820. Individual lists of puppeteers’ repertoires can be established for the 18th century and for many puppet theatres in the 19th century as well. There are thousands of puppet theatre manuscripts from around 1800 onwards providing information about the repertoire, but before that time only a small number of dramatic texts can be consulted for the purposes of comparison.[3]



In contrast to Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain, Germany had no professional playwrights until the mid-18th century. The majority of plays printed in the German language before 1750 were not performed in professional theatres at all, or only after extensive adaptation. Plays were mostly translated from other languages, adapted from opera libretti, or written by the directors and their staff. More rarely, plays from school theatres were heavily adapted.  The adaptations were nearly always done by people closely associated with theatre.

Manuscripts were carefully guarded because they were the theatres’ assets. If a script was published in print, it could be used freely by anyone who bought it. No royalties had to be paid. It is not known whether 18th century puppeteers obtained their texts exclusively from theatre companies or adapted them themselves, but their authorship can be assumed in some individual cases at least. There were various links between companies of actors and puppet theatres, especially at a personal level. For the period around 1800, there is evidence that the puppeteers wrote some new texts themselves[4].



Title lists provide little information about what was actually performed. Some plays were performed under different titles, even by the same theatre, and occasionally different plays were performed under the same title. There were also some plays that had the same title and theme, but were very different in terms of their scenic composition. One example of this is The Bavarian Hiesel, the story of the poacher Matthias Klostermeyer who was executed by quartering in Dillingen in 1771. Most puppeteers performed it based on an oral tradition that must have originated before 1800, with minimal variations in southern and northern Germany. The north German version was published in around 1840 in Berlin.[5] Individual puppeteers also used Friedrich Kaiser’s play, which was first staged in Vienna in 1867 and published in 1868. However, this is a separate play unrelated to the earlier ones.[6]

Any analysis of the repertoire therefore requires knowledge of the contents and not just the titles.



In theatres, plays were performed from scripts due to the large number of people involved. Usually, there was just one full manuscript and the actors were given their individual roles as excerpts from the text. Thus the director was the only one who had the complete play. Although puppeteers also used scripts, in the 18th century they mostly performed from memory. If the play had not been performed for some time, the puppeteers could read through the scripts again during their preparations.



On stage, the prompters – often former actors – were the mainstays of theatres. They wrote out the roles from the script, managed them, and served as the stage manager with additional responsibility for costumes and lights. Prompters also supervised the stage technicians and any assistants. Thus in the age of travelling theatres, everything depended on the prompters. In static theatres the number of texts performers were required to learn increased after 1770. Actors had to master up to 150 roles a year, they moved between theatres more often, and therefore usually only learned the text for one performance. The main criteria determining the quality of actors were the ability to learn their lines and articulate clearly.

Puppet theatres mostly had between two and four performers who also voiced the roles. The ideal cast was two men and one woman. Everyone generally stayed in their place on the bridge[7], meaning that the figures’ movements and voices were often taken over by different actors. Men were on one side and women on the other.[8] In the 18th century, they probably played mostly from memory, which provided more opportunity to improvise. In the 19th century, when performing from a script became common, it was positioned before the actors during the performance and the pages were turned as the story went on. If a script was used, there was sometimes a separate book for female roles, its proximity to the actress making it easier for her to read. The two books were positioned side by side and the pages of both turned. In some cases, there were even books that contained only the male roles[9]. Except for a few plays such as Medea and Genovefa, the number and size of female roles was generally small. Some scripts were written in very tiny letters and in such cases it is assumed that they were used to prompt the actors’ memory during preparations rather than being placed in front of them during the play.[10] As larger letters required more paper, the library of texts was also of material value. The attempt to introduce censorship in Prussia and some other German states certainly contributed to the greater importance attributed to scripts in these states.[11]



What must a puppeteer’s memory have been like? People were in awe of the excellent memory of the one-armed, illiterate puppeteer Max Kressig (1875-1953). He could give a performance after seeing it just once, dictating the words to his wife who wrote them down, mostly make improvements as he went along. Members of his family performed from the script while he performed from memory, but this was the exception[12].

Chemnitz puppeteer Christian Heinrich Niedermeier (1836-1913) frequently gave his views on texts, librettos and memory. As a child, he had watched shows by a professional actor and then re-enacted them at home on a small stage:

Meine guten Merks oder leicht befaßliche aufmerksammkeit, verdanke ich es mehrsten theils, den[n] die Stücke[,] welche ich bei dem Manne sah[,] spielte ich selbst den andern Sonntag in der Behausung meiner Eltern. [13]

[I mostly put my good memory or my easily captured attention down to the plays I saw the man perform on Sundays at my parents’ house.]

These childhood plays accompanied him throughout his career and he performed them when he was an assistant at the Reinbold puppet theatre in Chemnitz, voicing and playing all the male roles by heart. The female roles were written down separately and read by the hired actress:

Herr Reinbold, hat auch nach und nach sich eine Bibliethek an sich gebracht, als ich abging[,] verlor er doch 21 Stück, wo bloß Frauenrolle da war, und die Theaterzettel, aber kein [vollständiges] Stück davon, um nach und nach, da ich mir sie abgeschrieben hatte, habe ich Sie Ihn auch zukommen laßen, und auch noch andere dazu, habe auch wieder welche erhalten wie das nun zu gehen Pflägt.[14]

[Mr Reinbold gradually built up a library and when I left he lost 21 plays with just female roles, and playbills, but not an entire play. Gradually, since I had put them in writing, I gave them back to him and I gave him other plays too, and received some myself, as is now common.]

He remembers opening his own theatre:

den 1 Mai 1870, fing wir an[,] 21 Stücke konnte ich auwendig[,] dan wurden Bücher angeschaft, und aufgeschriebenen[,] die ich wuste und dan welche umgetauscht somit kam ich zu Theaterstücke, auch viele gekauft und übesetzt.[15]

[We opened on 1 May 1870. I knew 21 plays by heart, then we acquired books and wrote down some plays and exchanged others. This is how the plays came into my possession; I also bought and adapted many of them.]

When questioned in 1888 by the puppeteer and professor, Arthur Kollmann, about the source of his texts, he replied:

ich Spielte 21. Stücke aus dem Gedächtnieß aber Späther mit den Neuren Stücken verlohr das Gedächtnieß und ich mußte sie aufschreiben wenn, sie sollten nicht verlohren gehen, so mit habe ich alle geschrieben bis auf 4 welche ich nicht mehr recht weiß.[16]

[I played 21 plays from memory, but later, when we added new plays, I forgot them and had to write them down so as not to lose them. Thus I wrote down all of them but four that I no longer knew well.]

Niedermeier said of his predecessor in the business, Leignitz, who emigrated to Brazil in 1869:

Leignitz hat 12 Stück war er damit ferdig, und wollte keine Wiederhollung machen, so mußte Ehr fort, dieße 12 Stücke habe ich mir Abgeschrieben. Die Stücke hat Frau Leignitz mit nach Brasielien genomen, wo er Sie hehr hatte, weis ich nicht. [17]

[Leignitz had 12 plays and when he had performed them and did not want to repeat them, he had to leave. I copied these 12 plays. Frau Leignitz took them with her to Brazil, but I do not know where he got them.]

By the time of his death in 1913, Niedermeier had compiled a library of over 200 plays[18].

Therefore there were puppeteers who played from memory and were able to memorise about 20 plays. Others, however, only had a repertoire of 12 plays, despite having scripts, and were still able to make a living. Nevertheless, to keep a repertoire competitive in the 19th century, new plays needed to be added, and this could only be done by performing from a script.


CASE STUDIES: The early 19th century

This section examines the range of the repertoires of different puppeteers and how these changed from generation to generation. It compares the repertoire of the “Mechanikus”[19] Josef Schütz (period from 1808 to 1827) with those of his son-in-law “Professor” Carl Eberle (1830-1848) and the Schwiegerling family (1830-1930), who maintained that they all performed without scripts. A comparison follows of the repertoires of Schütz and Geisselbrecht who wrote down the plays from 1800 onwards and considerably expanded the repertoire.



Josef Schütz is believed to have been the son of the acrobat and actor Johann Friedrich Schütz. After his father died in around 1760, Schütz’s mother started working for a company of puppeteers. By 1792, he had joined the much older puppeteer Johann Georg Dreher. They left the Palatinate region to travel around central Germany (Thuringia, Prussia and Saxony). They went to Berlin for the first time in 1803 and enjoyed great success there. Dreher died in 1806 and Schütz bought a house and became a citizen of Potsdam. From then on he performed exclusively in Prussia, apart from one tour that took him from 1812 to 1817 via Saxony, Bohemia and Moravia to Austria, where he performed in 1815 during the Congress of Vienna.[20]

The repertoire of the puppeteer Josef Schütz, who is known to have worked as an independent puppeteer between 1792 and 1827, comprised 23 long plays and three one-act plays. In Berlin, where he on tour for up to nine months, he therefore had to repeat his plays several times. Only The Viennese in Berlin, a sung one-act farce by Carl von Holtei, was definitely performed from a script from 1825 onwards.[21] The repertoire has survived in over 200 theatre bills from Breslau (Wroclaw), Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Bautzen and Brünn (Brno), as well as numerous advertisements in Berlin’s daily newspapers.[22]

His contemporaries have given contradictory accounts of the use of scripts.

In 1792, Ludwig Tieck met Schütz and Dreher in Quedlinburg for the first time:

Die Herren Dreher und Schütz (diese waren die Dirigenten) erzählten mir, daß alle ihre Manuscripte alt seien, daß sie noch viele besäßen, die sie aber niemals darstellten, unter andern einen König Lear, der aber mit dem weltbekannten Gedichte kaum eine Aehnlichkeit habe. Ich wollte sie überreden, mir diese Gedichte zur Ansicht zu vertrauen, was sie aber standhaft verweigerten, so wie sie auch von dem Rath nichts wissen wollten, diese Sachen durch den Druck bekannt zu machen. Sie glaubten, daß sie sich ihre Aufführungen dadurch verderben möchten.[23]

[Herr Dreher and Herr Schütz (they were the directors) told me that all their manuscripts were old, that there were many of them but they had never staged them, amongst others a King Lear, but one which bore almost no resemblance to the world-famous poems. I wanted to convince them to entrust me with these works so as to have a look at them, but they firmly refused and did not want to hear my advice on the benefits of making these things known by printing them. They believed that I wanted to ruin their shows.]

Goethe’s brother-in-law, Christian August Vulpius, wrote in 1824 from Weimar:

Der soit disant Hr. Professor der Mechanik u. Physik Eberle war vor 8 Tagen bei mir. Er ist der Schwiegersohn des Hrn. Schütz der mit Dreher sonst mit Marionetten umher reiste, sagte mir aber sein Schwiegervater sey um einen ganzen Kasten voll alter Marionettenschauspiele auf immer gekommen. Es ist doch schlimm, daß man von diesen dramatischen Geburten nichts mehr wißen soll! So sind die Schauspiele: Ritter Partus, die schöne Magellone, Ahasverus, die Schöpfung, der Jüngste Tag dahin u. verloren, vielleicht ganz vernichtet, was wirklich zu beklagen ist! [24]

[The so-called professor of mechanics and physics, Eberle, came to me eight days ago. He is the son-in-law of Herr Schütz who is travelling with Dreher and their puppets, but he told me his father-in-law had lost a trunkful of old plays for puppets. It is sad that nothing of these beautiful dramatic creations shall be known! Thus, Knight Partus, The beautiful Magellone[25], Ahasverus, The Creation[26] and Judgement Day are lost, maybe entirely destroyed, which is lamentable!]

Nevertheless, Karl Simrock wrote in 1846 in his preface to the reconstruction of Faust: “Bekanntlich lehnte Schütz alle Anfragen über das Manuscript seines Puppenspiels mit der Versicherung ab, daß es nur im Gedächtniss aufbewahrt würde.[27] [“It is widely known that Schütz refused all requests concerning the manuscript of his play, claiming that it was preserved only in his memory.”]

Thus it has to be assumed that Schütz did indeed have scripts, but that he performed his shows from memory. A performance of the King Lear mentioned by Tieck cannot be verified. The titles mentioned by Vulpius in the letter cited above and in other letters are those that on rare occasions were still found in theatres at the beginning of the 19th century, but had probably never been performed very widely.



The Eberle family probably came from Franconia and there is evidence of their puppetry activity from the mid-18th century onwards. The young Eberle initially performed with the older Dreher and later became associated with Schütz, marrying his daughter. He became independent after Dreher’s death, but later carried on his father-in-law’s theatre or at least used his print templates to illustrate his playbills. He lived in Altenburg and travelled mainly in Saxony and Thuringia. After Schütz’s death, there is evidence that he travelled more to Prussia (Silesia for example). It is possible that he took overs his father-in-law’s Prussian concession.[28]

Eberle’s repertoire comprised 29 plays. About 220 playbills have survived from the period 1830 to 1848, i.e. when he had already succeeded his father-in-law.[29] The repertoire featured 23 plays in several acts by Schütz, which were mostly staged under different titles and often with characters bearing different names. The other six plays were definitely printed and published in book form from 1790.[30]

Kräuter, a librarian from Weimar, wrote of Eberle in 1839:

Derselbe besitzt fast keine seiner Stücke in Manuscript; er spielt, wie er mir versicherte, mehr als 40. Stücke alle aus dem Gedächtniß und bedauert, daß sein dießmaliger Aufenthalt ihm nicht die Muße gönnen werde, welche davon aufzuschreiben. Aus seinen ganzen Reden ging hervor, daß er zu wohlhabend ist, um auf einen kleinen Gewinn, der ihm aus dergleichen Niederschriften entspringen könnte, einen Werth zu legen, und ich weiß, noch aus Vulpius’sens Zeiten her, daß er mit der Feder nicht gewandt ist. [31]

[He possesses almost no manuscripts; he performs, he assured me, over 40 plays from memory and regrets that his present stay does not allow him to write some of them down. His words hinted at his wealth that rendered obsolete the need to earn money from the publication of his manuscripts, and I know from Vulpius’ time that he is not gifted with the pen.]

The number of 40 plays seems exaggerated unless they include one-act sequels. He definitely possessed some scripts of older plays. Elsewhere, Kräuter reports that he produced all his shows with the help of his wife,[32] who had probably brought her father’s plays with her into the marriage.

One manuscript by Eberle has survived and has been published – Die Enthauptung der heiligen Dorothea [The Beheading of Saint Dorothy] was advertised by Eberle under different titles: Das unterbrochene Opferfest oder: Die Zerstörung von Cassara. Schauspiel in drei Abtheilungen, von Schick [The Interrupted Sacrificial Offering or The Destruction of Cassara. A play in three acts, by Schick], or Diocletiano oder das Braminen-Fest. Schauspiel in 3 Aufzügen [Diocletian or the Bramine Celebration. A play in three acts]. [33]



Anton Schwiegerling and Eberle were briefly associated in Breslau in 1848. It is believed that Eberle performed at that time with just his wife. Theodor Schwiegerling (1819-1888) describes himself from 1853 as the owner of the Schütz Theatre and had possibly taken over the theatre from Eberle’s estate. Anton Schwiegerling was the son of a Berlin paper miller. It is believed that he had a run-in with French soldiers in 1806 and he therefore ran away, joining a company of tightrope artists who gave fireworks shows in the summer and staged puppet plays in the winter. There are reports that he, his sons Hermann, Theodor and Fritz, and his grandchildren also performed without scripts.[34] The Schwiegerling version of Faust was therefore published in 1882 based on a shorthand text.[35]

The Schwiegerlings took over Eberle’s theatre in 1848, but not his repertoire. Although they gave guest performances in large cities such as Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Breslau and even St Petersburg, there is evidence that only 15 plays were performed in their various family theatres. Here too it should be assumed that this represents their entire repertoire. Only five of their plays also appeared in the repertoires of Eberle and Schütz.[36] These are the standard plays: Don Juan, Faust, Genoveva, The Prodigal Son and The Confused Court. The other plays were more recent and probably adapted from printed books. This is true in the case of three works by the successful playwright and prolific author August von Kotzebue, and one work each by Friedrich Hensler, Sophie Seyler, Ernst Raupach and Carl von Holtei, plus Kind and Weber with their opera Freischütz.[37]

Therefore the theatres that played mostly from memory generally had a repertoire of 15-30 plays. In Eberle’s case, it is to be assumed that he performed at least partially from scripts. At the same time, it should be noted that even on these stages there was a considerable shift towards a more modern repertoire influenced by literature from around the middle of the 19th century.



Derogatory remarks were frequently made about the puppeteer Geisselbrecht after his death in 1826 because he had greatly modernised his repertoire from 1801 onwards. Thinking back on their encounter in 1803 and without mentioning his name, Ludwig Tieck wrote in a novella published in 1834:

Hier aber war von jenem Poetischen, was mich damals so sehr erfreute, auch keine Spur mehr. Die Marionetten waren schlecht und spielten ungeschickt, der Text war ganz modern, aus Kotzebue und einigen beliebten Opern zusammengestoppelt, so daß mich weder Publikum noch Theater auf lange Zeit fesseln konnte. Große, wunderbare Verhältnisse, das Tolle, Phantastische und ganz Tragische paßt nur für diese Volksbühne.[38]

[There was no longer any trace of the poetry that gave me so much joy back then. The puppets were poor and moved clumsily, the text was quite modern, a patchwork of Kotzebue and several popular operas, so that neither the audience nor the theatre could enthral me for long. Only great and marvellous situations, the splendid, the fantastic and the quite tragic are fitting for this people’s theatre.]

It seems, however, that Tieck was not really drawing on the shows he had seen in Bad Liebenstein near Meiningen in 1803 – it is as if he is describing his experiences like this in a novella merely for literary purposes. It is true that Geisselbrecht himself made snide comments about Kotzebue and did not include his works in what at the time was still a traditional repertoire. This only changed in 1813 after the pair became acquainted in Berlin and started to appreciate one another.

After Geisselbrecht’s death, when he was often accused of modernism, a reviewer wrote in 1817 about his rival Schütz:

Dagegen hat der Marionettenspieler Schütz stets bei seinem Faust den Schauplatz voll; indessen könnte er unsere gebildeten Stände noch mehr ergötzen, wenn er, wie Geisselbrecht, auch neue Sachen dieser Gattung von Falck, Mahlmann, J. v. Voß u. s. w. gäbe, die hier außerordentlich gefallen haben.[39]

[In contrast, Schütz always played his Faust to a full house but he could please our cultivated classes more if he, like Geisselbrecht, were also to include new works of this genre by Falk, Mahlmann, J. v. Voß, etc., which have met with great success here.]

Geisselbrecht was born in Hanau (Hesse) in 1762 into a family of shoemakers. It is possible that he joined a puppet theatre aged 20 during his wanderings as a journeyman and after his marriage to the daughter of a director or theatre assistant. Over the decades, he built up a legendary reputation. He played for crowned heads such as the King of Prussia, for scientists such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, and for poets such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[40] Geisselbrecht played in Nuremberg in the winter of 1796/97 for nine weeks. At that time, his repertoire featured 23 plays, preserved thanks to 65 playbills.[41]

Eighteen plays also featured in the programme of Schütz and Eberle (however, Geisselbrecht’s Don Juan was staged using the Cremeri version, not the usual Dorimont version). Three of the other plays were by Joseph von Kurz-Bernardon (unpublished), Christlob Mylius and an opera by Weiße and Hiller. It was a very common repertoire.

Thanks to his friendship with Clemens Brentano in Frankfurt am Main, Geisselbrecht began to expand his programme considerably from 1800. He wrote down most of his plays from 1804 onwards. The only ones lost at that time were the plays excluded for being outdated. In fact, Brentano wanted to write new plays for Geisselbrecht, but after failing to do so he recommended the works of Carlo Gozzi of Venice and Philipp Hafner of Vienna for performances on the puppet stage. In the years that followed, Geisselbrecht built up a literary programme. Initially, most of the plays were literary satires, and later, during the wars of liberation, general social satire featured widely. Alongside printed plays, a series of puppet plays were created in association with writers such as Johann Daniel Falk, Siegfried August Mahlmann, Julius von Voß and Carl Stein. In the end, Geisselbrecht’s repertoire comprised over 60 plays. A further ten texts were found in his library, but there is no evidence that these were ever performed.

Some plays had limited topicality and soon disappeared when they had fulfilled their purpose. Geisselbrecht also trawled through new publications and sometimes trialled a play for actors on his stage. If there is evidence that a piece was performed only once, it does not necessarily mean that the audience did not like the play. Some themes only found an audience in large cities.

Geisselbrecht began writing down the texts in 1804 when his friend, the writer and satirist Johann Daniel Falk, asked him for some scripts. The departure of long-time associates who had left to set up on their own and the considerable extension of the playing schedule demanded that all the texts be written down. All but a few of them have survived to this day. Geisselbrecht very probably only wrote down the texts in an abridged form. Thus, the broad outlines of performance are documented, but not all the details. In particular improvisations by Hanswurst-Kasperle are only hinted at.

After Geisselbrecht’s death, his children quickly gave up the theatre, selling the scripts to Carl Friedrich in 1827, the Grand Duke of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach. The Volkstheater collection in the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar contains the earliest manuscripts of the German puppet repertoire.[42]

Schütz, Eberle and Geisselbrecht shared the following repertoire:


Der Burggeist / Kaiser Karl V. [The Ghost of the Castle or Emperor Karl V]

Don Juan (in a modern version for Geisselbrecht)

Fanny und Durmann [Fanny and Durmann]



Haman und Esther [Haman and Esther]

Hunrich und Heinrich [Hunrich and Heinrich]


Kunigunde / Lady Milford / Figilanda

Mariane, der weibliche Straßenräuber [Mariane, the Female Bandit]

Die Mordnacht von Äthiopien oder der hungrige Gast im leeren Wirtshause [The Night of Murder in Ethiopia or the Hungry Guest in the Empty Tavern]

Die schöne Müllerstochter [The Beautiful Miller’s Daughter]


Trajanus und Domitianus oder der lächerliche Sternenseher [Trajanus and Domitianus or the Hilarious Stargazer]

Der verwirrte Hof [The Confused Court]


Medea and The Beheading of Saint Dorothea do not appear in Geisselbrecht’s repertoire, while Schütz and Eberle did not perform typical bandit plays such as Der bairische Hiesel or Schinderhannes. Mariane, the Female Bandit is to be seen more as a story of emancipation. 

There is not enough space to comment on all the plays. Therefore three of the less well-known plays are introduced below. They stand out in part for their significant differences in the individual theatres in order to highlight the difficulty of researching the repertoire. This may have been a feature mainly of 18th century pieces as the 17th century plays largely appear to have been included in the canon.


Mariane, the Female Bandit

The play tells the story of two very different sisters, one of whom is well-behaved and obeys her father and the other who wants to make her own decisions. When their father, the Grande Marcello, plans to put his older daughter Mariane in a convent, she demands that her lover, who had previously killed her brother in a duel, run away with her. Count Alfonso abducts her with his servant Kasper, who steals a ladder from a chimney sweep. Cousin Egidio, who is considered a religious man, dissuades Count Alfonso from carrying out his plan at the last minute. The latter reconciles with old Marcello while Egidio, who is secretly in love with Mariane, abducts her. During their escape, they are attacked by bandits. Egidio kills the leader and takes his place. Mariane regrets her actions, but takes her father and sister hostage as they travel through the forest. She makes her father forgive her, but he is unaware of who is before him. She then attacks Count Alfonso and his servant who are still looking for her. Mariane makes Kasper sell her to Marcello as a slave, but he immediately frees her. Finally, there is a happy ending. Mariane asks for Alfonso’s hand in marriage, and Kasper also demands that the maid Charlotte does the same, as this is the new custom.

This play’s interest lies in the inversion of gender roles. The moving force is Mariane, whereas the men are guided by Mariane’s will and her actions. She feels regret in the end and almost reverts to the usual gender model – but only almost.

While Schütz performed the play under the title Mariane, or: The Woman as Bandit. A Spanish Story in Three Acts, Eberle announced it as Thus Works Father’s Curse, or: Mariane, Bandit Leader in Calabria. A True Historical Play in Three Acts. Geisselbrecht called it The Tender Head of the Household, or The Dissimilar Sisters. A Comedy in Three Acts. Just one manuscript of it, written down in only 1885, has survived in Saxony.[43]

In Frankfurt am Main in around 1800, a puppeteer performed The Converted Bandits. A Funny Comedy in 8 Acts. Its content is only revealed in the description of Hanswurst: “Wobei Hanswurst sich durchaus lustig einfinden und vorstellen wird: 1. Einen lustigen Bedienten. 2. Einen übelbelohnten Leiterträger. 3. Einen kuriosen Liebesambassadeur. 4. Einen bezauberten Wandersmann. 5. Einen wohlfeilen Sklavenhändler.”[44] [“Hanswurst will be present and will introduce himself in a comic way: 1. A funny servant. 2. A poorly-rewarded ladder carrier. 3. A strange ambassador of love. 4. A spellbound wayfarer. 5. A low-priced slave trader”.] The ladder carrier and slave trader show the correlation with Mariane.


Hunrich and Heinrich

Only Geisselbrecht’s version of this play has survived. As it has not yet been analysed, no full description can be given. The theatre director Kurz-Bernardon (1717-1784) announced it in around 1750 as follows:

Eine ganz neue, von dem Wienerischen Theatro entlehnte, aus einer gelehrten Feder geflossene, aller Orten mit ungemeinem Applausu approbrite, wegen ihres gelehrten Innhalts von andern distinguirte, mit Hanswursts Lustbarkeiten durchwebte, und von Anfang bis zum Ende mit galantem Scherz und Ernst abwechselnde / Haupt- und Staatsaction / betitelt: / Hunrich und Heinrich, / oder / das durchlauchtige Schäferpaar, / sonsten auch genannt: / Der grausame Tyrann, / und / der verstellte Narr aus Liebe, / mit / Hanswurst: / 1) einem klugen Hofnarrn, / 2) einem verschmizten Königlichen Requettenmeister. / 3) einem von Gespenstern erschreckten Favoriten. / 4) einem lustigen Narrenwächter. / 5) einem barmherzigen Scharfrichter. / 6) und leztliche einem beglückten Bräutigam seiner geliebten Traunschel.[45]

[Entirely new material, borrowed from the Viennese Theatro, flown from an erudite pen, welcomed everywhere with enormous applause, different from other plays by its learned content, interwoven with Hanswurst’s merry-making, alternating jokes and gravity from start to finish, and bearing the title; Hunrich and Heinrich, or the high-born shepherd couple, also called: The cruel tyrant, and the fool manipulated by love, with Hanswurst: 1) a clever fool, 2) an impish advisor to the king, 3) a favourite scared by ghosts, 4) a funny guard of fools, 5) a merciful executioner, 6) and finally the happy bridegroom of his beloved Traunschel.]

In Munich, it was announced in 1784 by a puppeteer on a store yard as:

La verita nell Ingano, d.i. Wahrheit in den Betrug. Od.: die verliebte Neigung zweer ungleicher Brüder. Dargestellt an dem unrechtmäßigen Kronen Räuber Hunrich, König der Hunnen, Gothen und Wenden. Mit Hannswurst einem Supplicanten, lächerlichen Hundsjung, unglücklichen Duellanten, und letztlich barmherzigen Scharfrichter.[46]

[La verità nell’inganno, i.e. the truth in the fraud. Or: the enamoured penchant of two dissimilar brothers. Performed with the illegal crown robber Hunrich, King of the Huns, Goths and Wends. With Hanswurst, a supplicant, young dog keeper, unlucky duellist, and finally a merciful executioner.]

Schütz performed it under the title The robber-knight, or: The country maid. A knight play in three acts. Geisselbrecht chose Bayiazzo as court master, or: The dissimilar brothers. A comedy in 4 acts, or Rosimunde, or: The king’s children disguised as shepherds. A comedy in 4 acts (Rosaura, or The abducted king’s children. A comedy in 3 acts). In 1807 it was given the title Professional jealousy or The two fools. A satirical comedy in 4 acts. Hanswurst-Casper was: “Erstens, einen komischen Fliegenwehrer. Zweytens, einen Jäger. Drittens, einen Liebes-Ambassadeur. Viertens, einen Kerkermeister. Fünftens, einen Hofmeister über einen Narren. Sechstens, einen Scharfrichter.” [“First, a funny fly repeller. Second, a hunter. Third, an ambassador of love. Fourth, a jailer. Fifthly, a steward via a fool. Sixth, an executioner”.] Schütz gave all except the two protagonists new names, and turned the king and his brother into robber-knights.

Eberle made Hunrich king again, but relocated the story to Lusatia, near Silesia where he performed “Ottomar, King of the Wends. A play from 1452, in 3 acts by Ziegler. The action takes place at the castle of Bautzen and during a hunt between Forsten and Lieberose in Lusatia”. He also played it under the title Ottomar, the devil.

Casperle stellt vor: einen Bedienten, einen Hofmeister, einen Liebesambassadeur, einen herzhaften Scharfrichter. Verwandlungen des Theaters. 1ster Aufzug: Zimmer auf dem Schlosse zu Bautzen in der Ober-Lausitz, 2ter Auzug: Waldgegend, Jagd, wo verschiedenes Wildpret in seiner natürlichen Bewegung sich zeigen wird. Besonders wird ein weißer Hirsch erscheinen, welcher für Jagdliebhaber eine angenehme Unterhaltung sein wird. 3ter Aufzug: Saal in der königlichen Burg. Die Entdeckung und Brudermord.

[Casperle plays: a servant, a steward, an ambassador of love, a brave executioner. Transformations of the theatre. 1st act: a chamber in the castle of Bautzen in Upper Lusatia, 2nd act: forest, hunt, where different animals will be seen in their natural movements. In particular a white deer will appear, which will entertain hunting enthusiasts. 3rd act: hall in the royal castle. Discovery and fratricide.]

The Upper Lusatia inhabited by Sorbs was transformed by Eberle into the kingdom of the Wends. In the second half of the 19th century, there is no further evidence of the play.


Figilanda / Lady Milford / Kunigunde

This mysterious play was performed on Saxon stages until the 20th century. There are so many versions of it that it is hard to identify any connections. A young, beautiful widow, who is both rich and powerful (Lady Milford, Queen Figilanda, Countess Kunigunde von Waldeck) falls in love with a young but poor stranger (Don Fernando, son of the governor of Madrid, prince of Calcutta, prince Fernando of Spain). A confidant of the widow masquerades as a sorcerer or the devil and arranges the couple’s marriage. One or two rivals (two lords, the secretary and later steward, field marshal Konrad) make the bridegroom jealous and he locks his bride in the dungeon. Kasper-Hanswurst, in love with the maid Charlotte-Lottchen, has been promoted from servant to gardener and is to take over as jailer. However, he frees the bride and locks up her detractors instead. The bridegroom changes his mind and in the end two marriages are held.

The play’s origins are not known, nor which version is oldest and why the three plays have evolved so differently. The version with Queen Figilanda by Geisselbrecht is presumably the oldest, even if it is quite depraved and the roles of the rival and the confidant coincide. He calls the play The lord steward in love, and the deceived maid. A farce in three acts, but on his theatre bills, he wrote The female devil. A comedy with a few very funny arias, in three acts, or Who has been deceived? Or: One gets one over the other. A comedy in three acts.

In Saxony, the play has almost always been played under the title Countess Kunigunde von Waldeck, and the authorship was attributed to a certain Haubold. He is also cited in connection with other, very old plays, and possibly adapted it in the first half of the 19th century, selling the play to different stages. Other titles were Kasper as funny marriage candidate, Kasper as tower guard, Two lovers and a bride, The dismissed lover, Despised love or False suspicion. [47]

The version of Schütz and Eberle, which was probably also part of the repertoire of Lorgie (1765-1853), a director in Dresden, completely changes its setting by relocating the action to 18th-century England and transferring it from a princely house to a property of rich nobles. The title was Lady Milford, or: The trap was laid for you, or The player, or: The trap. The name Milford seems to be taken from Schiller’s Intrigue and Love, a work with which the play has no other connections. Just one manuscript has survived (Don Fernando or The unhappy player) from the collection of Albert Apel, who took over Lorgie’s theatre – without it, this connection would not have been made.[48]



It is impossible to conduct research on repertoires using just lists of titles. No conclusions can be drawn without knowing the repertoire contents. Puppet play manuscripts and playbills need to be studied and compared with the texts that have survived.

Comprehensive catalogues from numerous puppet theatres are required in order to establish the puppet repertoire, which may also offer insight into the puppet style and social functions in its day.

Performing from memory over the decades and two centuries led to a concentration of the repertoire into a relatively compact 15-30 plays per theatre. The core of the German puppet repertoire in around 1800 probably comprised fewer than 50 plays.

At first glance, it would appear that performing from scripts replaced the old repertoire. However, the truth is that this is how it survived and came to be enriched by new plays. Theatres that mostly played from memory lost many more old plays, as shown by the example of the Schwiegerling family. Although performing from scripts became the norm in around 1850, many 17th and 18th-century plays can no longer be reconstructed. It is thanks in particular to the first collector of German puppet plays, Carl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach (1786-1853), that at least one copy of plays such as Hunrich and Heinrich, Haman and Esther or The Beheading of Saint Dorothea have survived.

A systematic evaluation of existing texts, particularly those in the Theatre Science Collection at the University of Cologne, offers hope that at least some of the plays that are thought to be lost might be rediscovered.

In contrast to Netzle’s opinion,[49] it must be assumed that Saxon puppeteers held on to much more material than those from southern Germany. The reason for this may be the earlier transcription of texts and the greater number of puppeteers who were in close contact with one another, which increased the chances of at least one manuscript of a play surviving.

In cooperation with the Department of German Language and Literature at the University of Graz, a selection of Saxon manuscripts from the Puppet Theatre Collection in Dresden[50] will be published in the next few years, which could give fresh impetus to research.[51]



APPENDIX: The shared repertoire of Geisselbrecht, Schütz and Eberle



Alzeste oder der höllenstürmende Herkules [Alcestis or Hercules storming Hades] is about the death of Alcestis who sacrificed herself to save her husband Admetus, King of Thessaly. Hercules rescues her from hell (Hades), but her husband has already fallen in love with the shepherdess Dorinda. Hanswurst-Kasper knocks the oracle off her plinth and bullies the priests. In the end he betrays Alcestis because he is jealous that Admetus has already tried to cheat on her with Dorinda, with whom he himself is in love. The play disappeared from German puppet theatres in the second half of the 19th century. Only Geisselbrecht’s version has survived, presumably written down in around 1811/12 in Berlin by an unknown author (Gerlach?) and put into doggerel verse without the plot being changed. This version was published by Georg Ellinger in 1889 based on the manuscript in the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar. Ellinger speculates that it is based on “Antigona delusa d’Alceste”, an Italian opera by Aurelio Aureli.

(Ellinger 1886; Oettermann 1994, p. 168-170; Rebehn 1989, p. 89)


Der Burggeist / Kaiser Karl V [The Castle Ghost or Emperor Charles V]

Franz Horn believes that Schütz’s version (Die Stiefmutter oder Der Burggeist [The Stepmother or The Castle Ghost], Eberle’s version: Der Burggeist, oder: Trauer mit dem Umschweif [The Castle Ghost, or: Sorrow with Digression]) only dates back to the mid-18th century. However its links with Kaiser Karl V [Emperor Charles V] make it much older. The play disappeared from programmes in the second half of the 19th century, but has been retained in the largely identical versions of Geisselbrecht and Lorgie. Schütz omitted the whole of the first act from his performances, while Eberle kept it in. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (Eberle: Duke Charles of Brabant) visits his vassal King Siegeslaus of Sicily (Geisselbrecht: Siegeslaus/Stanislaus of Bohemia, Eberle: Count von Poltershausen) to free the latter’s daughter Edwige (Geisselbrecht: Etwiege or also Princess Artimia; Eberle: Kunigunde). However, Siegeslaus intends to kill the emperor to regain his duchy of Tuscany. As Hanswurst-Kasper has failed to carry out the killing, Siegeslaus plans to do it himself but Edwige warns the emperor, who exposes Siegeslaus. He demands Edwige’s hand and then declares war on Siegeslaus and departs (in Geisselbrecht’s version, after the marriage the two go to war against common enemies, which makes more sense). Siegeslaus prepares for battle. He leaves his wife Kleokardia (Eberle: Hedwig) in the care of her stepson Prince Volomandus (Eberle: stepson Hermann), who is secretly in love with her. The ghost of his ancestor Roderiko (in Geisselbrecht’s version, a fury of hell) appears to Volomandus and prophesies that Siegeslaus will fall in battle and he will bring him his head. Volomandus pesters Kleokardia to marry him but she declines and is to be taken to the dungeon. King Siegeslaus appears there after reconciling with the emperor – he merely wanted to test Volomandus. The ghost was a knight in disguise with a head made of wax (with Geisselbrecht, it was a genuine temptation from hell). Kasper intends to shoot Volomandus in the castle hall, but the queen unloads the musket so that Volomandus survives and is pardoned (in Geisselbrecht’s version he goes into exile).

(Horn 1820, p. 53-54)


Don Juan

Performances of this play in Germany did not follow the versions of Molière or Tirso de Molina, but usually the version written by the actor Louis Dorimond (1628-1693) (Le Festin de Pierre ou le Fils Criminel, 1658), and more rarely according to the related adaptation by de Villiers. The focus is not on love affairs or challenging the divine order, but on the brutal murders that have befallen not only the commander and his own father, but a hermit as well (only because of his habit) and one of his persecutors, whom he calls on to pray first and then lay down his arms. Geisselbrecht performed the play based on a newer adaptation by Benedict Cremeri published in 1787.

(Cremeri 1787, Horn 1820, p. 52-53, Netzle 2005, p. 200-203, 211-238, Rebehn 1997, p. 74-99, Schröder 1912, p. 131-173)


Fanny und Durmann

The love story of the English Princess Fanny and the Scottish Prince Durmann presumably comes from the time of the English Comedians in around 1600. It has not yet been possible to establish a clear source for this story related to Romeo and Juliet. Some basic ideas tally with Eine schöne lustige triumphirende Comoedia von eines Königes Sohn aus Engellandt und des Königes Tochter aus Schottlandt [A beautiful, merry, triumphant Comedy of a King’s son from England and the King’s daughter from Scotland] (1620).

The King of England is invited by his friend, the Spanish king, to his wedding. As he is at war with Scotland, he sends his daughter Fanny. Admiral Arabasta is tasked with preparing a ship to sail. Fanny asks to be accompanied by the court jester Kasper. On her return journey from Spain, the ship sinks in a storm, leaving Fanny and Kasper the only survivors. Saram the hermit helps the pair escape from the wilderness, but before doing so Kasper demands that Fanny marry him. She pretends she will. Back at the English court, the King initially wants to have Kasper hanged and only then married to his daughter, whereupon Kasper gives up on the idea of marriage. The Scottish Prince Durmann (Tormann), who fell in love with Fanny in Spain, makes his way to the English court but is discovered by the king. The king condemns him to death and when Fanny defends him, she meets the same fate. The court doctor Violino is supposed to give them poison. When Kasper finds the lifeless bodies, he also wants to die, banging his head against a wall. When he sees the bodies, the king is distraught at what he has done. The court doctor then confesses to him that he swapped the poison for a strong sleeping draught. The pair of lovers wake up and celebrate their marriage, and the two kingdoms are united.



This famous play emerged in England in the late 16th century, with Christopher Marlowe writing the first version of it. In Germany a parallel action featuring Hanswurst emerged in the 18th century, with him ultimately escaping hell. It is listed in the programmes of all traditional puppet theatres in Germany until the Second World War.

(Horn 1820, p. 54-80; Simrock 1846)



The play was published for the first time in 1664 in the Netherlands by the writer Anton Frans Wouthers in Amsterdam (1664 De heylige Genoveva, ofte herkende onnooselheyt / from 1666 De stantvastige Genoveva, ofte herstelde onnooselheyt). Some 20 new editions of it had been published in Dutch by the end of the 18th century. There is no evidence of a German translation/adaptation in print before 1796. It is assumed that a manuscript of the play circulated between theatres of actors and puppets based on just one or a few translations. Genovefa’s son Benoni is called Schmerzenreich [Full of sorrow] in all the German puppet plays.

Count palatine Siegfried has to go to war and leaves his wife, countess Genovefa, in the care of the steward Golo. The steward has been in love with Genovefa for a long time and he attempts, but fails, to seduce her. In his misery Golo comes up with a scheme. He sends Siegfried, who is still in Strasbourg, falsified proof that Genovefa and her servant Trogan (Dragon) are having a love affair. Trogan had supported Genovefa in her charitable work. Siegfried condemns the pair to death from afar. Trogan is poisoned and Genovefa gives birth to her son Schmerzenreich in the dungeon. Kasper and his sidekick are supposed to kill Genovefa and her child in the forest, but they do not have the heart to do it and instead kill a dog so as to be able to produce a heart and a tongue for Golo. Genovefa survives in the forest thanks to a female deer that provides milk for her and her child. Seven years later, when Siegfried has safely returned, there is a hunt in the forest. Siegfried encounters Genovefa who reveals her identity to him. Golo prepares his own death warrant and is executed. Ultimately there are two versions: a happy ending or the death of Genovefa who is laid out on a catafalque, with Siegfried building a chapel or monastery in the forest.

The play was one of the great successes in the history of German theatre and was performed on puppet stages in Saxony and Bavaria until the Second World War.

(Rebehn 1989, p. 85-86; Rebehn 1997, p. 46-73)


Haman und Esther [Haman and Esther]

The Persian King Ahasverus casts out his wife for disobeying him and takes Esther, the ward of the poor Jew Mordechai, as his wife. Since the chamberlains Bigthan and Theres feel cheated of their reward for finding a bride, they plan to poison Ahasverus. Mordechai discovers the plot and is honoured for it. Haman, the first vizier whose vanity is wounded by Mordechai’s honour, wants to have all Jews in the Persian kingdom murdered and their assets appropriated. After Esther’s intercession and her revelation that she too is Jewish, the Jews are spared. For this, however, Haman and his entire family are killed. He is hanged at the gallows that he had had erected for Mordechai. The devil takes his body and the gallows. Hanswurst becomes the court jester, entertaining the king’s table with jokes. This Bible story had already been performed by the English Comedians in around 1600. The play disappeared from puppet theatre programmes in the mid-19th century and has only survived in Geisselbrecht’s version and a probably relatively authentic version by Carl Engel.

(Engel 1877, Rebehn 1989, p. 92)


Hunrich und Heinrich [Hunrich and Heinrich]




King Nebuchadnezzar sends his general Holofernes with an army to take the city of Bethulia. Prince Ozias (actually Achior?), who has gone over to the Jews’ side, is captured and executed. The Jews are distraught, but the widow Judith wants to save them and goes to the enemy camp with her maidservant Abra. She promises Holofernes the key to the city, whereupon he orders a victory celebration. When all the men are drunk, Judith beheads Holofernes and the Assyrians escape. The role of Kasper is very ambivalent. Kasper is on the side of evil and is just trying to survive, but in doing so shows himself to be courageous and afraid simultaneously. He kills a Jew for the bounty on his head and beats back the Jews storming the camp at the end, but falls in love with the beautiful Jewesses. In Geisselbrecht’s version there is comic relief in the scenes with the camp follower Gretel. No clear source for the puppet play has been identified. It could be a play by the English Comedians, an opera or even a piece from the “Haupt- und Staatsaktion” repertoire of travelling theatres. However the puppet play certainly emerged in the 17th century and disappeared from theatres in the latter half of the 19th century.

(Kollmann 1891, p. 18-20, 25-77)


Kunigunde (Figilande/Lady Milford)



Mariane, der weibliche Straßenräuber [Mariane, the Female Bandit]



Die Mordnacht von Äthiopien oder der hungrige Gast im leeren Wirtshause [The Night of Murder in Ethiopia or The Hungry Guest in the Empty Inn]

King Lisomagus has locked up the beautiful Amolisa for refusing to marry him. She believes that the jailer Alkontus is her father. Prince Cleomenus breaks into the jail and falls in love with Amolisa. As he is the rightful son of the former King Alkontus, he believes that she is his sister. However she is really Lisomagus’s daughter and was stolen long ago by his adversary Alkontus and raised as his daughter. The pair escape from the dungeon. Kasper, who thinks the dungeon is an inn, joins them. The ship they intend to flee in to Gaul is captured by pirates and most of the travellers are killed. Only Amolisa, Cleomenus and Kasper survive. They are taken to the (Muslim) emperor of Ethiopia. Kasper is questioned and is to be executed as a Christian, but is eventually pardoned and appointed court jester. The emperor wants Amolisa for himself but she stabs him in self-defence. The emperor’s ghost makes Cleomenus jealous of his sweetheart and he stabs her and, after she reveals her loyalty to him as she dies, kills himself. Only Kasper, who is threatened by the ghost, survives. The play was still to be found in just a few theatres in around 1900. The source of the puppet play may be in the German “Haupt- und Staatsaktion” travelling theatre repertoire.


Die schöne Müllerstochter [The Miller’s Beautiful Daughter]

The play was originally written by Beaumont and Fletcher in 1623 under the title “The Maid in the Mill” (according to recent research by Fletcher and Rowley). It underwent numerous changes as a puppet play. A prince (son of a count) has fallen in love with Pauline, the daughter of the court miller. His parents want a marriage that befits his rank and therefore forbid their relationship. The prince plans to flee with his beloved, but the pair are captured and imprisoned. They manage to escape from prison and eventually the miller declares that Pauline is only his ward and she is actually of noble blood (a princess from Poland or a count’s daughter), so there is nothing to stand in the way of a marriage befitting their rank. Kasper takes over the court mill and marries the maidservant. There are comic scenes, particularly in the forest when Kasper hides Pauline in a sack, passing her off as a collection of books, when he eavesdrops on the corrupt hunter and forces him to do his bidding, and especially in his attempt to arrange the guard in the dungeon for the prince and Pauline, but failing thanks to the two extremely stupid guards.

(Netzle 2005, p. 169-177; Netzle 1944, p. 151-182)



This story comes from Boccaccio’s Decameron and thus may already have been dramatised before 1600 as it can be found among the plays of the Nuremberg lawyer Ayrer that were influenced by the English Comedians but never performed. There is evidence of its first performance on the puppet stage in Prague in 1717. The play was still included in the programme of Saxon puppet theatres after the Second World War, but mostly as a play for children (Kasper in Turkey). There are two versions of Torello. The presumably older version begins in Turkey. The sultan intends to execute Christian prisoners of war who include Torello and his servant Kasper. However each is unaware that the other has survived. Kasper is spared death after being interrogated about his faith because he is a fool. After intense interrogation, Torello is identified as the Christian who long ago saved the sultan’s life. As Torello’s wife Rosadea (in Geisselbrecht’s version, Adjuletta) is to marry again, Torello’s speedy return to Pavia is arranged by magic. In a parallel action, Jockerle (in Geisselbrecht’s version, Hannikerl) the idiot son of Kasper and Annebackedutel (in Geisselbrecht’s version Trutscherl, or also Gretel) turns up at the palace, wanting to see where his father lives. In reality, his mother wanted to get rid of him so that she could remarry. Kasper and Jockerle batter Annebackedutel’s bridegroom while a celebration is held to mark the reunion of Torello and his wife. Count Zithonio/Zidonis, who wanted to force a marriage with Rosadea, is pardoned. In some versions that start in Pavia before the war, Zithonio is a similar figure to that of Count Golo in Genovefa. In a second version usually performed under the title Fürst Alexander [Prince Alexander], the knight Albrecht is clearly based on Golo. In the end, Albrecht dies by his own hand, is condemned to death or is sent into exile. However, the princess is unable to bear the scandal of having almost committed bigamy and wants to take revenge on the sultan. She tasks Kasper with obtaining poison from the court apothecary. The vizier learns of the plan and, believing the prince is in on it, has the cup of poison swapped. Instead of the sultan, Prince Alexander, who knows nothing of the murder plot, picks up the cup with poison, drinks it and dies. As punishment, the sultan takes the princess with him to Turkey.

(Ayrer 1865; Netzle 2005, p. 181-186; Scherl 1999, p. 57-58, 203)


Trajanus und Domitianus oder der lächerliche Sternenseher [Trajan and Domitian or the Hilarious Stargazer]

As things currently stand, this play must be considered lost. Only fragments remain of Geisselbrecht’s version, which according to the playbills that have survived deviates most from the other versions since it still features furies from hell. In 1743 Der großmüthige, alle Vergnügung der Liebe verachtende römisch Kayser TRAJANUS, oder: Die interessirte Wahrsagerin, und Hanß Wurst der lustige Sternseher [The noble Roman Emperor Trajan Contemptuous of all Pleasures of Love, or The Inquisitive Soothsayer and Hanswurst the Hilarious Stargazer] was performed by an acting troupe in Frankfurt am Main. The play could have emerged from the Tragoedia genandt Der Großmüthige Rechts Gelehrte Amilius Paulus Papinianus oder Der Kluge Phantast und wahrhaffte Calender-Macher [Tragedy called The Noble Law Scholar Amilius Paulus Papinianus or The Canny Dreamer and Truthful Calendar Maker] by Andreas Gryphius (1659).

(Mentzel, p. 466, Fleming 1931, p. 138-201)


Der verwirrte Hof [The Confused Court]

The play is essentially based on the Spanish play El palacio confuso by Lope de Vega. It was first translated into German in 1652 by Georg Greflinger and published. The main difference from the original is that the doppelgänger is not the ruler’s brother, but the spellbound Hanswurst-Kasper. Although there is evidence that it was still around in northern Germany at the end of the 19th century, only Geisselbrecht’s version and much coarser southern German versions appear to have survived. While most puppeteers move the action to the fictional court of Belvedere, in Geisselbrecht’s version it takes place in the kingdom of Eldorado. When the prince of Belvedere goes on a long journey, he tasks his court jester Kasper with remaining vigilant. However he is banished by the corrupt counsellors or condemned to death and is able to escape. Outside the country, a magician casts a spell on Kasper. He is held in Belvedere for the prince. Kasper, in the guise of the prince, goes on to punish the corrupt counsellors and ministers. When the real prince returns from his travels early, there is great confusion until everything is finally resolved.

(Netzle 2005, p. 162-168)



This side piece to Dr. Faust, which concerns the story of his former clerk Wagner, may have emerged in the first half of the 18th century. In the end Wagner is taken to hell by the devil Auerhahn. Hanswurst-Kasper accepts Wagner’s inheritance. There is no evidence of this being performed after 1850. A fragment of it was published in 1876 by the puppet theatre collector Carl Engel, before it was completed and published in 1890. As Engel adapted large parts of the text, it is unclear how authentic this text is. It bears no similarities with the playbills that have survived.

(Engel 1876; Rebehn 2018, p. 131-137)





Asper, Helmut G.: Hanswurst.  Studien zum Lustigmacher auf der Berufsschauspielerbühne in Deutschland im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Emsdetten: Lechte, 1980.

Asper, Helmut G.: Spieltexte der Wanderbühne. Ein Verzeichnis der Dramenmanuskripte des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts in Wiener Bibliotheken. Wien: Verband der wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaften Österreichs, 1975. (Quellen zur Theatergeschichte; 1)

Ayrer, Jacob: Comedie vom Soldan von Babilonia vnnd dem Ritter Torello von Pavia, wie es jme auff seiner Reisz zum Heiligen Land ergangen. In: Ayrers Dramen. Edited by Adalbert Keller. Vol. 3 (Bibliothek des Litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart; 78), Stuttgart 1865, p. 1779-1854.

Bartoš, Jaroslav: Loutkářská kronika. Kapitoly z dějin loutkářství v českých zemích. Prague: Orbis, 1963.

Bernstengel, Olaf; Rebehn, Lars: Volkstheater an Fäden. Vom Massenmedium zum musealen Objekt – sächsisches Marionettentheater im 20. Jahrhundert. Halle/S.: Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 2007. (Reihe Weiß-Grün. Sächsische Geschichte und Volkskultur; 36)

Bielschowsky, Albert: Das Schwiegerlingsche Puppenspiel vom „Doktor Faust“ zum ersten Male herausgegeben. In: Noeggerath, Eduard Jacob (ed.): Bericht über die Königliche Gewerbeschule zu Brieg a/O für das Schuljahr 1881/82. Brieg: Kirchner, 1881, p. 1-24.

Cremeri, Benedict Dominic Anton: Don Juan oder der steinerne Gast. Ein Kassastück in 5 Akten. In: Idem.: Sämmtliche Lustspiele. Frankfurt, Leipzig: 1787.

Degering, Hermann: Kurzes Verzeichnis der germanischen Handschriften der preußischen Staatsbibliothek. Volume 2: Die Handschriften im Quartformat. Leipzig: Hiersemann 1926.

Degering, Hermann: Kurzes Verzeichnis der germanischen Handschriften der preussischen Staatsbibliothek. Volume 3. Die Handschriften in Oktavformat und Register zu Band I-III. Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1932.

Dombrowsky, Kurt: Von einem, der auszog, Marionettentheater zu spielen oder Der schöne, aber mühevolle Versuch, eine alte Tradition am Leben zu erhalten. Herausgegeben von Andreas Martin und Lars Rebehn. Dresden: Thelem, 2007. (Bausteine aus dem Institut für Sächsische Geschichte und Volkskunde; 9)

Ellinger, Georg: Ein deutsches Puppenspiel: Alceste. In: Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, 18 (1886) p. 257-301.

Engel, Carl (ed.): Deutsche Puppenkomödien Vol. V: Christoph Wagner. Antrascheck und Juratscheck. Oldenburg: Schulze, 1876.

Engel, Carl (ed.): Deutsche Puppenkomödien Vol. VI: Haman und Esther. Das Reich der Todten. Oldenburg: Schulze, 1877.

Fehr, Max: Die wandernden Theatertruppen in der Schweiz 1600-1800. Einsiedeln: Waldstatt Verlag, 1949. (Jahrbuch der schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Theaterkultur; 18 (1948)/ Schweizer Theateralmanach; 6)

Flemming, Willi: Das Schauspiel der Wanderbühne. Leipzig: Reclam, 1931. (Deutsche Literatur, Reihe Barock, Barockdrama; 3)

Hänsel, Johann-Richard: Die Geschichte des Theaterzettels und seine Wirkung in der Öffentlichkeit. Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin 1962.

Horn, Franz: Freundliche Schriften für freundliche Leser. Zweiter Theil. Nürnberg: Schrag, 1820.

Kollmann, Artur: Deutsche Puppenspiele. Gesammelt und mit erläuternden Abhandlungen und Anmerkungen herausgegeben. Book 1. Leipzig: Grunow, 1891.

Kollmann, Artur: Unter fahrenden Leuten. In: Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 47-60.

Mentzel, Elisabeth: Geschichte der Schauspielkunst in Frankfurt am Main von ihren ersten Anfängen bis zur Eröffnung des städtischen Komödienhauses. Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Kultur- und Theatergeschichte. Mit 2 Abbildungen. Frankfurt am Main: Völcker, 1882.

Moser, Johannes; Rebehn, Lars; Scholz, Sybille (ed.): „Mit großer Freude greif ich zur Feder“ Autobiographische und biographische Zeugnisse sächsischer Marionettenspieler. Zusammengestellt nach Unterlagen der Puppentheatersammlung der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Dresden: Thelem, 2006. (Bausteine aus dem Institut für Sächsische Geschichte und Volkskunde; 5)

Netzle, Hans: Das Süddeutsche Wander-Marionettentheater. München: Neuer Filser-Verlag, 1938. (Beiträge zur Volkstumsforschung; 2)

Netzle, Hans: Das Süddeutsche Wander-Marionettentheater und seine Puppenschauspiel. Frankfurt/Main: Puppen & Masken, 2005.

Neuhuber, Christian: Ein Gottesgeschenk für die Bühne. Dramatisierungen der Dorothea-Legende im deutschen Sprachraum. In: Havlíčková, Margita; Neuhuber, Christian (ed.): Johann Georg Gettner und das barocke Theater zwischen Nikolsburg und Krumau, Brno: Masarykova Univerzita, 2014, p. 131-181.

Oettermann, Stephan: Herkules von der Peripherie her: Jahrmarkt, Circus, Puppenspiel. In: Kray, Ralph; Oettermann, Stephan (ed.): Herakles/Herkules I. Metamorphosen des Heros in ihrer medialen Vielfalt. Basel, Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld, 1994, p. 161-178.

Purschke, Hans Richard: Puppenspiel und verwandte Künste in der Reichsstadt Nürnberg. In: Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg, Vol. 68, Nürnberg 1981, p. 221-258.

Purschke, Hans Richard: Die Entwicklung des Puppenspiels in den klassischen Ursprungsländern Europas. Ein historischer Überblick. Frankfurt/Main: Purschke, 1984.

Rebehn, Lars: Mechanikus Joachim Wilhelm Storm – Ein Hamburger Marionettenspieler. In: Hamburgische Geschichts- und Heimatblätter, Volume 12, no.  4-5, October 1989, p. 81-98. (http://lithes.uni-graz.at/downloads/rebehn_mechanikus_storm.pdf)

Rebehn, Lars: Die Puppenspielerfamilie Lorgie. Gerolzhofen. Spiegel, 1997. (Studien und Quellen zur Vergnügungskultur; 3)

Rebehn, Lars: Autobiographische Quellen zum Marionettenspiel und die Geschichte des Marionettentheaters in Sachsen. In: Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 12-43.

Rebehn, Lars: Johann Georg Geisselbrecht Ein verkanntes Puppenspiel-Genie der Goethe-Zeit. In: Das andere Theater, 23rd issue (2013), no. 83, p. 28-33. (http://lithes.uni-graz.at/downloads/Rebehn_Geisselbrecht.pdf)

Rebehn: Deutschsprachiges Puppenspiel im Ausland. In: Ulrich, Paul S.; Dahlberg, Gunilla; Fassel, Horst. (ed.): Im Spiegel der Theatergeschichte. Deutschsprachiges Theater im Wechsel von Raum und Zeit. In the Mirror of Theatre History. German Theatre Intercultural Relationships from the Past to the Present. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2015, p. 60-80. (Thalia Germanica; 15)

Rebehn, Lars: Die Leipziger Puppentheatersammlungen von Arthur Kollmann und Otto Link und ihre Beziehungen zum ‘Puppenspiel vom Dr. Faust’. In: Rohde, Carsten (ed.): Faust-Sammlungen. Genealogien – Medien – Musealität. Frankfurt/Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2018. (Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie, Sonderband 122)

Rebehn, Lars: Vorzensur, Nachzensur, Selbstzensur. Das Puppentheater, der Staat und die Moral. In: LiTheS. 13th issue (2020), no. 16 (Das Politische, das Korrekte und die Zensur, volume II), p. 96-138. (http://lithes.uni-graz.at/lithes/beitraege20_16/rebehn_zensur_puppentheater.pdf)

Rudin, Bärbel; Flechsig, Horst; Rebehn, Lars: Lebenselixier. Theater, Budenzauber, Freilichtspektakel im Alten Reich. Volume 1: Das Rechnungswesen über öffentliche Vergnügungen in Hamburg und Leipzig (mit einem Anhang zu Braunschweig). Quellen und Kommentare. Reichenbach/V.:  Neuberin-Museum, 2004. (Schriften des Neuberin-Museums; 13)

Scherl, Adolf: Berufstheater in Prag 1680-1739. Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1999. (Theatergeschichte Österreichs, Vol. X: Donaumonarchie, Book 5)

Schröder, Theodor: Die dramatischen Bearbeitungen der Don Juan-Sage in Spanien, Italien und Frankreich bis auf Molière einschließlich. Halle/Saale: Niemeyer, 1912. (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie; 36)

Schütze, Johann Friedrich: Hamburgische Theatergeschichte, Hamburg: Treder, 1794.

Simrock, Karl: Doctor Johannes Faust. Puppenspiel in vier Aufzügen. Hergestellt von ~. Frankfurt/Main: H. L. Brönner, 1846.

Taube, Gerd: Kinematographie und Theater. Spuren des sozialen Wandels im Wandermarionettentheater des 20. Jahrhunderts. In: Wegner, Manfred (ed.): Die Spiele der Puppe. Köln: Prometh-Verlag, 1989, p. 118-134.

Tieck, Ludwig: Eine Sommerreise. Novelle. In: Urania. Taschenbuch auf das Jahr 1834. Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1834, p. 73-237.

Vierlinger, Emil: München, Stadt der Puppenspiele. München: Neuer Filser-Verlag, 1943.


All accesses to the internet are current as at 6 October 2020.

© Lars Rebehn, Bürgerstraße 51, 01127 Dresden

Translated from the German by C


[1] Some performances were given in Latin. The evangelical plays often had a huge cast – with as many school pupils represented on stage as possible – while travelling theatres were primarily unable to meet the huge costs involved in performing the Jesuit plays. To make matters worse, the plays were often dramaturgically weak.

[2] The extensive collection of playbills in Hamburg’s city library, to which reference was consistently made since they were first used by Schütze (Schütze 1794), were destroyed during heavy air raids in the summer of 1943 without having undergone any systematic analysis. Rebehn, Lars: Einleitung, p. 10-21, particularly p. 16-21, Nachkriegsarchäologie. Die Zettelsammlung Friedrich Ludwig Schröders, p. 22-25, in: Rudin/Flechsig/Rebehn 2004. On playbills in general, Bernstengel/Rebehn 2007, p. 16, 32-33. Hänsel 1962.

[3] Although often coming from Protestant North Germany, most of these dramatic texts have been preserved in libraries in Vienna (see Asper 1975). Large numbers of handwritten puppet scripts can be found in the Puppet Theatre Collection in Dresden, the Theatre Research Collection at the University of Cologne, the Munich City Museum (Puppet theatre/Fairground attraction department) and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library).

[4]Der Marionettenmann erzählte mir, daß er seine Stüke meist aus andern abgeschrieben, mehrere aber nach Lesebüchern selbst bearbeitet habe.” [“The puppet man told me that he mostly copied his plays from other people’s, but also adapted several himself from reading books.”] (Justinus Kerner to Ludwig Uhland, Hamburg 23 August 1809, quoted in Rebehn 1989, p. 89). Geisselbrecht also wrote some texts himself, such as Schinderhannes.

[5] Der Bayerische Hiesel. Schauspiel in 4 Akten. In: Sammlung von Theaterstücken zur Aufführung auf Figurentheater, Book 1. Berlin: Trowitzsch & Sohn. No date, p. 3-29. It was mainly the robbers’ names that varied between the north German and south German versions: in the north, the youngest robber was usually called Anderle, and in the south Studerl.

[6] Kaiser, Friedrich: Der bairische Hiesel. Volksstück mit Gesang und Tableaux in 3 Abtheilungen und 7 Bildern nach einer Erzählung von Hermann Schmid frei bearbeitet. Musik vom Kapellmeister Franz Roth. Wien: Wallishausser; 1868 (Wiener Theater-Repertoir; 196). Occasionally Saxon puppeteers performing this work changed the names of the poachers to ones that were familiar to them from their own heritage.


[7] The area behind the stage from where the puppets were moved and voiced was known as the bridge, rack or board. In the 18th century, German puppeteers still had puppets with metal guiding rods that either ended in a loop on the head or neck or went through the whole torso. The introduction of strings in 1790 meant that the stages could be enlarged. The height of the puppets from the crossbar to the feet was now usually more than two metres. The puppeteers stood on an elevated plank reached by a ladder. See also Bernstengel/Rebehn 2007, p. 17.

[8] Dombrowsky 2007, p. 25.

[9] Out of 3,000 plays in the Puppet Theatre Collection in Dresden, only four such examples have survived: MS-0970, MS- 1248, D4-630 and D4-696.

[10] On general performance practice and the organisation of puppet stages, see Rebehn 2006, p. 33-43. Bernstengel/Rebehn 2007, p. 14-32. Rebehn, Lars: Marionettentheater in Sachsen. In: Dombrowsky 2007, p. 189-200, particularly p. 191-193.

[11] Rebehn 2020, passim.

[12] Taube 1989, p. 119-120.

[13] Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 95.

[14] Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 104.

[15] Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 101. Instead of “modified”, the original German says “translated”. However, here it does not mean an actual translation from a foreign language, but rather modifications for his puppet theatre.

[16] Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 104.

[17] Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 104.

[18] Most of his scripts are kept in the Berlin State Library (Degering 1926, p. 228, 256-290, and Degering 1932, p. 386; others are in Dresden, Munich and Cologne. Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 110.

[19] In around 1800, puppeteers such as Schütz and Geisselbrecht called themselves a “Mechanikus” (mechanic) to emphasise the technical perfection of their characters.

[20] Rudin/Flechsig/Rebehn 2004, p. 114-115, 368, 373. Fehr 1949, p. 97, 153-154. Purschke 1984, p. 101-105, 127.

[21] Holtei, Carl von: Die Wiener in Berlin. Liederposse in einem Akte. In: Jahrbuch deutscher Bühnenspiele. Published by  Carl von Holtei. 4th issue for 1825. Berlin: Vereinsbuchhandlung, 1825, p. 221-270. The play was performed numerous times from 1824 onwards, particularly in Berlin.

[22] Puppet Theatre Collection Dresden, playbill collection (https://skd-online-collection.skd.museum/Home/Index?page=1&pId=12779828). Academy of Arts, Berlin, playbill collection Königsberg/East Prussia (https://archiv.adk.de/BildsucheFrames?easydb=qq3vbsjnkidbfmjp66fhbh6oq2&ls=2&ts=1601916022).

Bautzen Museum. Brno University Library (Bartoš 1963, p. 112-113 Übersetzung Zschiedrich S. 58-59). Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen (Spenersche Zeitung), years 1803-1827.  Königliche privilegirte Berlinische Zeitung von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen (Vossische Zeitung), years 1803-1827.

[23] Tieck 1834, p. 204.

[24] Vulpius to a bookseller in Berlin, Weimar 6 July 1824 (Letter in the Rebehn Collection, Dresden, unpublished).

[25] Only one playbill of “The Beautiful Magelone” by the puppet player Johann Jacob Ludwig from October 1822 has survived (“Die schöne Machalone. Ritterspiel in fünf Aufzügen”, Staatsarchiv Marburg, 24 g/467 Fulda, no. 7).

[26] A play about the creation of the earth and the first humans, Adam and Eve, which was based on an opera.

[27] Simrock 1846, p. VII.

[28] Fehr 1949, p. 97, 99. Purschke 1984, p. 106-107.

[29] Puppet Theatre Collection Dresden, Eberle playbill. Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Stumme Faust Collection (copies in the archives of the Puppet Theatre Collection Dresden, Eberle file)

[30] Hafner, Philipp: Der von dreyen Schwiegersöhnen geplagte Odoardo, oder Hannswurst und Crispin, die lächerlichen Schwestern von Prag, ein Lustspiel von zweyen Abhandlungen. n.p., no date [Wien: Kurzböck(?), 1762?] or Perinet, Joachim: Die Schwestern von Prag. Als Singspiel in zwey Aufzügen, nach dem Lustspiele des Weyland Herrn Hafner, für dieses [Leopoldstädter] Theater neu bearbeitet. Die Musik ist vom Herrn Wenzel Müller. Wien: Mathias Andreas Schmidt, 1794. Kotzebue, August von: Der Eremit auf Formentera. Ein Schauspiel mit Gesang in zwey Aufzügen. In: Deutsche Schaubühne. 2nd issue (1790), Vol. 7, p. 1-76. Neumann, Johann C.: Kunz von Kauffungen, oder Der Sächsische Prinzenraub. Ein historisches Schauspiel in fünf Aufzügen. In: Deutsche Schaubühne; 2nd issue (1790), Vol. 3, p. 361-442. Mahlmann, Siegfried August: Herodes vor Bethlehem, oder der triumphirende Viertelsmeister. Ein Schau-Trauer- und Thränenspiel in drey Aufzügen. Als Pendant zu den vielbeweinten Hussiten vor Naumburg. n.p. no date [Leipzig 1803]. Ernst, Carl: Die Mühle bei Auerstädt, oder die unverhofte Erbschaft. Ein Schauspiel in vier Aufzügen nach einer wahren Geschichte aus den unseligen Tagen des Octobers 1806. Basel: Flick; 1810 (also published in Neueste deutsche Schauspiele, Vol. 3. Augsburg: Bolling, 1810). Kind, Friedrich: Arien und Gesänge der romantischen Oper Der Freischütz. In drei Abtheilungen. Musik von C. M. v. Weber. Berlin 1821. (https://www.projekt-gutenberg.org/kind/freistz/freistz.html)

[31] Goethe-Museum Düsseldorf, Nachlass Kräuter, KK 3837.

[32] Goethe-Museum Düsseldorf, Nachlass Kräuter, KK 3823.

[33] Neuhuber 2014, p. 164-165, 170-181. However, the author is unable to categorise the text biographically.

[34] Purschke 1984, p. 112-117. Rebehn 2015, p. 74-77.

[35] Bielschowsky 1882, p. 2.

[36] The register of persons and classifications of acts do not however reveal any correlation with the pieces by Schütz or Eberle. This contradicts (Fritz or Theodor?) Schwiegerling’s own statement that his father learned the Faust text from his father-in-law Kleinschneck, who in turn had learned it from Dreher (cf. Bielschowsky 1882, p. 2). Puppet Theatre Collection Dresden, Schwiegerling playbill. Hamburger Nachrichten 9 February-8 April 1854.

[37] Seyler, Friederike Sophie: Hüon und Amande, ein Romantisches Singspiel in Fünf Aufzügen nach Wielands Oberon. Flensburg, Schleswig, Leipzig: Kortensche Buchhandlung, 1789. Hensler, Karl Friedrich: Die Teufelsmühle am Wienerberg. Ein österreichisches Volksmärchen mit Gesang in vier Aufzügen, nach einer Sage der Vorzeit von Herrn Leopold Huber. Für die k. k. priv. Marinellische Schaubühne bearbeitet. Die Musik ist von Herrn Wenzel Müller, Kapellmeister. Wien: Mathias Andreas Schmidt, 1799. Kotzebue, August von: Die Prinzessin von Cacambo. Eine komische Oper in zwei Acten. In: Opern-Almanach für das Jahr 1815. Leipzig: Kummer, 1815, p. 1-59. Kotzebue, August von: Pervonte oder die Wünsche. Eine komische Oper in drei Acten. (Nach einem bekannten Mährchen von Wieland.) In: Opern-Almanach für das Jahr 1815. Leipzig: Kummer, 1815, p. 61-128. Kotzebue, August von: Wer weiß wozu das gut ist. Ein Schwank in Einem Akt. In: Almanach Dramatischer Spiele zur geselligen Unterhaltung auf dem Lande von A. von Kotzebue. 13th issue Leipzig: Hartmann, 1815, p. 287-336. Kind, Friedrich: Arien und Gesänge der romantischen Oper Der Freischütz. In drei Abtheilungen. Musik von C. M. v. Weber. Berlin 1821. Holtei, Carl von: Die Wiener in Berlin. Liederposse in einem Akte. In: Jahrbuch deutscher Bühnenspiele. Herausgegeben von Carl von Holtei. 4th issue for 1825. Berlin: Vereinsbuchhandlung, 1825, p. 221-270. Raupach, Ernst: Der Platzregen als Eheprocurator. Eine dramatisirte Anekdote in zwei Aufzügen. In: Lebrün, Carl August (ed.): Almanach Dramatischer Spiele zur geselligen Unterhaltung auf dem Lande [für das Jahr 1830], 28th issue. Hamburg: Hoffmann & Campe, 1830, p. 3-54.
The plays with the titles: “Cäsar, der furchtbare Räuber in den Appenninen, oder: Der Klosterbrand. In 3 Akten von C. F. Heinemann” and “Die Verläumdung, oder: Kasperle als Rekrut. Lustspiel in 3 Akten” could not be clearly identified.

[38] Tieck 1834, p. 205.

[39] Zeitung für die elegante Welt, no. 244. 13 December 1817, column 1967-1968: Korrespondenz und Notizen (Correspondence and notices).

[40] Purschke 1984, p. 96-100, 126-127. Rebehn 2013.

[41] Purschke 1981, p. 244-247.

[42] For more details on Geisselbrecht’s biography, see Rebehn 2013.

[43] Puppet Theatre Collection Dresden, MS-0998: “Mariane oder Der weibliche Straßenräuber. Schauspiel in 3 Akten”, the scribe Reinhold Vogel finished it 1885 in Crottendorf. Owner: Reinhold Vogel (?), widow Concordia Rau, Louis Wolf, Arthur Ganzauge (?).

[44] Purschke 1980, p. 106-107.

[45] Asper 1970, p. 87

[46] Vierlinger 1943, p. 65.

[47] Moser/Rebehn/Scholz 2006, p. 226-227.

[48] Puppet Theatre Collection Dresden, D4-174: „Don Fernando oder Der Unglücklige Spieler“, No reference to the writer, owner: Albert Apel (1847-1905).

[49]            Netzle 1938, p. 12-13. Netzle 2005, p. 130-131

[50]            On the establishment of the collection in Dresden, cf Rebehn 2018.

[51]            Individual texts in this project have already been published at http://lithes.uni-graz.at/texte.html

Last updated : 02/03/2022