The political events of "annus mirabilis" 1989 marked a rare turning point in world history, but the significance of the year for German literary history is unique. As the 40-year-old German Democratic Republic ceased to exist, so too did the special circumstances which had fostered a literature separate from and in competition with that of the Federal Republic of Germany. A new period of literary history was delimited almost overnight: Germany Democratic Republic literature now was something to be examined as a whole, cultural movement. At the same time, the literary traditions of the German Democratic Republic have continued to influence the contemporary cultural scene, often in ways that are only gradually becoming clear.
The essays, memoirs, and plays collected in this special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review represent an early attempt to assess and reassess one of the German Democratic Republic's richest cultural domains: its theatre. Contributors include David W. Robinson, C