The Weavers (play)
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (March 2011)|
The Weavers (German: Die Weber, Silesian German: De Waber) is a play written by the German playwright Gerhart Hauptmann in 1892. The play sympathetically portrays a group of Silesian weavers who staged an uprising during the 1840s due to their concerns about the Industrial Revolution.
The play was translated to Yiddish by Pinchas Goldhar in the 1920s, after which it became a favorite of the Yiddish stage. In 1927 it was adapted into a German silent film The Weavers directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Paul Wegener. A Broadway version of The Weavers was staged in 1915–1916.
Most of the characters are proletarians struggling for their rights. Unlike most plays of any period, as pointed out many times in literature criticism and introductions, the play has no true central character, providing ample opportunities for ensemble acting.
Barrett H. Clark's comments: "as one of Gerhart Hauptmann's experiments in dramatic form, The Weavers is highly significant. Instead of a hero, he has created a mob; this mob is therefore the protagonist—or chief character—and if individuals emerge from the rank and file they are not thrust into the foreground to stay long. It is the weavers as a class that are ever before us, and the unity of the play is in them and in them alone; they are only parts of a larger picture which will take shape as the story advances, and are not intended to be taken as important individuals."