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Viennese theater lifts ban; actors can take extra bows

The Austrian government has discarded a 200-year-old tradition and lifted a ban on actors taking curtain calls at Vienna's state-owned Burgtheater. The ban was imposed by Habsburg Emperor Josef II when the theater was inaugurated in 1776, because he believed only he and his imperial family should be applauded, not performers. Actors, he said, were state employees and therefore his underlings.

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