As every cosmopolitan city, there is a lot going on in Berlin anytime. If you are in town and feel like enjoying a play, these are the theaters you may want to consider:
Founded in 1883, this classical theater has an impressive line up of directors, including Max Reinhardt and Otto Brahm. Its company of 40 actors was deemed the best by the German critics in 2004. About 20 plays are opened every season at the Deutsches Theater. Goethe’s “Fausto” and Shakespeare’s “A Middsumer Night’s Dream” are among them.
Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz
A grassroots people’s movement in 1914 resulted on the establishment of the Volksbühne -People’s theater- at the Rosa Luxemburg Platz. Both elitist and populist, while eccentric and massive, it is a modern and controversial theater. Performances are often nonconformist, provocative and radical.
Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz
A famous theater in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf district, The Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz is recognized as one of the most innovative theaters in the world, thanks to its artistic directors Thomas Ostermeier and Jens Hillje. Its plays are usually avant-grade versions of classics.
First a cultural complex that included a movie theater, the Schaubühne was conceived by Erich Mendelsohn in 1926, turned into a museum in 1953, used for musical plays in 1969 and turned into a theater in 1981.
Theater am Kurfürstendamm
Located on the famous boulevard of the same name, the Theater am Kurfürstendamm first opened in 1921, directed by Ferdinand Bruckner. Bertolt Bretch and Kurt Weill’s “Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny” opened there in 1930. Closed in 1942, during the Nazi regime, it reopened in 1946 as a movie theater and then in 1949 as part of the Freie Volksbühne. It is currently a popular theater showing TV celebrities that participate in modern plays.
Theater des Westens
As its name indicates, the Theater des Westens -Western theater- is located in the former West Berlin. Located on Charlottenburg’s Kantstraße, it focuses mainly on operetta and musicals like “Evita”, “Les Miserables” and “The Phantom of the Opera”. First opened in 1896 with “Tausendundeine Nacht”, it was a provisional headquarter of the Städtischen Oper Berlin 1945-61.
A symbol of Berlin’s nightlife, Friedrichstadt-palast is considered the “Eastern Broadway”. Located on 107 Friedrichstrasse, it opened in 1873 as a music hall, varieté and circus. Closed in 1980, it was reopened in 1984 as a music-hall, as well as a venue for ice skating and cabaret shows. Its 24-meter stage is the widest in the world.
The Berliner Ensemble’s contemporary theater company was founded in 1949 by Bertolt Bretch and his wife Helene Weigel. Its headquarters were first the Deutsches Theater, and then, since November 1949, the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.
English Theater Berlin
Your German isn’t as you’d like? Formerly known as Friends of Italian Opera, the English Theater Berlin features all plays and music theater in English-language. It is the oldest in the city and works are mainly contemporary English-speaking playwrights.
Originally a meat factory and warehouse building, the Kulturfabrik Moabit (Culture Factory Moabit) is a cultural co-operative in the city of Berlin. Founded in 1991, it includes a cinema, off-stream theater and concert hall.
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