The Deutsches Theater in Berlin is a theatrical institution with a permanent and highly-acclaimed ensemble. Behind its classical façade, the Deutsches Theater building on Schumannstraße is home to three stages: the main stage, built in 1850, with its intimate auditorium that seats 600; the 'Kammerspiele', established by Max Reinhardt in 1906 for modern drama, which holds some 230 spectators; and the Box, a compact black box located in the Kammerspiele foyer, which opened in 2006. With seating for 80, it's the venue for theatre that is up-close and personal, featuring new scripts and topical themes. The Deutsches Theater repertoire comprises some 50 productions. Each season the DT celebrates some 30 premieres – around twelve on the main stage and eight in the Kammerspiele.
Signature productions, ongoing collaborations with established and up-and-coming directors, and faith in the abilities of his spirited and talented ensemble: these are the cornerstones of Ulrich Khuon’s artistic concept for the Deutsches Theater. Khuon has brought on board directors with distinctive directing styles, including: Brit Bartkowiak, Jan Bosse, Sebastian Hartmann, Stephan Kimmig, Tilmann Köhler, Bastian Kraft, Andreas Kriegenburg, Martin Laberenz, Daniela Löffner, René Pollesch, Christopher Rüping and Jette Steckel.
The theatre’s repertoire includes both classics and modern classics by writers such as Chekhov, Goethe, Ibsen, Sartre, Schiller and Shakespeare. At the same time, the DT stages works by contemporary playwrights like Dea Loher, Wolfram Lotz, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Ferdinand Schmalz and Nis-Momme Stockmann – including many world premieres. Once a year in June the Deutsches Theater plays host to the Autorentheatertage, a festival of contemporary drama.
The DT ensemble includes well-known actresses and actors such as Maren Eggert, Christoph Franken, Corinna Harfouch, Alexander Khuon, Ulrich Matthes, Bernd Moss, Anja Schneider, Sophie Rois, Bernd Stempel and Regine Zimmermann.
The Deutsches Theater has been making history ever since receiving that name in 1883. Otto Brahm turned it into a hotbed of Naturalist theatre, championing works by Gerhart Hauptmann, Arthur Schnitzler and August Strindberg. Once the DT came under the direction of the legendary Max Reinhardt in 1905, it quickly earned the reputation of being Germany's top stage. After Reinhardt fled Nazi Germany in 1933, his former assistant Heinz Hilpert brought the DT through the Nazi period with a classical-humanist repertoire.
Under Wolfgang Langhoff, a new era began. Innovative productions by Benno Besson, Frank Castorf and Heiner Müller established the DT as a hotspot for artistry and experimentation in East Berlin. On November 4th 1989, actors from the Deutsches Theatre helped organize the largest protest demonstration in East German history at Berlin's Alexanderplatz - a pivotal event in the fall of the Berlin Wall five days later. The 1990s marked the era of Thomas Langhoff – and Thomas Ostermeier who headed the DT 'Baracke', a stage showcasing the works of young actors and playwrights. In 2001, Bernd Wilms took over as artistic director; under his leadership the DT once again became one of Germany’s leading theatres. Ulrich Khuon, formerly of the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, is the Deutsches Theater’s current artistic director – a post he’s held since the summer of 2009.
Each year the Deutsches Theater takes its productions on tour and performs at festivals in places like South America, Japan and across Europe. A series of television broadcasts of DT productions and frequent invitations to Berlin’s prestigious Theatertreffen festival testify to the theatre’s continuing success. In an annual poll conducted by influential German theatre magazine Theater heute, critics voted the DT 'Theatre of the Year' in 2005 and 2008. In 2010 and 2015 the Deutsches Theater was invited to the renowned Berliner Theatertreffen, in 2010 with the world premiere Thieves (Diebe)
by Dea Loher directed by Andreas Kriegenburg, in 2015 with Waiting for Godot (Warten auf Godot)
by Samuel Beckett directed by Ivan Panteleev, in 2016 with Fathers and Sons (Väter und Söhne)
by Brian Friel based on the novel by Iwan Turgenjew, directed by Daniela Löffner.