Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, 2017

Tour Dates: 5th July - 13th July, 2017

Mentioned in the early 18th century as the ducal court theatre, the BADISCHES STAATSTHEATER KARLSRUHE today encompasses six departments...

Tour Dates
  • 1 Jun - 15 Jun, 2016


Mentioned in the early 18th century as the ducal court theatre, the BADISCHES STAATSTHEATER KARLSRUHE today encompasses six departments: OPERA and CONCERT with the BADISCHE STAATSKAPELLE, one of the oldest orchestras in the world, as well as ballet performances by the STAATSBALLETT, classical drama and new plays by the SCHAUSPIEL (theatre), a program for children and youth by the JUNGES STAATSTHEATER and the newly founded experimental participatory department : VOLKSTHEATER. The first five departments have their own ensembles, with the orchestra numbering 99, the chorus 50, and around 30 soloists each for ballet, opera and theatre and youth section combined. With technicians and administrative staff, the number of permanent employees adds up to over 700 and makes the STAATSTHEATER one of the biggest multi-department theatres worldwide – and one of the most diverse employers in the region: Its employees have their origin in over 40 nations. The varied program and the reputation for high quality of the STAATSTHEATER draws audiences from both sides of the Rhine, from the Southern Palatinate and from France to Karlsruhe, the former capital of the state of Baden and the seat of Germany’s supreme courts. The INTERNATIONAL HAENDEL FESTIVAL, held every spring, has appeal to baroque opera lovers from all over Europe.

Peter Spuhler took over the general artistic direction in the 2011/12 season. With his team of department directors, he has managed to open the STAATSTHEATER to contemporary works and topics, to the city and to new audiences. Besides new productions of all Wagner operas and a line of French operas, the STAATSOPER is producing one political opera per year, e.g. Doctor Atomic by the American John Adams, The Passenger about a Holocaust survivor meeting her guard by Mieczysław Weinberg from Poland, and, in 2017 as world premiere and commissioned work, Wahnfried about the Wagner family by Israeli composer Avner Dorman. The STAATSBALLET has commissioned new narrative ballets, most recently Das kleine Schwarze about Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky and Anne Frank by young Brazilian dancer and choreographer Reginaldo Oliveira. The SCHAUSPIEL has staged philosophical texts by Peter Sloterdijk, Klaus Theweleit, Hermann Hesse and Byung-Chul Han, contemporary plays by, among others, Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke, Wolfram Lotz and Nis-Momme Stockmann, and devised texts on socio-political topics as dementia, euthanasia, civil liberties and the NSA and Edward Snowden.

Every two years the STAATSTHEATER KARLSRUHE is one of the co-producers for the EUROPAISCHE KULTURTAGE (European Culture Days) festival. Since 2013, PREMIERES, the largest festival for young European directors, is hosted here in an annual rotation system with the National Theatre and Le Maillon in Strasbourg, France. Recently, the STAATSTHEATER has been awarded the title of best opera house and best concert program in Germany. It has been awarded twice in the context of the "Germany - Land of Ideas" contest, once for the children's opera Robin Hood which explained the issue of sustainability to the audience in all its diversity, and once for the TheaBib&Bar: During daytime, the spacious FOYER is open for students, and provides them with a free learning space. As one of the ten most remarkable productions of the year, Stolpersteine Staatstheater (Tripping Stones State Theatre) was invited to the 2016 Berlin Theatertreffen, Germany’s most prestigious theatre festival.

The STAATSTHEATER is an active member in the networks Opera Europa and European Theatre Convention. Recently, the STAATSBALLET has been on tour to Switzerland and Thailand, and it will appear again in October 2016 as part of the Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance and Music. The STAATSOPER has been invited to Daegu, Korea, several times, and regularly hosts young award-winning singers from the Siemens Opera competition in Istanbul, Turkey.

The main building of the STAATSTHEATER, opened in 1975, will undergo a mayor renovation and extension starting in 2019, a 10 year, multimillion Euro project funded by the State of Baden- Wurttemberg and the city of Karlsruhe. After a competition the renowned Viennese architects Delugan & Meissl won the task to update the building to 21st century needs.

Director: Hans Werner Kroesinger

Hans-Werner Kroesinger was born in Bonn in 1962. He studied drama, theatre and media from 1983 to 1988 under Andrzej Wirth and Hans-Thies Lehmann at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of the Justus Liebig University Giesen. In 1987, while he was still a student, Kroesinger began working as an assistant director and dramaturg for Robert Wilson, a position he held for two years. He was involved in Wilson’s productions of Hamletmachine in New York, Salome in Milan and The Forest in Berlin. In 1989, he was a member of the creative team for Heiner Muller’s production of Hamlet/ Hamletmachine at the Deutsches Theater Berlin.

Since 1993, he has directed his own productions at prestigious municipal and state-funded theatres, such as the Berliner Ensemble, the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Bayrisches Staatsschauspiel and the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, as well as on the independent scene, above all at the Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), the Sophiensaele, Radialsystem, the Staatsbank and Podewil in Berlin, the Forum Freies Theater (FFT ) in Dusseldorf, the Festival Theatre at Dresden-Hellerau and the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee in Zurich.

Kroesinger has been invited to take his works to high-profile national and international festivals, including Politics in the Independent Theatre (Hamburg, 2003), Cultura Nova (Herleen, 2008) and Impulse (North Rhine-Westphalia, 2009).

In 2007, the director was awarded the Brothers Grimm Prize of the Land of Berlin for his Kindertransporte, a production for children and young people at the Theater an der Parkaue in Berlin.

Program: Tripping Stones State Theatre

Using staff records of Staatstheater Karlsruhe, director Hans-Werner Kroesinger and dramaturg Regine Dura reconstructed the process of anti-Semitic discrimination and the dismissal of left-wing and liberal theatre artists after 1933. Actors and audience sit together at a large work desk. The actors read from files, newspaper reports, memoirs and interviews with contemporary witnesses. Repeatedly, they transition into brief passages of acting. We hear how in Karlsruhe, Jewish actors, a Jewish prompter and the artistic director were dismissed, arrested, driven into exile and to suicide. Individual artists are not reduced to mere victims, but presented in terse, concentrated portraits.

The bureaucratic procedure which provided a detailed set of legal regulations for social exclusion and the preparation of a genocide, the legitimation by procedures that liked to conceal this discrimination in inciting articles in the local NS-paper by citing the pertinent legal clause, the polite, formally always correct letters in which a chief councilor informed the Jewish prompter that her dismissal was lawful – all these make the production into a lesson about the impartial operation of a state bureaucracy.

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