|Volksbühne Am Rosa-luxemburg-platz, Berlin, 2017|
Tour Dates: 30th May - 12th June, 2017
The Volksbuhne is a theater in Berlin, Germany. Located in Berlin's city center Mitte on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in what was the GDR's capital.
The Volksbuhne ("People's Theatre") is a theater in Berlin, Germany. Located in Berlin's city center Mitte on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (Rosa Luxemburg Square) in what was the GDR's capital.
The Volksbuhne was built during the years 1913 to 1914 and was designed by Oskar Kaufmann, with integrated sculpture by Franz Metzner. It opened on December 30, 1914and has its origin in an organization known as the "Freie Volksbuhne" ("Free People's Theater") which sketched out the vision for a theater "of the people" in 1892.
The goal of the organization was to promote the naturalist plays of the day at prices accessible to the common worker. The original slogan inscribed on the edifice was "Die Kunst dem Volke" ("Art to the people"). During World War II, the theatre was heavily damaged like much of the rest of Berlin. From 1950 to 1954, it was rebuilt according to the design of architect Hans Richter.
Frank Castorf became director in 1992. In 2015 the City of Berlin announced that Castorf will be replaced by Chris Dercon in 2017. The theater was named the most exciting stage in Germany, attracting much press attention and establishing a reputation as one of the most provocative and experimental major theaters in contemporary Germany.
Director: Herbert Fritsch
Herbert Fritsch was born on 20 January 1951 in Augsburg, trained as an actor at the Otto Falckenberg School of the Performing Arts in Munich and went on to appear at many theatres in Germany and abroad. From 1993 to 2007, he was one of the most influential figures at the Berlin Volksbuhne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz under Frank Castorf. Although Fritsch was already 56 years old when he directed his first full-length piece at a municipal theatre in 2007, Moliere’s The Miser at Theater Luzern, his move from the stage to the director’s chair did not come entirely as a surprise. In the days when he was working as an actor, Fritsch had directed two short pieces for a show at the Berlin Volksbuhne in 1993. In addition to this, he had held numerous exhibitions of his own photographs and computer animations, and in 2000 he had begun developing the serial, intermedia art project hamlet_X.
The Miser in Lucerne was followed by other plays directed between 2007 and 2011 at various venues, including the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin, Theater Oberhausen, the neues theater Halle and the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. The director achieved his decisive breakthrough with a double invitation to the 2011 Berlin Theatertreffen– for which the jury selected both Fritsch’s Gerhart Hauptmann interpretation The Beaver Coat and his Oberhausen production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Since then, he has worked as a director at major theatres such as the Thalia Theater Hamburg, Schauspiel Koln and the Berlin Volksbuhne, where his production of The Spanish Fly, a farce by Franz Arnold and Ernst Bach, earned him yet another invitation to the Berlin Theatertreffen in 2012.
PROGRAM: DER DIE MANN
During his acting days at the Volksbuhne as a member of Castorf’s ensemble, Herbert Fritsch had already created solo shows with works by Konrad Bayer. The late Austrian writer and poet was a representative of the Vienna Group, a loose Avant-garde constellation of experimental artists founded in Vienna in the 1950s. Fritsch adores Bayer, his sense of humour and the Baroque ornamentation of his language. And Bayer’s texts, it seems, need just the type of actors Fritsch loves to work with. In the still fresh year of 2015, Herbert Fritsch and his ensemble will thus stage Bayer’s texts in Fritsch’s self-designed setting together with four excellent musicians led by Ingo Gunther. A focus will be on Bayer’s prose texts, but bits and pieces of the author’s poetic and dramatic work are used if they suit Fritsch’s theatrical explorations. The greatest value is attached to the musical sound of Bayer’s language: text is music, is rhythm, as Herbert Fritsch likes to say. It is in precisely this sense that the troupe is working their way through Konrad Bayer’s texts.