Producer
Director
Christian Frey
Producer
Digital Betacam
Genre
Culture
Broadcaster
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
Length
1 x 30'
Editor
Year
2002
Theatrescapes
Berliner Ensemble

The "Theater am Schiffbauerdamm", today's home of the Berliner Ensemble, was built in 1892 on boggy ground, right in the heart of the burgeoning city of Berlin.

Initially a stage for easily digestible fare, the theatre caused a sensation in 1893 with the world premiere of Gerhart Hauptmann's "The Weavers", thus helping naturalistic drama to achieve its breakthrough. From 1903 to 1906, Max Reinhardt is director at the Schiffbauer Damm and his production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" becomes a milestone of modern director's theatre.

In 1928, the "Threepenny Opera" by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill is premiered and becomes a worldwide success. After the war, Rudolf Platte takes over as director for a short time. In 1954 Bertolt Brecht moves the Berliner Ensemble to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. Brecht's play and production of "Mother Courage" with Helene Weigel in the leading role makes the theatre world famous again. After Brecht's death, Helene Weigel directs the theatre as guardian of Brecht's legacy.

With Ruth Berghaus, after Weigel's death, the theatre breaks out of its museum-like torpor and receives new impulses. After that, the artistic directors start to come and go: Peter Palitzsch, Peter Zadek, Heiner Müller. After a major renovation in January 2000, Claus Peymann takes over the traditional house in Berlin Mitte.

Theatrescapes: Berliner Ensemble

The "Theater am Schiffbauerdamm", today's home of the Berliner Ensemble, was built in 1892 on boggy ground, right in the heart of the burgeoning city of Berlin.

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