Producer
Director
Sebastian Dehnhardt
Producer
Digital Betacam
Genre
Culture
Broadcaster
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
Length
1 x 30'
Editor
Year
2002
Theatrescapes
Freie Volksbühne Berlin

Just a few minutes' walk from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin lies a quiet, green oasis. Hidden in the middle of the park-like grounds is the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, the former Freie Volksbühne Berlin.

A theatre with a chequered history that is primarily associated with the productions of director Erwin Piscator, born in 1893. Along with Max Reinhardt and Fritz Kortner, Piscator is considered one of the most innovative theatre directors of the interwar period. The Freie Volksbühne was founded in 1890 as a visitors' organisation to enable the working classes to attend the theatre regularly. The organisation still exists today, even though it now serves more of a theatrical educational purpose.

During the Second World War the theatre was almost completely destroyed. In the 1950s it was rebuilt according to designs by the architect Hans Richter and in 1963 a new house was built by Prof. Fritz Bornemann in Scharperstraße. In 1962 Erwin Piscator returned to the Volksbühne as artistic director. In addition to Erwin Piscator, the history of the house is associated with illustrious names such as Hans Neuenfels, Luc Bondy, Peter Zadek and Andrea Breth.

In 1993, the city of Berlin cut the subsidies and after the failed attempts of private musical operators to play the house, the association had to sell the theatre to a private investor in 1999. Today it is being used again and since 2001 has been the home of the Berliner Festspiele GmbH, the main venue for the Theatertreffen Berlin.

Theatrescapes: Freie Volksbühne Berlin

Just a few minutes' walk from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin lies a quiet, green oasis. Hidden in the middle of the park-like grounds is the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, the former Freie Volksbühne Berlin.

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