Producer
Director
Sebastian Dehnhardt
Editor
Genre
Culture
Broadcaster
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
Length
1 x 30'
Format
Digital Betacam
Year
2002
Theatrescapes
Meininger Theater

It is said that Meiningen is not really a town with a theatre, but a theatre with a town. The traditional house in Thuringia became a pilgrimage site for artists and audiences early on.

As early as the 18th century, the dukes of Meiningen were enthusiastic about theatre and organised amateur performances, finally opening the Meiningen Court Theatre in 1831.
In 1866, George II took over the regency of the duchy and at the same time the management of the theatre. He strove for a renewal of the German theatre and attached great importance to detailed décor and realistic acting. Thus the Meiningen theatre became the cradle of naturalism on stage. The court orchestra, which was a permanent part of the theatre, also distinguished itself during the reign of Duke Georg II and developed into an important orchestra with Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Max Reger on the podium. At the end of the 19th century, the "Meininger" went on a triumphal procession through Europe: the "Meininger Gastspiele" became a legend. The ensemble - a logistical masterpiece - travelled by train, complete with sets, props and costumes, through 39 cities, from London to Kiev.

After the Wall was built, Meiningen remained isolated by its zonal border location, despite its high standard of staging. It was cut off from its core audience in Franconia, Lower Bavaria and Hesse. After the fall of the Wall, many theatre professionals were again attracted to the traditional theatre. Ulrich Burkhardt became the theatre's director in 1990. He led the theatre to new attendance records. With a new studio stage, the theatre had an occupancy rate of over 90%. This success was continued by Christine Mielitz from 1998. Since her "Ring des Nibelungen" in 2001 at the latest, Meiningen has been the talk of the town again. Loriot staged Friedrich von Flotow's opera "Martha" here, Klaus Maria Brandauer an adaptation of Brahms' song cycle "Magelone".

Theatrescapes: Meininger Theater

It is said that Meiningen is not really a town with a theatre, but a theatre with a town. The traditional house in Thuringia became a pilgrimage site for artists and audiences early on.

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