Producer
Director
Matthias Schmidt
Producer
Digital Betacam
Genre
Culture
Broadcaster
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
Length
1 x 30'
Editor
Year
2008
Theatrescapes
Theater Rudolstadt

The theatre in Rudolstadt: "Goethe's sausage stand" is what it has been affectionately called for more than 200 years because Goethe was its first director. However, its prominent history has not saved this small theatre from often being overlooked. From time to time it has been on the verge of closure, no longer has its own ensemble or is played by other theatres. But time and again it has fought its way out by making a name for itself.

In 1793, the theatre opened, making it one of the oldest German institutions of its kind. From Weimar, Goethe directs the Rudolstadt theatre until 1803 and showed productions of the Weimar court theatre here, which is why Rudolstadt is also considered "Little Weimar" at the time. In 1797 Goethe "discovered" the young Friedrich Schiller in Rudolstadt. Schiller not only enjoyed female acquaintances in Rudolstadt but also wrote his works "The Robbers" and "Don Karlos" here - which were regularly shown in Rudolstadt, occasionally even in the presence of the author.

After this early heyday, the theatre in Rudolstadt remains quiet for a long time. It was not until 1953 that things really got going again. A permanent ensemble is hired and the mass influx of workers for the Maxhütte steelworks brings thousands of new spectators to Rudolstadt. In 1958, the theatre is finally renovated, because the workers in the former princely town should have culture!

In the mid-70s, under the direction of Klaus Fiedler, the theatre becomes political: critical topics are put on stage, contemporary productions are staged and there is much discussion. While outside in the country the "leaden time" spreads more and more, the Rudolstadt theatre team tries to break out.

The theatre experiences the Wende period under the direction of Axel Vornam. And as the protest made its way through the country in 1989, the theatre became a centre of public discussion in Rudolstadt. During this time, the theatre's small auditorium is permanently overcrowded.
Shortly afterwards, it will suddenly be permanently empty. After the fall of the Wall and reunification, the people of Rudolstadt initially prioritise other leisure activities. But little by little, under the renewed direction of Axel Vornam (2003-2008), the people of Rudolstadt have rediscovered their love for "their" theatre. Theatre Rudolstadt is alive, successful and firmly anchored in the city - a success story that has continued since the 2008/2009 season under Steffen Mensching.

First broadcast: Monday, 01 September 2008, 19.00, ZDFtheaterkanal.

Theatrescapes: Theatre Rudolstadt

The theatre in Rudolstadt: "Goethe's sausage stand" is what it has been affectionately called for more than 200 years because Goethe was its first director. However, its prominent history has not saved this small theatre from often being overlooked. From time to time it has been on the verge of closure, no longer has its own ensemble or is played by other theatres. But time and again it has fought its way out by making a name for itself.

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