Thank you for your interest in THEATER AN DER PARKAUE, Berlin's state theatre for children and young people. We would like to introduce ourselves to you:
THEATER AN DER PARKAUE is a repertory theatre for children and young people.
It is subsidized by the federal state Berlin making it the largest state theatre for
young audiences in Germany. The theatre employs around 90 staff members who
work on and behind the three stages, as well as the front of house and are
regularly supported by a great number of artistic guests. THEATER AN DER PARKAUE
has a permanent ensemble of 17 actors. The theatre is led by Kay Wuschek (artistic director),
Katrin Hentschel (senior director) and Karola Marsch (senior dramaturge and senior theatre pedagogue).
As a repertory theatre THEATER AN DER PARKAUE is devoted to discovering the variety
of modern theatre and presenting a vast range of aesthetics to audiences aged five
to twenty. Although we focus mainly on "classic" theatre plays we also stage alternative performances such as documentation theatre, performance theatre and dance, as well
as projects in which theatre emerges from an exchange of different forms of art and media.
In addition to our theatre productions we offer a multifaceted theatre education program
designed to introduce the art of theatre to young people. The program consists of workshops,
audience discussions, projects with artists, online teaching material and professional training
for teachers. Moreover, we regularly co-operate with two partner schools that have close ties
to the theatre.
For the theatre direction it is of great importance to have projects that relate to the life, ideas, opinions and interests of children and young people. For this reason children and adolescents are not only important as an audience but are also requested to become active participants and protagonists in a wide variety of projects supervised by theatre experts who teach them how to gather material on certain topics and translate it into art. With this end in mind the participants learn theatre techniques and research methods. This special form of education focuses on aesthetic research. The main idea is to consider artistic education as an art in itself which is conveyed through a variety of projects for instance in the theatre clubs and the WINTERAKADEMIE. Currently children and young people between nine and 23 stage their own productions towards the end of the season working in five different theatre clubs. Every year, during the winter holidays, 100 children and young people between eight and 20 join the WINTERAKADEMIE. For one week they work with artists from different backgrounds (theatre, performance, video, dance/choreography, set design etc.) in 10 artistic laboratories doing research on one specific topic and presenting the result to the public at the end of the week
Berlin has long been recognized as a metropolis marked by cultural diversity and international flair. People from almost 190 countries live in Berlin. More than half of the Berlin population are newcomers while others choose to leave the city. Berliners love their "Kiez", their neighborhood, and yet they feel at home all over the world and THEATER AN DER PARKAUE is "ein Berliner"!
THEATER AN DER PARKAUE attaches great importance to the real life, opinions and interests of children and youngsters also beyond national and political borders. Therefore THEATER AN DER PARKAUE frequently invites international guest performances in dance and theatre, and participates in international festivals THEATER AN DER PAURKAUE also tours with its own productions and meets audiences with other viewing habits and different aesthetic dispositions. Moreover, it launches various co-productions with partners from abroad.
Please click guest performances to see our current
productions with an international background.
The EUROPEAN THEATRE CONVENTION (ETC) was founded in 1988 as a charitable network of European municipal and state theatres. As the largest theatre organization of its kind, the ETC has more than 40 members in over 20 countries. Its aim is to do theatre as well as to protect and to foster theatre art - throughout Europe and beyond.
It does so through a series of continuous campaigns and intercultural projects. The ETC particularly concentrates on the promotion of young theatre artists and of intercultural artistic exchange, on cultural education through transnational projects and on the representation of theatre interests on a local, national and European level. Moreover, the ETC is an important platform for professional exchange and innovation in an international context, with initiatives that support the international dialogue, the mobility of professional artists and cultural diversity through theatre. Marking the 25th anniversary of the ETC, "5 Jahre Young Europe" was celebrated by launching the Young-Europe-Festival and the Young-Europe-Talent-Campus, both of which took place at THEATER AN DER PARKAUE.
The Association Internationale du Théâtre pour l'Enfance et la Jeunesse ASSITEJ has roughly 80 national centers on all continents. The purpose of the ASSITEJ is to preserve, develop and promote theatre for children and young people in the individual countries and to foster co-operation on an international level.
The Theatre Institute Germany (ITI) promotes the mutual understanding of
theatre cultures around the world through co-operation with other ITI centers and
artistic partners by carrying out educational work, granting advice, bringing
international theatre artists together, organizing festivals (with THEATER DER WELT
in Germany and Theater der Nationen at changing venues around the globe),
organizing symposiums and expert meetings, publishing specialist contributions
and independent publications on questions of theatre art in Germany and
The year 2013 is the first year for the ITI to be sponsored by Robert-Bosch-Stiftung.
Further projects are currently being developed in the fields of cultural education,
cultural heritage and cultural/creative economy. The ITI advises German cultural
politicians regarding European and international theatre co-operation schemes.
It continuously informs the national cultural institutions on theatre policy as well as
structural and aesthetic developments. Regular events (symposiums), talks and
network activities are devoted to the dialogue between culture and politics, especially
in Europe and in the context of the arts of a globalised world. The German centre
organises the largest international theatre festival in the Federal Republic of Germany,
THEATER DER WELT, a festival of the ITI.
Kay Wuschek has been vice president of the ITI since 2009.
Kay Wuschek holds a degree in theatre studies and cultural communication from Humboldt-Universität Berlin. He worked as a dramaturge at BAT Studiotheater Berlin, Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin, Freie Kammerspiele Magdeburg, Faust Ensemble GmbH Hannover (Peter Stein), Dramatic Theatre Plovdiv/Bulgaria, Thalia Theater Halle and Theater Aachen.
In addition to his work as a dramturge, Kay Wuschek has also produced and staged his own plays, for instance at Hoftheater Prenzlauer Berg/Berlin, theater 2. fall, Group O/Paris, in Magdeburg, Halle, Tübingen, Aachen and with KnAM in Komsomolsk-on-Amur/Russia. Some of his productions were invited to Norddeutsches Theaterfestival, International Theatre Festival Glasgow / UdmurtRepublic, Festival Erlangen, International Theatre Festival St. Louis / France, Werkstatt-Tage des Kinder- und Jugendtheaters in Halle (Saale), Kleist-Festtage in Frankfurt (Oder), and 1. Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendtheatertreffen in Berlin.
Kay Wuschek was member of the jury for Deutscher Kinder- und Jugendtheaterpreis 2000, under the artistic direction of the Thalia-Festival “HundsTage” and of 13. Werkstatt-Tage des Kinder- und Jugendtheaters 2002 in Halle (Saale). He was co-organiser and member of the artistic direction of the Flemish-Dutch-German TheaterAutorenTage in Aachen[LK1] in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 he was elected member of Rat für die Künste in Berlin, and from 2010 to 2013 he has been one of its two spokespersons alongside Leonie Baumann. Since 2009 he has been member of Ausschuss für künstlerische Fragen im Deutschen Bühnenverein as well as one of the two vice presidents of Zentrum Bundesrepublik Deutschland des Internationalen Theaterinstituts (ITI).
Senior dramaturge and senior theatre pedagogue
Karola Marsch grew up in Berlin. She graduated in German and Slavic Studies in Magdeburg. Karola Marsch worked as theatre pedagogue at Freie Kammerspiele Magdeburg, Schauspiel Leipzig and Landestheater Linz/Austria and as a dramaturge at Theater im Marienbad Freiburg as well as Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, where she was also head of the children’s and youth theatre. In 2001 she was a member of the selection panel for the 6th German theatre festival for young audiences, "Augenblick mal!", in Berlin. In 2002 she was member of the artistic direction of the 3rd international children and youth theatre festival "Schöne Aussicht" in Stuttgart and a jury member for the Baden-Württembergischer Jugendtheaterpreis in 2004. In February 2006 she was appointed into the board of curators of the Kinder- und Jugendtheaterzentrum Germany by the Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Since summer 2005 Karola Marsch has been the leading theatre pedagogue/dramaturge at THEATER AN DER PARKAUE. Under her direction the concept of “Communication of Art as an Artistic Practice” has been developed which led to various projects, for instance the WINTERAKADEMIE, Ferienwerke and Theaterpädagogischer Salon.
Senior director and associate administrator
Katrin Hentschel was raised in Berlin and graduated in stage directing at Ernst-Busch-University, Berlin. She founded the theatre company HAMLETbüro Zwei e.V. and worked as a director for the following productions: HAMLET in the "Kleiner Wasserspeicher" (1996) and MARIA STUART in the ruins of the "Palast der Republik" (2004). In 1999 her production of PLATONOW from Anton Tschechow with students from the HFF "Konrad Wolf" Potsdam won the teamprice of the theatreschool meeting. From 1997 till 2001 she worked as a director and author at “zero film” Berlin. Afterward Katrin Hentschel worked for "Staatsschauspiel Dresden" and "Junges Theater Göttingen".
From 2006 till 2013 Hentschel worked as a director and dramaturge for the "Theater Freiburg" under the leadership of Barbara Mundel. The last two years her work was influenced by and based on plays for and with children.
Since 2014, she has been senior director and associate administrator at THEATER AN DER PARKAUE.
The formerly z-shaped building complex, which today has the postal address Parkaue 29, was constructed in 1911 according to a Renaissance design by Johannes Uhlig, head of the municipal planning and building control office, and architect Wilhelm Grieme. Originally it served as a secondary school for boys.
In their attempt to instrumentalize education the National Socialists renamed the school "Joseph-Goebbels-Schule" on 27 January, 1934. The building was hardly damaged during World War II. After some repairs had been made and lessons had been taken up again the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) issued order no. 65 on 30 June, 1948. It converted the school into an institution for cultural purposes. In the aftermath of fascism and war children and young people were supposed to acquire new cultural values and be offered leisure time activities. Bauhaus student Waldemar Alder and his business partner Waldemar Heinrichs developed the conversion and extension plans; the exquisite interior is from Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau. Upon completion the former school became known as “Haus der Kultur der Sowjetunion, Filiale für Kinder”.
In accordance with order no. 65 rooms were used for musical instrument lessons, choral music, folk dance, ballet, drama, foreign language lessons, history lessons, nature study, photography as well as arts and crafts. Moreover, there were a miniature observatory, joiners’ workshops, metal and electrical engineering, studios for painting, sculpture and pottery, as well as a library, a reading room, a cinema and a theatre. The theatre was called "Theater der Freundschaft" (“theatre of friendship”).
However, the first production “Du bist der Richtige” directed by the first artistic director, Hans Rodenberg, had to be staged at “Theater des Hauses der Sowjetischen Kultur” (renamed Maxim-Gorki-Theater in 1952) due to material acquisition problems. Finally, with the 90th performance of “Du bist der Richtige” "Theater der Freundschaft" was inaugurated on 16 November 1950.
In 1959 Ilse Weintraut-Rodenberg became the artistic director of the first theatre for children and young people in Berlin and remained in office for almost 15 years. Under the general administration of Klaus Urban and Dr. Siegfried Wein, many renowned directors, e.g. Horst Hawemann, Wolfgang Engel, Mirjana Erceg, Carl-Herrmann Risse and Konrad Zschiedrich, staged productions at "Theater der Freundschaft".
Appointed to “Theater der Freundschaft” in 1991 by the Berlin Senate, Manuel Schöbel became the youngest artistic director in Germany. He opened his first season with seven premieres within four days and the second season with a new name for the theatre: "carrousel Theater an der Parkaue". Since 1991 "Augenblick mal!", the biannual German festival of theatre for young audiences, presented by Kinder- und Jugendtheaterzentrum der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Frankfurt (Main), has been taking place at Theater an der Parkaue.
In 2004 the Berlin Senate intended to cut the subsidies for the Berlin state theatre for children and young people by 50 percent triggering massive protests. After staff, playgoers, friends and promoters of the theatre vented their displeasure under the motto "Ganze Menschen brauchen ganzes Theater" ("Intact people need an intact theatre") the Senate withdrew its plans.
Under the new artistic director Kay Wuschek, the senior director Sascha Bunge and the senior dramaturge and theatre pedagogue Karola Marsch PARKAUE shall become a centre of artistic variety. In August 2005 it was renamed THEATER AN DER PARKAUE. The first production on the large stage was Kenneth Grahame's “Der Wind in den Weiden” (The Wind in the Willows), directed by Sascha Bunge in September 2005.