The THEATER AN DER PARKAUE presents repertoire-theatre for children and young people. It is subsidised by the state Berlin which makes it the biggest state-theatre for young audiences in Germany. The theatre employs around 90 staff members who work in front of, on and behind the three stages, regularly supported by a great number of artistic guests. An ensemble of 17 permanent actors belongs to the THEATER AN DER PARKAUE. The theatre, which was built in 1912, is led by Kay Wuschek (Artistic Director), Sascha Bunge (Associate Director) and Karola Marsch (Head of the Dramaturgy and Theatre Education Department).
The theatre's repertoire consists of 30 different productions, including stories from overseas, past time myths, classical plays, popular fairytales as well as contemporary writing, newly translated texts, adaptations and devised theatre productions. The THEATER AN DER PARKAUE stages more than 450 performances a year (including 12 – 15 new productions in each season) so that we can provide our 89 000 annual visitors with the world of theatre in all its shapes and facets. As a repertoire theatre, the THEATER AN DER PARKAUE is devoted to discover the variety of nowadays' theatre and to present a great range of diverse aesthetics to audiences aged 5 – 20. Apart from the distinctive stress on theatre which is based on "classic" acting and literature, we are interested in alternative presentation forms, as, for example, documentation theatre, performance theatre, dance and, additionally, projects in which theatre emerges from an exchange of different forms of art and media.
Our theatre productions are supported by a complex theatre education programme in order to introduce the art of theatre to young people. This programme consists of workshops, talks after the show, projects with artists, downloadable teacher's guides on the internet and professional trainings for teachers. Moreover we regularly collaborate with two partner schools that have a close connection to the theatre.
The theatre direction lays a major claim to opening theatre for the life reality, ideas, opinions and interests of children and young people. For this reason, children and adolescents are not only important as an audience. They can also be active participants and protagonists in a wide variety of projects that are led by theatre experts. They teach the young people the means to generate material for their debates and to consolidate them into artistic translations. For this purpose, the participants are provided with artistic techniques and research methods. This special form of art education focuses on the method of aesthetic research, while the core idea is to consider art education as an art in itself. This is reflected by a variety of projects on offer, esp. in the theatre clubs and the so-called WINTERKADEMIE. Currently, children and young people between 9 and 23 take part in five different theatre clubs that produce their own theatre productions. These are shown at the end of the season. Every year in the winter holidays, 100 children and young people between 8 and 20 join the WINTERAKADEMIE. For a whole week, they work together in 10 artistic laboratories with artists from different backgrounds (theatre, performance, video, dance / choreography, set design etc.). The artistic results of this work are shown in a public presentation at the end of the week. Each WINTERAKADEMIE deals with a main topic that is worked on in the different laboratories. WINTERAKADEMIE 6, taking place in February 2011, will be about the climate change.
Since the season 2009/2010, the theatre has had a two-year partnership with the West Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds in Northern England. The project "BORDERLINES – Exploring the Borders between Berlin and Leeds" is funded by the German Cultural Foundation / Wanderlust Fund. This project sent out German and English young people to explore the borders within their cities – the former Berlin Wall in Berlin as well as historic, political, social, mental and psychological borders in life in general. In both workshops, in Berlin in October 2009 as well as in Leeds in April 2010, the young people presented their findings in workshop presentations. Based on the workshops, the Berlin director Lajos Talamonti and the British playwright Aisha Khan develop a play to be performed by actors in the partner theatres of both cities (premieres: April 2011). The BORDERLINES project also includes the exchange of theatre personnel and guest performances: The Leeds production THE WORM COLLECTOR was shown in Berlin in February 2010, DIE KINDERTRANSPORTE travelled to the West Yorkshire Playhouse the same month.
Since 2007, the THEATER AN DER PARKAUE has been a member of the European Theatre Convention. The ETC is a public theatre membership network founded in 1989. Since then, its mission has been to promote contemporary drama theatre as part of the European cultural heritage, to support the mobility of artists and to develop the artistic exchange throughout and beyond Europe. Currently, 47 theatres from 25 countries all over Europe belong to the network. Within the framework of the ETC, the THEATER AN DER PARKAUE took part in the YOUNG EUROPE project in 2009, which was funded by the Culture Programme of the European Commission. In this project the theatre collaborated with THOC, the Theatre Organisation of Cyprus, and the new production KOPF ODER ZAHL ("Heads or Tails") by the Berlin playwright Katja Hensel was created.
Apart from our interest in joint projects, we are also happy to be your host. In case of a guest performance enquiry, please send your digitised records and photos. We are happy to contact you after receiving your records.
Of course, we also enjoy going to other places ourselves. If you are interested in one of our theatre productions, please send an email to email@example.com
Kay Wuschek – born in 1963 – grew up in Aschersleben and Leipzig. He was a competitive athlete before he became a galvaniser. He holds a degree in Theatre and Cultural Communication Studies (Humboldt-University in Berlin). He worked as a dramaturg at the bat-Studiotheater Berlin, Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin, Freie Kammerspiele Magdeburg, Faust-Ensemble GmbH Hannover (Peter Stein), Dramatic Theatre Plodiv / Bulgaria, Thalia Theater Halle and at Theater Aachen.
Apart from his job as a dramaturg, Kay Wuschek also worked as a director, staging performances at, for example, the Hoftheater Prenzlauer Berg / Berlin, theater 2. fall, Group O / Paris, in Magdeburg, Halle, Tübingen, Aachen and at the KnAM in Komsomolsk at Amur / Russia. Some of his productions were invited to the Norddeutsches Theaterfestival, International Theatre Festival Glasow / Udmurtic Autonomous Republic, Festival Erlangen, International Theatre Festival St. Louis / France, Werkstatt-Tage des Kinder- und Jugendtheaters in Halle / Saale and in the course of the first German Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences in Berlin in 1991.
Kay Wuschek was a jury member for Deutscher Kinder- und Jugendtheaterpreis 2000, he belonged to the artistic direction of the festival HundsTage and to the artistic team of the 13. Werkstatt-Tage des Kinder- und Jugendtheaters 2002 in Halle Saale. He also works as a lecturer, writer and translator. In 2010 he staged Theodor Storm's DER SCHIMMELREITER at the Volkstheater Rostock.
Sascha Bunge – born in 1969 in Brandenburg / Havel – grew up in Berlin and studied Theatre / Cultural Communication and German Studies at the Humboldt-University in Berlin. He was first director at the Hoftheater Prenzlauer Berg and at the projekttheater dresden. He was producer and dramaturg at the Festspielhaus Hellerau. Moreover, he worked as a director, writer and producer at the German State Theatre Timisoara / Romania, Schauspiel Leipzig, Neue Bühne Senftenberg, Kammerspiele Magdeburg, Maxim-Gorki-Theater / Berlin and HAU / Berlin.
Important productions: Vladimir Sorokin's DIE RUSSISCHE GROSSMUTTER, DIE KONKRETEN and HOCHZEITSREISE; Lothar Trolle's "MÄRKISCHE PASTORALE"; Hugo Claus's WINTERABEND; Goethe's IPHIGENIE AUF TAURIS; Schiller's MARIA STUART; DAS GROSSE HEFT (adapted from Agota Kristof's novel), Brecht's DER BROTLADEN; Annett Gröschner's Moskauer Eis as well as productions of several texts of his own. Apart from being THEATER AN DER PARKAUE's most important director, he regularly stages productions at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater.
Karola Marsch – born in 1968 – grew up in Berlin. She holds a degree in German and Slawistic Studies (University of Magdeburg). She worked as a theatre educator at the Freie Kammerspiele Magdeburg, Schauspiel Leipzig and at the Landestheater Linz / Austria. She was a dramaturg at the Theater im Marienbad Freiburg and at the Mainfranken-Theater Würzburg. Moreover she worked as a lecturer at the University of Magdeburg, University of Leipzig and at the University of Education in Freiburg. In 2001, she was a member of the jury for the 6th German Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences, "Augenblick mal!", in Berlin. In 2003, she was part of the artistic direction of the 3rd International Children and Youth Theatre Festival, "Schöne Aussicht", in Stuttgart and a jury member for the Baden-Württembergische Jugendtheaterpreis 2004. Since 2006, she has been a member of the Curatorium of the German Centre for Theatre for Children and Young People, Frankfurt / Main
The z-shaped building complex with today’s mail address Parkaue 29 was constructed in 1911 according to the design by the city’s government building officer Johannes Uhlig and architect Wilhelm Grieme. The building with the Renaissance design became a Secondary School for boys.
Due to the National Sociliasts’ actions to instrumentalise education, the school was given a new name on 27 January 1934: "Joseph-Goebbels-Schule". The building was hardly damaged during the Second World War. After building repairs, the Sovjet Military Administratoin in Germany (SMAD) issued the command no. 65 on 30 June 1948. The command gave the instruction to turn the school into a building dedicated to cultural purposes. After World War II, new cultural contents were meant to be conveyed to children and young people, and new spare time activities were supposed to be offered to them. Waldemar Alder, student at the famous Bauhaus, and his business partner Waldemar Heinrichs worked on the re-construction plans; the top-quality room setup came from the German Workshops Hellerau. After the completion of the building, the former school became the "House of Culture of the Sovjet Union, Section for Children".
On account of command no. 65, rooms were established for instrumental music lessons, choirs, folk dance, ballet, acting, language classes, history classes, natural study, photography and applied arts. In the building, there were also a miniature observatory, workshops for wood, 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 then called "Theater der Freundschaft" (theatre of friendship).
The opening production Du bist der Richtige ("You are the right one"), directed by the first artistic director, Hans Rodenberg, had to be staged at the Maxim-Gorki-Theater due to difficulties in the sourcing of material. Finally, the "Theater der Freundschaft" could be inaugurated with the 90th performance on 16 November 1950.
In 1959 Ilse Weintraut-Rodenberg became the artistic director of the first theatre for children and young people among the Berlin theatres. She retired in 1974. Other important artistic directors were Klaus Urban and Dr. Siegfried Wein. Many important directors, e.g. Horst Hawemann, Wolfgang Engel, Mirjana Erceg, Carl-Herrmann Risse and Konrad Zschiedrich, staged productions at the "Theater der Freundschaft".
In 1991 the Berlin Senate called Manuel Schöbel to be the new artistic director. He was Germany’s youngest artistic director at that time. He opened his first season with seven premieres within four days. In the second season, the theatre was re-named into "carrousel Theater an der Parkaue". Since 1991, "Augenblick mal!", the biannual German Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences (presented by the German Centre for Theatre for Children and Young People, Frankfurt / Main) has taken place at the theatre every other year.
In 2004, the Berlin Senate intended to shorten the subsidies for the Berlin state theatre for children and young people down to 50 %. After staff, visitors, friends and promoters of the theatre had shown their resentment under the headline "Ganze Menschen brauchen ganzes Theater" ("Whole people need a whole theatre"), the Senate withdrew their plans.
Under the new artistic direction of Kay Wuschek, Sascha Bunge and Karola Marsch, the location PARKAUE became a centre of artistic variety. Since August 2005 its name has been THEATER AN DER PARKAUE. The first production on the big stage was Kenneth Graham's DER WIND IN DEN WEIDEN ("The Wind in the Willows"), directed by Sascha Bunge in September 2005.