State Theater Eisenach

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State Theater Eisenach
State Theater Eisenach (2014)
Address: Theaterplatz 4–7
City: Eisenach
Coordinates: 50 ° 58 ′ 40 "  N , 10 ° 19 ′ 20"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 58 ′ 40 "  N , 10 ° 19 ′ 20"  E
Architecture and history
Opened: January 1, 1879
Spectator: 500 seats
Internet presence:

The Landestheater Eisenach is a theater in the Thuringian city ​​of Eisenach . It has the divisions ballet and young drama. Transferred to the Meiningen-Eisenach Cultural Foundation with effect from January 1, 2009 and since then partially played by the Meiningen State Theater , it offers operas, operettas, musicals, ballet / dance theater, drama, youth and children's theater, puppet theater and concerts in its repertoire. The threat of closure of the theater in spring 2012 at the end of the 2012/13 season could be averted; The existence of the State Theater Eisenach is currently secured until 2022.



The theater was donated to the city of Eisenach by the local industrialist Julius von Eichel-Streiber and is an example of private patronage . The theater was built in the classical style based on designs by Leipzig architect Karl Weichardt on the site of the former Klemme moated castle on today's Theaterplatz and was opened on January 1, 1879. In the current state of construction, after renovations in 1993 and 2010, it offers 500 seats in the parquet and on the two tiers .


1834 to 1879

In 1834 a theater building association was founded by interested parties. Influential circles in the Eisenach city council, however, delayed the timely implementation of all the plans now presented. In 1854 the general enthusiasm for music in the city led to a reassessment of the “theater question”. The city council has now approved a sum of 000000000010000.000000000010,000 thalers for the construction of the “Grand Ducal Court Theater”. The different ideas about the future operation of the game, about the size and equipment of the building prevented a quick start of construction. The project was then examined by the Eisenach patron Julius von Eichel-Streiber , who negotiated with the city administration from 1867 on the construction of the theater. Its construction was delayed by almost ten years, however, because all the building plots in question had increased in value immediately and the plans of the property speculators could only be thwarted by the demolition of the former urban barracks and the assignment of an adjacent property by the Clemda-Gesellschaft.

1879 to 1945

Wolfgang Heinz, director and president of the GDR Theater Association, began his theater career in Eisenach (1917-1919 season).

The Eisenach Theater was opened on January 1, 1879 with the performance of Lessing's Minna von Barnhelm. The classical building has space for around 500 spectators in the stalls and the two tiers. With a portal width of eight meters and a depth of 13 meters, the house had excellent technical requirements for the time and has since been brought up to a current standard several times without damaging the architectural style. In the first season, the Eisenach Theater was supported in all matters by the Grand Ducal Court Theater in Weimar and by April 1879 it had already been able to perform 52 theater performances, in addition to which there were mostly privately organized concerts by professional musicians traveling through, but these were not included in the balance sheet of the house. Until the general renovation of the Weimar court theater in 1907, the Eisenach theater was way ahead of it in terms of technical equipment and comfort, which is why Weimar guest appearances in the Eisenacher house were always accepted with joy. After the turn of the century, the management and gaming operations were placed in the hands of private directors (Weber, Tauscher, Norbert Berstel and Richard Treu are still known); this lease remained as a business model in Eisenach until 1927. Eduard von Winterstein , Max Landa and Hermann Leffler are among the most famous actors of this time . The (private) theater director Richard Corter had to endure the difficult time of inflation with the constant threat of bankruptcy. He did not succeed in improving the financial situation of the house, so the game was "temporarily" suspended. It was not until the merger with the Landestheater Gotha that took effect in 1941 that Eisenach was able to return to regular play on paper - in practice, visitors had to reckon with war-related restrictions (air raid alarm). The closure of all theaters and concert halls ordered by Propaganda Minister Goebbels in August 1944 also had to be followed in Eisenach and Gotha. The building survived the subsequent bombings and the fighting in April 1945 unscathed.

1945 to 1990

Entrance ticket for the State Theater and State Orchestra Eisenach (1959)

As a sign of a new beginning, Peter Kroll took over the rebuilding of the ensemble as the first post-war director in the summer of 1945. The theater was reopened on August 7, 1945 with Lessing's Nathan the Wise . In the turmoil of the post-war years, the Eisenach theater ensemble was in constant need of personnel, in the 1947-48 season the Eisenach city administration took over all personnel and commercial matters in consultation with the director at the time, Paul R. Henker. In the following season, the Eisenach mayor Markwitz had to temporarily take over the position of artistic director. With the experienced actor Friedewald Berg and the director Dr. Rube succeeded in consolidating the Eisenach house. From February 1951, Walter Gembs took over the management of the theater. As a result of the founding of the GDR, the Eisenach Theater also had to pay tribute to the new political system. The now politically motivated selection of the game board brought before all works by Brecht (Mr. Puntila and his servant). In 1952, the Thuringian state government decided that the theater was elevated to the status of “state theater” and was given its own three-branch ensemble, consisting of drama, music theater and ballet. In the same year the Landeskapelle Eisenach , which had emerged from the Eisenach City Orchestra and the Silesian Philharmonic in Breslau , was affiliated to this . This theater structure lasted for decades.

1990 to 2011

The theater in Eisenach was closed for the 1993/1994 season. In 1995 the State Theater was merged with the Rudolstadt Theater . In 2003 this merger was dissolved and a cooperation with the South Thuringian State Theater Meiningen began. As part of this collaboration, guest performances were exchanged and successful co-productions were realized. In February 2004 Michael W. Schlicht became director of the Thuringian State Theater. At the beginning of the 2005/2006 season, a new children's and youth theater division, the Junge Schauspiel Eisenach, was founded. On June 7th, 2007 the musical Elisabeth - The Legend of a Saint was premiered in the State Theater. In 2008 the opera in Eisenach was closed, against which protests were made across Germany, including by the Berlin Philharmonic. With the end of the opera, the ballet ensemble was increased to 16 dancers. The state of Thuringia approved the expansion of the ballet hall. On August 1, 2008, Ansgar Haag became director of the Thuringian State Theater, who is also director in Meiningen. This personality is still controversial today. Klaus Zehelein , President of the German Stage Association, critically pointed out that the Meiningen-Eisenach theater model with only one artistic director is problematic for two houses. In order to secure the long-term existence of the theater, the State Theater Eisenach was transferred to the Meiningen-Eisenach Cultural Foundation with effect from January 1, 2009. Carlos Domínguez-Nieto has been chief conductor since August 2009 and general music director since autumn 2010. The world premiere of the musical 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by the Hamburg composer Jan Dvořák followed on May 28, 2011 .


Since the beginning of March 2012, the future of the Eisenach State Theater has been debated again. The trigger was a message about the unwillingness of the Thuringian Ministry of Finance to give a commitment to the future financing of the theater. This also happened because of the precarious budget situation in Eisenach. Various protests took place to save the theater. Since the threat of closure became known, the theater posted information about various actions to maintain the house on a protest website. Votes for the preservation of the theater were collected on an online petition page. On May 13, 2012 around 1000 people gathered on the Eisenacher Theaterplatz in front of the State Theater to demonstrate for the preservation of the theater. For the demonstration, citizens of Eisenach composed a protest song with 21 stanzas to the melody of Beethoven's joy of beautiful sparkles from the gods , which was sung by all of the approximately 1,000 demonstrators during the demonstration. From May 14th, 12:00 noon to May 16th, 4:00 pm, the Eisenach Complaints Choir gathered every hour on the hour - even at night - in front of the Eisenach Georgenkirche and demonstrated with the protest song against the threatened closure of the theater.

On May 16, 2012, the city of Eisenach announced that it would be able to raise its funding share of two million euros for the 2013/14 season. A spokeswoman for the city said this was made possible by reducing the budget deficit and a voluntary commitment by the city council. Around 1.2 million euros would come from higher business tax income, another 365,000 from savings through changes in the law and 485,000 euros could be saved in grants for independent organizations. On May 25, 2012, Eisenach's mayor Ute Lieske made the legally binding declaration on the financing of the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 seasons of the State Theater to the board of trustees of the Meiningen-Eisenach Cultural Foundation.

Personal details


The following directors worked at the State Theater Eisenach from 1933 until today:

  • 1933–1934: Rolf Ziegler
  • 1934-1941: Willie Schmitt
  • 1945–1948: Peter Kroll
  • 1948–1950: Paul R. Henker
  • 1950–1951: Walter Gembs
  • 1951–1954: Karl Köther
  • 1954–1964: Richard Rückert
  • 1964–1968: Carl Ballhaus
  • 1968–1969: Harald Joachim (acting)
  • 1969–1973: Kurt-Rüdiger Domitzlaff
  • 1974–1979: Harald Joachim
  • 1979–1990: Günther Müller
  • 1990–1990: Gunter Müller and Petra Morsbach (officiating)
  • 1991–1993: Jürgen Fabritius
  • 1993-1994: Pierre Leon
  • 1994–1995: Hermann Schneider
  • 1995–2002: Johannes Steurich
  • 2004–2008: Michael W. Schlicht
  • since 2008: Ansgar Haag

Honorary members

Various actors, musicians, singers, artistic directors and employees have been made honorary members of the theater company for their services to the theater:

  • Friedewald Berg, actor and director, with breaks at the theater from 1948 to 1977
  • Hans Fleischmann: Mayor of the Fischbach community , supported the construction and operation of the Fischbach mountain stage, which the ensemble of the Landestheater has played in the summer months since 1960
  • Karl Fuchs, worked as chief proponent from 1954 to 1969
  • Hans Gahlenbeck , General Music Director, was musical chief from 1956 to 1967
  • Wolfgang Heinz , director of the Deutsches Theater Berlin , debutant in Eisenach from 1917 to 1919
  • Kurt Kögel, opera singer from 1951 to 1974
  • Herbert Lindner, 1955 to 1970 first Kapellmeister at the Landestheater
  • Richard Rückert, director from 1954 to 1964
  • Max Sachse, librarian and head of the artistic management office from 1953 to 1970
  • Fritz Wisten , actor before the First World War , most recently director of the Berlin Theater on Schiffbauerdamm
  • Harald Joachim, tenor soloist, also director, senior director and artistic director


  • Anja Eisner: We do theater. On the history of the theater in Eisenach . In: Reinhold Brunner (Ed.): Eisenach Yearbook 1992 . Hitzeroth-Verlag, Marburg 1992, ISBN 3-89398-106-3 , p. 24-34 .
  • Klaudius Kabus: Aspects of Eisenach's cultural life in the time of National Socialism (1933/34) . In: Reinhold Brunner (Ed.): Eisenach Yearbook 1992 . Hitzeroth-Verlag, Marburg 1992, ISBN 3-89398-106-3 , p. 24-34 .
  • Susanne Lemke: The Eisenach City Theater from 1933 to 1945 . In: Reinhold Brunner (Ed.): Eisenach Yearbook 1993 . Hitzeroth-Verlag, Marburg 1993, ISBN 3-89398-141-1 , p. 90-96 .
  • Volkmar Schumann: In memoriam Friedewald Berg . In: Reinhold Brunner (Ed.): Eisenach Yearbook 1993 . Hitzeroth-Verlag, Marburg 1993, ISBN 3-89398-141-1 , p. 115-117 .
  • Landestheater Eisenach (ed.): 125 years of Theater Eisenach (1879–2004) . Kirchner printing works, Eisenach 2003, p. 148 .
  • Stefan Bausch, Sandra Blume, et al .: Theater with meaning, aspiration and passion. The State Theater Eisenach from 2004 to 2008 . Ed .: State Theater Eisenach. Eisenach 2008, p. 54 .

Web links

Commons : Landestheater Eisenach  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Landestheater Eisenach (Ed.): 125 Years of Theater Eisenach (1879–2004) . Kirchner printing works, Eisenach 2003, p. 148 .
  2. ^ Paul Wegner: 75 years of theater in Eisenach . In: Kulturbund der DDR , Kreisverband Eisenach (Hrsg.): Der Wartburgtürmer . January issue. Eisenach 1954, p. 5-6 .
  3. Volker Hagedorn: Free sparkling wine as a hemlock drink. Die Zeit , May 20, 2008, accessed on May 15, 2012 : "The city of Eisenach could have prevented this end like other cities that kept or even increased the budget of their houses while they were in the tourist booming, freshly paved, Eisenach, which has the best infrastructure, followed the cuts in the country and cut 1.3 million euros. Only 78 meters of this can be built on a motorway through the Thuringian Forest. Music city Eisenach? Even the Bachs were poorly paid here. They became famous elsewhere. "
  4. Stephan Hebel : Nothing grows together. Zehelein: Theaters have to be more offensive. Frankfurter Rundschau , May 28, 2011, accessed on May 15, 2012 : “Zehelein is critical of the Meiningen-Eisenach theater model: two houses, one director. Eisenach must become more than «an appendix». "
  5. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a musical in Eisenach. (No longer available online.) ThatsMusical Verlagsgesellschaft bR, June 17, 2010, archived from the original on August 11, 2011 ; retrieved on July 9, 2011 : “On May 28, 2011, the musical 20,000 miles under the sea will celebrate its world premiere at the Eisenach State Theater . Based on the novel by Jules Verne, the Hamburg composer Jan Dvořák wrote the musical about the marine researcher Professor Aronnax as a commissioned work for the theater. “ Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. CDU ministries are on the brakes in Eisenach's urban development. Eisenach-Online, March 9, 2012, accessed on April 20, 2012 : “Responsible for this are the CDU-led Thuringian Ministry of the Interior and the CDU-led Ministry of Finance. 'Both ministries have so far failed to enable the highly indebted city of Eisenach, which is forcibly administered by the state administration office, to take over its share of the financing of the Eisenach theater, for example by means of allocations of requirements,' said Höhn. However, since the city of Eisenach has entered into a payment obligation due to its participation in the Meiningen-Eisenach Cultural Foundation, without this money there would be the risk that the Eisenach Theater would have to be wound up sooner or later. 'This contradicts the theater and orchestra concept adopted by the cabinet by the state government, which provides for the preservation of all facilities including the Eisenach theater.' "
  7. ??? In: Facebook. Accessed May 2012 .
  8. ^ Rescue for the theater in the Bach, Luther and Telemann cities of Eisenach. Please help! In: openPetition (online service). Retrieved May 15, 2012 .
  9. Demo for the theater - May 13, 2012, Eisenach. In: Youtube video. Retrieved May 13, 2012 . (13 video sequences)
  10. Roxana Mereutza: Eisenacher complaint choir: All 21 stanzas for reading. Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung (Eisenach editorial office), May 14, 2012, accessed on May 15, 2012 : "21 stanzas to save the Eisenach State Theater from being closed"
  11. Eisenacher complaints choir for the preservation of the State Theater, May 14, 2012, 4 p.m. In: Youtube video. Retrieved May 15, 2012 .