Thalia Theater (Hamburg)

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Logo of the Thalia Theater Hamburg
Facade of the Thalia Theater Hamburg
Side facade of the Thalia Theater Hamburg (seen from Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz )

The Thalia Theater , more precisely Thalia Theater GmbH , is one of the three Hamburg state theaters. The Große Haus am Alstertor in Hamburg's old town holds around 1000 spectators. The repertoire includes around 20 productions that are played alternating daily or in blocks. There are around nine premieres per season in the Großer Haus , plus around six premieres in the Thalia on Gaußstrasse in Altona .


The old Thalia Theater around 1860

The old building of the Thalia Theater was designed by the architects Franz Georg Stammann and Auguste de Meuron and built in 1843. This building stood opposite the current building (today the Thaliahof is located there ). On November 9, 1843 , Chéri Maurice (actually Charles M. Schwartzenberger) founded the Thalia Theater with the theater license of the late widow Handje. Schwartzenberger chose Thalia , the muse of comic poetry and entertainment; Furthermore, Thalia is also one of the three graces .

Bernhard Pollini acquired the theater in 1894, and in 1907 his heirs converted it into a GmbH. Under the direction of the director Leopold Jessner , the new building on the horse market, today: Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz , (Architects Lundt & Kallmorgen ) with 1300 seats was opened in 1912 . In 1927 the later world-famous actor Peter Lorre (Laszlo Löwenstein) was an actor at the theater. The direction of Hermann Röbbeling , who had been in office since 1915, was followed by Erich Ziegel in 1932 . From 1934 to 1942 Paul Mundorf took over the management of the house, until 1936 together with Erich Kühn , then together with Ernst Leudesdorff . In 1937 the Thalia Theater was nationalized. From 1942 to 1945 Robert Meyn was in charge of the house. In 1945 it was destroyed by bombing. A provisional reopening with Was ihr wollt by William Shakespeare took place in 1946 under the direction of Willy Maertens (1945–1964).

Under Maerten's direction, the restored house was opened on December 3, 1960 with the play St. Johanna by George Bernard Shaw . The interior design by the architect Werner Kallmorgen is considered an excellent example of post-war modernism .

Boy Gobert followed the directorship of Kurt Raeck (1964–1969) . Under his leadership (until 1980) the Thalia opened up to contemporary directorial theater. Gobert brought in directors like Peter Zadek , Hans Neuenfels and Jürgen Flimm and the theater photographer Rosemarie Clausen . In 1972, the TiK - Thalia opened a second venue in the Kunsthalle . From 1980 to 1985 Peter Striebeck was artistic director. Jürgen Flimm followed, who successfully managed the house for 15 years. The Thalia was and still is (2005) the economically most successful state theater in Germany.

In the summer of 2000 Ulrich Khuon took over the Thalia Theater, under whose direction it was voted Theater of the Year in 2003 and 2007 in the annual poll by the magazine Theater heute. He hired such well-known directors as Andreas Kriegenburg (whom he brings to the house as senior director), Michael Thalheimer (whose successful productions Liliom, Liebelei and Lulu are invited to numerous festivals and guest performances), Stephan Kimmig , Martin Kušej , Jürgen Kruse and Tomaž Pandur . The program includes classics and modern classics by authors such as Shakespeare, Schiller, Wedekind, Molnár, Ibsen and Schnitzler, and pieces by contemporary authors such as Dea Loher , Gesine Dankwart , Conor McPherson , Moritz Rinke , Fritz Kater , Lukas Bärfuss or Jon Fosse shown and premiered.

Directors such as Peter Sellars , Ruth Berghaus , Robert Wilson, Tomaž Pandur and Andreas Kriegenburg have worked at the Thalia Theater . Robert Wilson had worldwide success with his musicals The Black Rider and Alice - both in collaboration with Tom Waits - and with Time Rocker and POEtry, which were created in collaboration with Lou Reed . The Slovenian director Tomaž Pandur staged the trilogy Inferno in the 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 seasons. Purgatorio. Paradiso based on Dante's La Divina Commedia, which was seen from Colombia to Korea.

In July 2000 the TIK (Thalia in the Kunsthalle) was closed as a second stage. In November 2000, the Thalia in Gaußstrasse was opened, a new studio stage in Hamburg-Altona with 200 seats and a variable stage. In a few years this venue became one of the top addresses for contemporary theater.

Since the beginning of the 2009/2010 season, Joachim Lux , previously chief dramaturge at the Burgtheater in Vienna, has been director of the Thalia Theater. The artistic profile of the program is determined by decisive directing handwriting, continuous collaboration with international artists, directors and authors, as well as a strong ensemble. Well-known artists such as Luk Perceval , Nicolas Stemann , Dimiter Gotscheff , Stefan Pucher , Jan Bosse , Antú Romero Nunes and Jette Steckel regularly stage it . The program brings together new subjects, themes and world premieres as well as ancient pieces and modern classics that deal with topics such as the search for inner and outer home and cultural identity.

Since 2010, the two-week theater festival “Um alles in der Welt - Lessingtage” has played the Thalia program from the end of January to the beginning of February with many international guest performances on all stages of the Thalia Theater and other locations in the city. Based on Lessing's enlightened thoughts, the international festival deals with intercultural issues and has new focuses every year. The festival quickly established itself in Hamburg's cultural landscape.

So far, several productions of the Lux era have celebrated great successes: The production of “The Contracts of the Merchant. Eine Wirtschaftskomödie ”by Elfriede Jelinek , directed by Nicolas Stemann, was invited to the 2010 Berlin Theatertreffen . In 2012 “Faust I + II”, also directed by Nicolas Stemann, was honored by the Berliner Festspiele, and in 2013 the production “Everyone dies for himself” based on the novel by Hans Fallada , directed by Luk Perceval.

Other awards (selection)

  • “Everyone dies for himself” (based on the novel by Hans Fallada , directed by Luk Perceval): Berliner Theatertreffen 2013
  • "Faust I + II" (by Goethe, directed by Nicolas Stemann): Berliner Theatertreffen 2012
  • "Faust I + II": Theater heute production of the year 2012
  • “Immer noch Sturm” (by Peter Handke , directed by Dimiter Gotscheff): German-language play of the year 2012, theater heute
  • “Still a storm”: Mülheim Dramatist Prize 2012
  • Peter Handke : Vienna Theater Prize “Nestroy” for “Immer noch Sturm” awarded as the best piece
  • Sebastian Rudolph : Actor of the Year 2012
  • Jens Harzer Actor of the Year 2011
  • “The merchant's contracts. An economic comedy ”(by Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Nicolas Stemann): Berliner Theatertreffen 2010

Guest performances

With its productions, the Thalia Theater has been touring all of Europe, New York, Hong Kong, Bogotá and Rio de Janeiro, most recently in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as at the Budapest Spring Festival and the Festival d'Avignon . A series of television recordings and invitations to the Berlin Theatertreffen or the Wiener Festwochen are evidence of the theater's success over many years.

Other Projects

The Thalia Theater is orienting itself internationally with other projects and offers a program for a modern, intercultural urban society.

Thalia International welcomes people with immigrant biographies and their German friends at least once a month for introductions and follow-up discussions with dramaturges. The Thalia Theater wants to network with intercultural institutions in the city that Hamburg residents with an immigrant background are familiar with. In addition, the Thalia Theater offers a piece from its repertoire with English surtitles once a month. Thalia Pathfinder is aimed at young adults between 18 and 30 years of age with a migration background, who should discover the theater as a place for debates about society, democracy and values. Theater workshops are offered on selected productions. In addition, during the Lessingtage, the participants reflect on the festival on a daily basis on the Thalia homepage in an online Lessing diary.

The Thalia Theater is the venue for the Studio Hamburg Young Talent Award.

Night shelter

The Nachtasyl theater bar is located under the roof of the Thalia Theater. Concerts, readings and special performances take place there.


  • Boy Gobert , Gerhard Blasche u. a .: Hamburg Thalia Theater. Kristall, Hamburg 1980, ISBN 3-607-00004-2
  • Merian extra “150 Years of Thalia Theater”. Merian-Verlag 1993 ISBN 3-7742-9313-9
  • Volker Canaris , Ludwig von Otting (Ed.): ... from heaven through the world to hell! Pictures by Hermann and Clärchen Baus from 15 years of work at the Thalia Theater under the direction of Jürgen Flimm 1985–2000. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-455-11160-2
  • Ernst August Greven: 110 years Thalia-Theater Hamburg 1843–1953 . A little chronicle. Edited by artistic director Willy Maertens. Compiled by Albert Dambek. Hamburg 1953, 144 pages, with numerous illustrations.
  • Henrik Woelk: The Thalia in Gaussstrasse. Views of a card tear-off . Books on Demand , Norderstedt 2007, ISBN 978-3-8370-0535-6 .

Web links

Commons : Thalia Theater (Hamburg)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  8. Studio Hamburg Young Talent Award. Retrieved September 4, 2017 .
  9. ↑ Night asylum. Retrieved September 4, 2017 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 33 ′ 7.1 ″  N , 9 ° 59 ′ 53.8 ″  E