The English Theater Frankfurt

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The English Theater on the Taunusanlage.

The English Theater Frankfurt is an English-speaking theater in Frankfurt am Main . It was founded in 1979, making it the third oldest and now the largest English-language theater on mainland Europe, after Vienna's English Theater (1963) and the English Theater of Hamburg (1976). The venue is the Gallileo high-rise in the Bahnhofsviertel , on the corner of Gallusanlage and Kaiserstraße . In March 2016, the theater was placed on the Red List of Threatened Cultural and Educational Institutions of the German Cultural Council and classified in Category 3 (warning list).


Hamburger Allee 45
1981–1990 venue of the theater

The founder of the English Theater was Kevin Oakes from South Africa, who together with Jon Johnson, Mary Jackson and Ken Elrod from the USA produced the first ensemble “Cardboard Clowns”. Judith Rosenbauer joined the ensemble a year after it was founded and shortly afterwards took over the management of the theater together with Keith LeFever and Daryl Lockwood. Although the ensemble disbanded that same year, the theater continued to exist under the name of Café Theater .

In 1981 the theater moved to larger premises at Hamburger Allee 45 and was renamed English Theater Frankfurt . Thanks to its growing popularity, it moved again in 1990. For eleven years, the theater was able to accommodate up to 230 spectators per evening in a house on Kaiserstrasse.

Due to economic difficulties, the “English Theater e. V. ”under the directorship of Judith Rosenbauer in 2002 to file for bankruptcy. In order to be able to continue the long tradition of the English-speaking theater in Frankfurt, Daniel John Nicolai took over the business. The theater became a non-profit company and was called from then on: The English Theater Frankfurt . Daniel John Nicolai has been director of the theater since 2002.

In 2003, The English Theater Frankfurt was able to move into their newly built Gallileo skyscraper with the support of " Dresdner Bank " . In the basement of the high-rise is the theater, which has very modern equipment and with 300 seats is now the largest English-language theater on the European continent.

The theater is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the 2009/2010 season.


The English Theater Frankfurt is interested in serving a variety of genres ranging from comedies and parodies , thrillers and crime novels to dramas and tragedies and musicals . The selection of plays includes both classics and new and modern plays. The English Theater Frankfurt produces at least five of its own shows per season , including a musical. A drama production runs for around 6–8 weeks every day, except on Mondays, while a musical usually has a playing time of 12 weeks.

The English Theater Frankfurt does not have a permanent ensemble. The actors are recruited for each production. All actors are native speakers and the majority come from England (e.g. from London's famous West End theater district ) and the USA (e.g. from New York's Broadway ). The auditions usually take place around three months before the premiere in London. This is also where the first rehearsals begin before the British-American “creative team” and the actors travel to Frankfurt to rehearse the piece and bring it to the premiere. For American pieces, the castings and rehearsals can also take place in New York (for example for: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof").

The presenter Sonya Kraus was the only German actress to make her theatrical debut at The English Theater Frankfurt . In the play "A Picasso" (director: Gareth Armstrong; 2007/2008 season) she played a German Nazi agent.

Drama club

The in-house “Drama Club” offers amateurs the opportunity to develop their talent under professional guidance and to participate in their own Drama Club productions. These plays are usually performed on the stage of "James the Bar", which is attached to the theater and named after the Irish writer James Joyce .

Theater and school

The English Theater Frankfurt has been offering matinee programs for school classes since 2006 , making an important contribution to promoting language and theater education. It is also possible to book theater workshops and introductions to the respective plays. Once a season, the theater also shows a production specifically aimed at (English-learning) students of individual grades. The shows usually take place in the mornings for a week in spring. In the past few years, around 4500 pupils have visited the theater for each school production.

Special events

The "International Stammtisch", which takes place every first Monday of the month in the "James the Bar", is an initiative of the City of Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce, The English Theater Frankfurt , the Frankfurt International School, the ISF (International School Frankfurt -Rhein-Main), the German-British Society e. V. and the Newcomers Network and is aimed at interested locals as well as new citizens who have come to Frankfurt from other parts of the world. Readings by English-speaking authors are also held in “James the Bar”. During the ongoing musical productions, the actors give cabarets in the "James the Bar" on some Fridays. They sing a medley of well-known musical hits and pop songs.

Web links

Commons : The English Theater  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

See also

List of English-language theaters in other language countries

Individual evidence

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Coordinates: 50 ° 6 ′ 34 ″  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 17 ″  E