Plauen-Zwickau Theater

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The Plauen-Zwickau theater is a theater operated jointly by the cities of Plauen and Zwickau in the German state of Saxony . It unites the musical theater , drama , ballet and concert sectors .


Plauen Theater

The Vogtland Theater in Plauen

On April 1, 1896, the theater association in Plauen ( Vogtland ) decided to build a theater building based on the plans of the architect Arwed Rossbach, who was born in Plauen and later lived in Leipzig . The total costs were 325,000  marks , of which the city of Plauen contributed 100,000 marks. The foundation stone was laid on June 24, 1897 . The opening and inauguration of the city theater took place on October 1, 1898. After the jubilation overture by Carl Maria von Weber , the theater director Staack gave a laudation. This was followed by the first performance with the Maiden of Orléans by Friedrich Schiller . The first opera ( Der Freischütz by CM v. Weber) was performed on October 3, 1899 . The German Dadaist Hugo Ball worked as a dramaturge at the Plauen Theater in 1911/12 .

During the time of National Socialism, “heroic” themes determined the program. With Faust , Wilhelm Tell , Wallenstein , The Ring of the Nibelung, etc., the theater was used as an “important means of propaganda for the people's will to war and victory”. A planned new construction of the theater building according to plans by the architect Paul Baumgarten was not implemented due to a lack of financial means. Instead, a two-month redesign was carried out in which much of the stucco in the auditorium was removed. The reopening took place on July 3, 1939 with the comedy The secret bridal trip . In 1944 the theater was closed and on April 10, 1945 the building was damaged in an Allied bombing raid.

After the end of the war, the Soviet city commandant Lieutenant Colonel Kamarov set the date for the reconstruction on October 15, 1945. The city architect was commissioned at the beginning of August to check whether rebuilding would be possible within three months. He found that about 40% of the building fabric had been destroyed on the outside and about 80–90% on the inside. The deadline could only be met through the voluntary work of the employees of the companies involved in the construction on the weekend and in their free time. The theater was one of the first in Germany to reopen on October 15, 1945.

In December 1991, the Plauen Theater was renamed Vogtlandtheater Plauen to emphasize the connection to the surrounding area. From January 1995 the Vogtlandtheater Plauen was owned by the city of Plauen.

Theater Zwickau

Gewandhaus Zwickau (1525), used as a municipal theater since 1823

The Zwickau Gewandhaus was built between 1522 and 1525 as a representative guild house for cloth makers on the site of an older department store and clothing store that had been abandoned. The large hall on the first floor was used as a sales room for cloth makers, furriers, shoemakers and other craftsmen at fairs, but was also used as a parade room for the garrison in bad weather and even as a military hospital in times of war.

In 1812 the large hall was divided into two halls and several side rooms by partition walls. The rear, south-facing room became an "elegant concert hall", while the "Theater auf dem Gewandhaus" was opened in the larger front room in 1823, although it only had a temporary stage.

In the summer of 1855 a theater was built into the longitudinal axis of the Gewandhaus, the dimensions of which roughly corresponded to those of today's auditorium. On November 13, 1855, Hermann Meinhard's Society opened this first dedicated theater space in the Gewandhaus with the opera “The White Lady” by Boieldieu.

From 1882 to 1884 the theater was closed and rebuilt due to increased security regulations. An iron chain curtain was installed, at the same time the stage, cloakrooms and stairwells were rebuilt and the hall renovated.

Another renovation of the hall took place in 1902. The auditorium held about 1100 people at that time - but it only had 500 seats. In addition, when the house was full, 300 people crowded the standing room on the sides of the parquet and another 300 on the gallery.

In 1947 the first major renovation of the auditorium and the ancillary rooms was completed under the most difficult material conditions. With their curved lines, the two new tiers gave the theater hall a more pleasant and modern look.

1953 followed the demolition and reconstruction of the completely outdated stage building. With the extension of the Gewandhaus to the south by about 10 meters, which became necessary, the character of the listed historical building was preserved. This enlargement of the stage made it possible to install a turntable with a diameter of 12 meters. After an interim season at the Lindenhof, the Gewandhaus was reopened in December 1953.

1966–1968 the Gewandhaus was supplemented by a side wing, whereby the stage was expanded to include a side stage with storage options for the scenery and elevator.

In 1967 the orchestra received the Robert Schumann Prize .

On October 7, 1979, the “Theater in der Mühle” was opened in the basement of the “old town mill”. The Zwickau Theater, which at that time was called the stages of the city of Zwickau , had two stages that were constantly in use. The auditorium held a maximum of 99 visitors.

In 1984–1987, another building was added to the theater complex - the puppet theater. Up to 180 children can see the puppet theater performances there. Additional storage facilities for backdrops were created above the puppet theater, and another freight elevator was installed to bring the backdrops to the stage level of the Gewandhaus.

1988–1989 the Gewandhaus had to be closed for technical reasons. As in the 1970s, the Zwickau Lindenhof served as an alternative venue. During this time, the building complex was converted to the supply of district heating. For the first time, the theater received an electronic lighting control room with 200 control loops and a sound studio with a mixer and studio machines.

In 1995 the revolving stage and the upper machinery, the drive machines of which were still from 1924, were renewed, the iron curtain (from 1910) was also replaced.

In the spring of 1996, an expert report revealed an asbestos load in the auditorium. A temporary closure was therefore inevitable. This time, the alternative venue was the theater's former painting room, which was converted into a stage in a very short time. The Gewandhaus was reopened on October 18, 1997. The auditorium then held 395 seats, 10 of which can be expanded for wheelchair users.

The last performance took place on December 31, 2018 in the Theater in der Mühle. The building was then gutted and demolished. The Zwickau Theater no longer has a small stage. The search for an alternative venue has so far yielded no results.

A comprehensive renovation of the Gewandhaus (roof, facade, auditorium) is currently underway. The game takes place in the painting room that has been converted into a venue and in other alternative venues. The renovation is expected to last until October 2020.


In 2000, the cities of Plauen and Zwickau merged their two theaters for economic reasons to form the Plauen-Zwickau theater . Since then, directors have been Wolfgang Hauswald (2000–2001), Georg Mittendrein (2001–2003), Ingolf Huhn (2003–2008) and Rüdiger Bloch (2008–2009). Roland May has been managing director of the house since the 2009/10 season, and Sandra Kaiser has been managing director since summer 2015. Music theater, drama, ballet and orchestra present a wide-ranging, varied program. The repertoire ranges from classical opera to operettas and musicals, a wide range of plays on main and studio stages, ballet and open-air productions of all genres right up to a very lively concert activity.

The theater attaches particular importance to program programs for children and young people and extensive theater education work.

Outsourcing of the puppet theater

In 2016, the puppet theater was separated from the Plauen-Zwickau Theater for economic reasons and continued under the sole sponsorship of the City of Zwickau as a subsidiary of the Kultur, Tourismus und Messebetriebe Zwickau GmbH . The director is Monika Gerboc.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. History of theater. In: Retrieved October 29, 2016 .