Volkstheater (Vienna)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Volkstheater in Vienna
North view of the theater
The auditorium, once the largest in the German-speaking area

The People's Theater (formerly German National Theater ) is a 1889 to designs by Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner built theater in the 7th Viennese district construction in Neustiftgasse 1, since 2017: Arthur Schnitzler -Platz 1. It is located opposite the Natural History Museum in the neighborhood the MuseumsQuartier and the Spittelberg and is one of the largest theaters in German-speaking countries.


Share certificate of the Association of the German People's Theater from May 1889
Ludwig Anzengruber , poet and founding father of the theater

The Volkstheater was founded in 1889 by the poet Ludwig Anzengruber and the industrialist Felix Fischer through the Association of the German People's Theater . To distinguish it from the other nationalities of the Danube Monarchy, it was called the "German People's Theater" and was intended to create a bourgeois counterpart to the imperial Hofburgtheater . The first president was the chair manufacturer Franz Thonet . According to the intentions of the founders, classical and modern dramas in particular should be brought closer to a broad section of the population in addition to folk plays. In addition to affordable prices, a large auditorium was a prerequisite for this. The Weghuberpark between the imperial stables and the Palais Trautson was chosen as the location .

On September 14th, 1889, the theater was opened with Ludwig Anzengruber's play "Der Fleck auf der Ehr '".

The bourgeoisie and the wealthy aristocracy at that time proudly viewed the German Volkstheater as “their house” and thus came into opposition to the court theaters that belonged to the aristocracy. The court directors, who had long had the plan to open a second theater in Vienna and believed they had found it in the Deutsches Volkstheater, just wanted to wait until the theater had come down and then buy it cheaply. But the new house celebrated success after success, with the French comedy being its domain.

The Volkstheater experienced artistic highlights in the 1920s under the directors Alfred Bernau and Rudolf Beer , who not only offered exciting programs, but also brought the most important actors, directors and stage designers of the time to the house. From 1938 to 1945 the theater became part of the National Socialist leisure program Kraft durch Freude of the German Labor Front under Walter Bruno Iltz . In the post-war period, the director and actor Günther Haenel was responsible for a modern game plan with a socially critical character.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Leon Epp brought the most important contemporary pieces to Vienna, dared the most daring interpretations of classics, and the director and later director Gustav Manker simultaneously raised the Raimund and Nestroy interpretations to previously unimagined heights. In the early 1970s, under Gustav Manker's direction , the Volkstheater pioneered the discovery of modern Austrian dramatic literature from Wolfgang Bauer to Peter Turrini .

The Volkstheater is run by a private foundation as a GmbH and is funded by the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria .

In October 2019, a report by the city ​​audit office became known, which speaks of a "precarious situation" in the financial management of the Volkstheater. In the three financial years up to 2017/18, the theater received a total of EUR 21.9 million in subsidies from the City of Vienna from the City of Vienna. The Court of Auditors called for a concept on how the theater could be financially renovated. The theater in the Josefstadt was named as a model .

Main house

The Volkstheater 1959 without dome and facade frieze
The Volkstheater at night

The German Volkstheater was built by Fellner & Helmer (architect: Ferdinand Fellner the Younger ) in the style of historicism and is the sister building of the Hamburger Schauspielhaus . The large auditorium with only a few boxes was symptomatic of a democratic alternative to the aristocratic Hofburgtheater . Ceiling paintings by Eduard Veith in the auditorium show the “homage to Vindobona ” and the “wreath of the poet Ferdinand Raimund ”, who is flanked by his colleagues Johann Nepomuk Nestroy and Ludwig Anzengruber . The Volkstheater was the first theater building to be lit exclusively electrically, as it had to comply with the safety regulations that had been issued in Vienna after the Ringtheater fire in 1881. The stage was enlarged as early as 1890, in 1907 the theater was extended by an annex with an additional break foyer and in 1911 by additional ancillary rooms. In front of the main entrance, a Ferdinand Raimund monument by Franz Vogl was erected in 1898 , who also designed the facade tympanum with a procession of Bacchus . Among them were the busts of Schiller , Lessing and Grillparzer .

In 1938, after the " Anschluss of Austria " , the theater was converted into a KdF theater of the German Labor Front , extensively renovated, stripped of gold, stucco and statues, the ceiling paintings were painted over, the decorations inside were completely removed and the original 1901 seats were removed the 500 standing places and widening of the rows of seats reduced to 1538. The Raimund memorial was moved to the Weghuberpark to the right of the theater. For a planned visit by Adolf Hitler , Leo Kammel set up his own "Führerzimmer" (which still exists today in its original state, see below). On March 12, 1944, the dome and the foyers of the theater were badly damaged by an American bomb attack.

In 1945 the theater was quickly restored, with the large dome and facade tympanum being dispensed with. The theater was renamed Volkstheater and reopened on May 10, 1945 in order to forestall the plan to use the Volkstheater as an alternative location for the Burgtheater. In 1952, next to the theater on Burggasse, a monument created by Josef Müllner for the popular folk actress Hansi Niese was erected. There is also a memorial to the director Rudolf Beer , who committed suicide in 1938 after being mistreated by Nazi thugs.

In 1980/81 the dome was finally rebuilt and the house was completely renovated according to the original plans. However, instead of the original poets Schiller, Lessing and Grillparzer, the Austrian poet triad Raimund, Grillparzer and Nestroy was chosen as the bust on the facade.

The auditorium of the Volkstheater is one of the last preserved in its original state in Vienna and was formerly the largest in the German-speaking area, even larger than the Burgtheater . Originally the theater had 1901 seats (1401 seats, 500 standing seats), after the Second World War 1539, after the general renovation in 1980/81 1148, in the 1990s 970 seats, today only 832 seats. The Volkstheater is the second largest theater in Vienna and the third largest in the German-speaking area. In the summer of 2015, a grandstand was installed, which means more comfort, better visibility and acoustics for visitors.

From summer 2015, the theater should be completely refurbished for around 35 million euros. A fundraising campaign was started in August 2014, with the help of which 30,000 euros were collected by the end of December 2014. For various reasons, the general renovation had to be postponed to 2019. At the end of the 2018/19 season, the preparatory measures for the exterior and interior renovation of the house began. The costs for the 2019/20 revitalization project are expected to be EUR 27.3 million. The last curtain fell in the main building at the end of 2019; Hall E in the MuseumsQuartier is to serve as an alternative quarter until October 2020 . The renovation should be completed by October 2020.

In 2017 the forecourt of the theater was named Arthur-Schnitzler- Platz . Since then, the theater's official address has been Arthur-Schnitzler-Platz 1.

Ancillary venues

Popular theater in the districts

The Volkstheater has been running the series of games founded as “Volkstheater in the outskirts” since 1954, currently called “Volkstheater / Bezirke”. As part of this, productions of the Volkstheater tour through 19 districts of Vienna. In addition to various adult education centers and event centers, well-known locations such as the Urania , the Per-Albin-Hansson-Siedlung or the Akzent Theater can be found as venues . In the first 25 years, this series of games attracted over one and a half million visitors in more than 4,000 performances with 200 premieres. The repertoire ranges from the classical to the Viennese folk piece to the modern.

Volx / Margareten

Since the 2015/16 season, the Volkstheater has had a second, constantly played venue in the 5th district, the Volx / Margareten (formerly Hundsturm) (see Hundsturm ). The district tours start there, but city projects are also developed and presented (sometimes together with Viennese citizens).


The “Red Bar” in the main building (in the buffet room on the first floor) is one of the additional venues. In the former “reception room” (the former “driver's room”, see below), a library is set up under Anna Badora. The brown-paneled salon can be entered by the public via a separate, normally unused staircase. It is a separate break room, which was created in 1938 by the architect Leo Kammel sen. for the visit of Adolf Hitler , who never entered the room. Michael Schottenberg caused a stir in his first year as director in 2005 when he had the historic wood paneling of the leader's room removed “for reasons of morality, ethics and political awareness” and used it as a historical quote for the performance of Thomas Bernhard's “Before Retirement” wanted to "artistically comment" on Nazi architecture . However, the Federal Monuments Office obliged him to dismantle it. After that, the room was set up as a new “reception room” and used for performances, readings, discussions and exhibitions that serve to deal with contemporary Austrian history. In 2006 an exhibition installation designed by Jan Tabor , “Das Führerzimmer. A Viennese monument ”, which reminds of the time of National Socialism , when the theater was subject to the Nazi leisure program“ Strength through Joy ”.


The early years (1889–1918)

Emerich von Bukovics, director 1889–1905, opened the house with Ludwig Anzengruber's Der Fleck auf der Ehr ' . His repertoire included all the important works of the classics as well as contemporary authors, the works of Anzengruber and Henrik Ibsen were particularly close to his heart . For a long time, however, the French comedy and the genre related to it remained the domain of the commercially run theater. With Helene Odilon, a very special actress was available for this. And with Rosa (Albach) Retty , the Deutsches Volkstheater had “one of the most delightful 'naive' that ever stood on a Viennese stage”. Bukovics formed an ensemble that was even on par with the Burgtheater in the conversation piece : Alexander Girardi , Adele Sandrock , Ludwig Martinelli , Rudolf Tyrolt , Joseph Giampietro, Viktor Kutschera, Theodor and Adolf Weisse , Leopold Kramer, Willy Thaller.

Adolf Weisse, director 1905–1916, a wealthy actor who already belonged to the theater, turned his main attention as director of contemporary drama with Gerhart Hauptmann , Maurice Maeterlinck , George Bernard Shaw , Frank Wedekind , Arthur Schnitzler , Franz Molnar , Hermann Bahr , Franz Theodor Csokor and Karl Schönherr ( Glaube und Heimat , 1910) and expanded the classic part of the schedule with actors such as Max Pallenberg , Josefine Glöckner , Anton Edthofer , Hans Homma , Ida Wüst , Jakob Feldhammer and Wilhelm Klitsch. On May 15, 1907, the opera " Salome " by Richard Strauss was premiered in Vienna in a guest performance from Breslau . Six pieces were newly staged by Johann Nestroy , but none by Ferdinand Raimund.

Karl Wallner succeeded in the management 1916–1918 despite the problems caused by the First World War with actors such as Raoul Aslan , Fritz Kortner ( Shylock in “ The Merchant of Venice ” and Philipp II in “ Don Karlos ”), Karl Forest, Josef Danegger and Carlsen trusted a number of excellent performances such as Otto Ludwig's Erbförster , Richard Dehmel's Die Menschenfreunde , Anton Wildgans ' Liebe and colleague Crampton and Gabriel Schillings Flucht by Gerhart Hauptmann . Karl Schönherr's “People in Need” under the direction of Hugo Thimig was performed in 1916 with Hedwig Bleibtreu and Otto Tressler . Conflicts arose when Wallner advised an actress to enter into a relationship with several men in order to increase her attractiveness on stage. Alfred Polgar called him “a guaranteed zero ” in art .

Alfred Bernau (1918–1924)

Alfred Bernau was director of the Wiener Kammerspiele from 1916 , then director of the German People's Theater from 1918–1924. He opened the house to the modern age, advocated naturalism , neo-romanticism and expressionism and thus became a serious competitor for the Burgtheater . With his daring he even succeeded in “putting the theater in front of the Burgtheater” ( Oskar Maurus Fontana ). Gerhart Hauptmann , Henrik Ibsen , August Strindberg , Frank Wedekind , George Bernard Shaw , Ferenc Molnár , Karl Schönherr , Hermann Bahr , Hermann Sudermann , Walter Hasenclever , Fritz von Unruh and Ernst Toller were the pillars of the game plan . Bernau showed great skill in discovering important contemporary pieces, whereby he benefited from the relaxation of the censorship . Arthur Schnitzler's Professor Bernhardi was presented to the Viennese audience for the first time in 1918 after the play had been banned, Bernau himself played the title role, followed in 1919 by Felix Salten's soldier piece Der Gemeine , which had previously been banned because of criticism of the army. Veritable theater scandals generated Hermann Bahr's Die Voice (1918), Hans Müller's dirn drama Die Flamme with Ida Roland and above all Arthur Schnitzler's Reigen in the Kammerspiele attached to the Volkstheater on February 1, 1921 - one of the greatest theater scandals of the 20th century.

Bernau showed particular commitment to dramas by Ibsen ( Peer Gynt and Die Kronprätendenten with a playing time of six hours) and Strindberg , whose Rausch was performed in 1918 with Raoul Aslan as Maurice. Numerous pieces reflected a pacifist mindset, such as Hasenclever's Antigone , Rolland's Die Zeit wirdommen and Hans Kaltneker's mystery The Sacrifice . Karl Schönherr's abortion drama It was premiered with Anton Edthofer and Lucie Höflich .

Important directors were Karlheinz Martin , director of “Aktivismus”, who caused a sensation with his sensational production of Georg Kaiser's “Gas” I and II, and Max Reinhardt , who was won over as a guest. The ensemble included Hans Jaray , Lotte Medelsky , Wilhelm Klitsch , Leopold Kramer , Ferdinand Onno , Traute Carlsen and her husband Karl Forest as well as Hansi Niese , Max Pallenberg , Fritzi Massary , Felix Bressart and Margarethe Koeppke (Wedekind's " Lulu "). The most celebrated guests included Alexander Moissi in Tolstoy's The Living Body (1922), in Grillparzer's Die Jüdin von Toledo (1923), as Shakespeare'sHamlet ” and in “ Romeo and Juliet ”, as Oswald in Ibsen'sGhosts ”, “ Dantons Tod ”,“ Oedipus ”, Gerhart Hauptmann's Montezuma playThe White Savior ”and Schiller'sDon Karlos ”as well as Tilla Durieux , Oscar Sima , Hans Moser , Rudolf Schildkraut , Rudolf Tyrolt , Adrienne Gessner , Fritz Kortner and Helene Thimig as well Ida Roland and Maria Orska .

An important partner of Bernau was the set designer Oskar Strnad , who equipped the house with a revolving stage and created groundbreaking sets. In productions with expressionist mass choreography and in numerous classic productions, the highlights of which are Goethe's Faust. A tragedy. , Schiller'sWilhelm Tell ” and in 1921 Büchner's Danton's death with Moissi. Goethe'sStella ” was played for the first time in Vienna. In the course of cultural and political interests, Max Reinhardt showed Schöne Frauen with Hermann Thimig and Luise Rainer as well as The Nameless with Helene Thimig in 1922 , before opening the theater in der Josefstadt in 1924 .

For a short time, consideration was given to merging the Burgtheater, which was in financial difficulties, with the Deutsches Volkstheater ; but when the plan became known, there was public outrage. In the course of the inflation, the Volkstheater ran into financial difficulties, and director Bernau was dismissed without thanks.

Rudolf Beer (1924–1932)

Rudolf Beer , 1932
Rudolf Beer - "Victim of the 3rd Reich". Memorial bust next to the Volkstheater (sculpture by Franz Pixner ).

Under Rudolf Beer the Volkstheater was merged with the Raimundtheater . Siegfried Breuer , Hans Jaray , Erik Frey , Hans Olden , Karl Paryla , Karl Skraup , Hans Holt , Guido Wieland , Franz Stoss , Franz Schafheitlin , Hans Schweikart , Luise Rainer , Sybille Schmitz , Luise Ullrich and Paula Wessely were won for the ensemble . Beer, who was preceded by the reputation of the “revolutionary”, was able to increase the level achieved under Bernau, he was a promoter of modern literature. The theater played plays by Franz Theodor Csokor (who was also the dramaturge at the house), Carl Zuckmayer , Georg Kaiser , Karl Schönherr and Robert Musil , but especially by Luigi Pirandello , who showed Heinrich IV with Alexander Moissi in 1926 . Moissi also played in the Schnitzler premiere Im Spiel der Sommerlüfte (1929, with Luise Ullrich) and Hamlet in tails in a contemporary Shakespeare interpretation, one of the rare classics in the Beer directorate, which, however, also includes Goethe's Faust in a version of both Parts for one evening belonged to Paul Mederow . In 1929 Moissi even offered his legendary Jedermann , whom he played at the Salzburg Festival under Max Reinhardt .

The most important director was Karlheinz Martin , who shaped the house with progressive productions such as Frank Wedekind's Franziska with Tilla Durieux and Paula Wessely before he became head of the Volksbühne Berlin in 1929 . Ferdinand Bruckner's historical drama Elisabeth von England with Leopoldine Konstantin and Karl Forest celebrated triumphs on a simultaneous stage. In 1930 Max Reinhardt directed Gerhart Hauptmann'sDer Biberpelz ” with Hansi Niese and Emil Jannings . Thomas Mann was honored with his piece “Fiorenza” on his 50th birthday. One of the greatest box office successes was the crime play The Mary Dugan Case, staged by Heinz Hilpert with the audience favorite Hansi Niese. Beer tried actors in roles that did not correspond to their profession and showed Hansi Niese in Henrik Ibsen'sThe pillars of society ”, the salon lady Leopoldine Konstantin as “ Maria Stuart ”, the singer Marie Gutheil-Schoder as “Woman without meaning” by Oscar Wilde and Anton Edthofer as Dauphin in “ Die heilige Johanna ” (director: Karlheinz Martin).

From 1931, an Elevenschule focused on young talents, including Karl Paryla and Paula Wessely , who had been part of the ensemble for a number of years (Wendla in Wedekind's Spring Awakening , 1928, at the side of Hans Jaray ). The folk piece , which did not reach the public despite an author competition in 1927, was not very successful.

Beer invited many ensembles to spectacular guest performances, including the Moscow Chamber Theater under Alexander Tairoff with “ Giroflé-Girofla ” or stars with their own ensembles such as Fritz Kortner or Paul Wegener . The program was strongly based on the Berlin theaters. In 1925 Max Pallenberg played Molnar's Liliom , in 1931 the good soldier Schwejk . Karlheinz Martin brought Hans Albers as Liliom in his Berlin version in 1930 . Emil Jannings ' appearance in Gerhart Hauptmann's Fuhrmann Henschel (1931) was a sensation .

Beer's forced guest theater with Berlin stars such as Fritzi Massary , Asta Nielsen , Elisabeth Bergner , Adele Sandrock , Curt Goetz , Heinz Rühmann and Conrad Veidt led to hostility and resulted in his resignation in 1932. Beer committed suicide in 1938 after the "Anschluss" of Austria after being mistreated by Nazi thugs.

Rolf Jahn (1932–1938)

On the recommendation of his predecessor, Rolf Jahn prevailed over Otto Preminger and Otto Falckenberg as director in 1932 and invested his own fortune in the theater. His program was characterized by apolitical amusement and easy entertainment. He responded to the challenge of competing cinema with comedies and musical revues. Ralph Benatzky's operettas Das kleine Cafe and Be Zauberdes Fräulein achieved the highest numbers of performances and visitors. The old Viennese Volkstheater degenerated into " Heurigen Evenings " ( OM Fontana ) and only lived on in isolated cases in actors such as Hans Moser, Karl Skraup or Gisela Wer District . Exceptions were the opening premiere The Women of Zoinsdorf by Rose Meller in 1932, directed by the playwright Franz Theodor Csokor and František Langer's Engel unter uns (1933) directed by Karlheinz Martin . For Gerhart Hauptmann's 70th birthday , 1932 Before Sunset with Emil Jannings , Die Ratten was given for his 75th birthday . Hauptmann was present at the performances.

With George Bernard Shaw , John Galsworthy , Oscar Wilde and Eugene O'Neill , there was also an increasing number of Anglo-Saxon literature on the program, but classics hardly at all. The ensemble included Vilma Degischer , Tilla Durieux, Käthe Dorsch , Hansi Niese , Jane Tilden , Christl Mardayn and Hans Jaray , important guests were Albert Bassermann and Max Pallenberg . The mammoth drama Lueger , the great Austrian by Hans Naderer was performed in 1934 as an expression of the corporate state dictatorship and promoted in a large-scale advertising campaign at the request of Federal Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg and Cardinal Innitzer . The later Hollywood director Otto Preminger directed light fare like Duschinsky's Emperor Franz Joseph I (1933). A stage design by Oskar Strnad for the Maria Theresa revue The Young Baron Neuhaus (1933) became famous . The writer Jura Soyfer wrote about the theater situation in Vienna in February 1937: A future theater historian will have to deal with this epoch with a few regretful words.

After the “Anschluss” of Austria in 1938, Jahn tried hard to please the new leadership, dismissing all Jewish actors on the day the Nazi came to power and justifying himself by stating that Jewish authors and actors had been dictated to him by a Jewish cultural lobby . He was one of the few theater directors who were not dismissed immediately after Hitler's invasion, because he himself took on all those tasks that were carried out in other theaters by the newly appointed acting directors. Jahn even assured Ambassador Franz von Papen that he would reorganize the theater in terms of staff and repertoire according to National Socialist ideas and willingly participated in the transfer of the Volkstheater to the Nazi leisure program " Strength through Joy ".

Ensemble members and people close to the theater who had to give way to the National Socialist regime and emigrate were among others. a. Albert Bassermann , Franz Theodor Csokor , Lili Darvas , Tilla Durieux, Adrienne Gessner , Oskar Homolka , Hans Jaray , Oskar Karlweis , Leopoldine Konstantin , Fritz Kortner , Karl Paryla and Heinrich Schnitzler . Rolf Jahn was replaced as a luckless opportunist and replaced by the German Walter Bruno Iltz .

Walter Bruno Iltz (1938–1944)

During the time of National Socialism in Austria , the Volkstheater became part of the Nazi leisure program Strength through Joy . The new director Walter Bruno Iltz , who had previously headed the Städtische Bühnen Düsseldorf as general director, was counted by the National Socialists among the leading theater men in the Reich . He was not a party functionary, but an independent artist who had even quarreled with the NSDAP when he defended the Jewish members at his Düsseldorf theater. His repertoire moved "between loyal to the line and silent protest" and consisted of Austrian genre, classical and trend pieces. Iltz knew how to create a program that followed the tradition of his predecessors and at the same time did not upset those in power who expected party and propaganda theater to be loyal to the party line. The program was initially based on the “Reich Dramaturgy” of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda . Of the 21 premieres in the first season, three were classics, four trend pieces, seven pieces of contemporary German drama, mostly comedies, five older pieces and two foreign ones. Four world premieres and two premieres showed the artistic director's ambition for “new German pieces”. The light comedy played a major part in the program . Many card contingents were given to groups such as companies, armed forces and youth associations at fixed prices .

The opening premiere was Schiller'sDie Räuber ”, directed by Ilz and set by the young set designer Gustav Manker with OW Fischer , Karl Skraup , Paul Hubschmid and Robert Valberg . For the premiere on October 7, 1938, all of Vienna's Nazi celebrities appeared, Gauleiter Odilo Globocnik gave the keynote address and opened the German People's Theater as the first “Theater of the People” in Vienna with triple victory and salvation calls to the Führer . In 1940, the Reich dramaturge Rainer Schlösser banned English and French plays, with the exception of Shakespeare (excluding the royal dramas) and George Bernard Shaws . 1942 at Friedrich Hebbel "Demetrius" (in the processing of Hans Schwarz for the first time with OW Fischer) in Stage Gustav Manker stage bevel in Vienna used. In the last two years of Walter Bruno Iltz's management, the schedule changed, he showed more courage and commitment outside the Nazi norms. New German pieces of inferior quality disappeared from the repertoire in favor of works of higher literary quality, even if they were controversial in party circles. Iltz determined which directors could be “expected” which pieces. Trend pieces were mainly staged by himself and head director Erhard Siedel , Günther Haenel were given the "literary high-quality pieces" from 1942 onwards. When it came to casting, Iltz even took into account which ensemble members had to perform in which pieces. This was due to Iltz's internal management style, who, after the departure of the emphatically National Socialist senior manager Erhard Siedel (who acted as an ideological figurehead and watchdog) , hired Günther Haenel , around whom a group of artists who rejected the Nazi regime soon gathered and were prepared to express this carefully on stage.

Iltz allowed performances such as George Bernard Shaw's Die heilige Johanna (1943) and Ferdinand Raimund's The Diamond of the Ghost King (1944) at his house, both directed by Günther Haenel and set by Gustav Manker , which even formulated a recognizable theatrical resistance . The stage Manker satirized for the land of truth in Raimund's fairy tale the monumental Nazi aesthetics with statues in the style of Arno Breker and paraphrased the symbol of the KDF -Rades and the German imperial eagle , the costumes were allusions to BDM and Hitler Youth . Karl Kalwoda , the actor who played King Veritatius, spoke in broken sentences and delivered a parody of Hitler in his gestures and posture. At the end of the scene, to applause from the audience for a balloon ride, the sentence The future is in the air! added. In Shaw's “Johanna”, Haenel emphasized less the excellent portrayal of the English and French psyche , which Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels valued , but rather the uncompromising path of an individual in a rigid structure of power. In the reply that the Jews usually give what is worth it. I have made the experience that people who want something for free are always Christians. At the premiere SS men left the hall.

Big names like OW Fischer , Curd Jürgens , Paul Hubschmid , Gert Fröbe , Karl Skraup , Robert Lindner , Egon von Jordan , Olly Holzmann , Judith Holzmeister , Inge Konradi and Annie Rosar were involved in these years . The later director Leon Epp played the apprentice Christopherl in Nestroy's “ He wants to make a joke ” in 1938 and was later also employed as a director, the later director Gustav Manker was the most important set designer at the house and got his in 1942 for “Der getreue Johannes” first directorial assignment. The actress Dorothea Neff hid her Jewish friend in her apartment for years, and the prompter Charlotte Becher saved the lives of three Jews by hiding them at home. Both women were named " Righteous Among the Nations " by the Yad Vashem in Israel after the war .

On the importance of Walter Bruno Iltz's liberal stance as director of the Deutsches Volkstheater during the Nazi era , the actress Inge Konradi explained : The fact that the Volkstheater was an island for us is thanks to the great commitment and courage of Walter Bruno Iltz. You should actually put it on a pedestal because it was the lifesaver of the popular theater. He has had many stressed artists at his house, protected them through the war and achieved many permanent positions. He knew exactly what risk he was taking when he commissioned Haenel to direct 'Die Heilige Johanna' and 'Der Diamant des Geisterkönig'. His personal courage is rare.

Rolf Jahn (1945)

On May 10, 1945, the badly damaged Volkstheater was reopened on the initiative of the ensemble with an audience success of the last season, Catacombs by Max Frey. The first official premiere was on June 7, 1945 with a recapitulation from 1936, The Unexcused Hour by Stefan Bekeffi . Jahn, who had already directed the theater before the war, was only confirmed in office on a monthly basis by the City Councilor for Culture Viktor Matejka , as the ownership rights had not been clarified. All performances were sold out and took place in the afternoon, as neither lighting nor means of transport were working and there was fear of conflicts with the Soviet occupiers in the summer of 1945. This was followed by Franz Grillparzer's Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen and, as the final highlight of the brief era, Jahn Karl Kraus ' Die last Nacht , epilogue of The Last Days of Mankind , directed by Günther Haenel . Jahn's time as director came to an abrupt end when newspaper articles he had written from 1938 appeared that clearly contained Nazi-compliant and anti-Semitic content.

Günther Haenel (1945–1948)

From July 1945 Günther Haenel directed the Volkstheater and created the conditions for a modern and revolutionary repertoire. Haenel, who had previously belonged to the house as a director, ran the theater as an uncomfortable and committed temporary theater, with a "board of directors" he involved members of the house in decisions and thus anticipated the " co-determination theater ". The theater was located in the US sector of Vienna from September 1, 1945 until the summer of 1955 . At the world premiere of Julius Hays haben in 1945, the first theater scandal of the Second Republic and a battle in the hall broke out. The exhibition by the surrealist Edgar Jéné in the walkways also showed how strongly the public still thought in the categories of the Third Reich . The neglected Russian drama was revived with dramas by Ostrowski , Turgenev and with Anatoli Lunatscharski's The Liberated Don Quixote with Max Paulsen , which Haenel accused of a communist tendency schedule. Albert Bassermann returned in 1946 with Heaven waits at the house and subsequently also played Ibsen's builder Solness and Ghosts . The anti-fascist American successful play Before the Decision was directed by Haenels with Attila Hörbiger , the returning Adrienne Gessner and Siegfried Breuer . Oskar Werner made his popular theater debut in Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! . Ernst Deutsch appeared again in 1948 in Der Helfer Gottes . Jean Anouilh and JB Priestley were introduced to the Viennese audience. For the old Viennese folk comedy by Nestroy and Raimund , Gustav Manker succeeded in developing a new staging style for this genre with actors such as Karl Paryla , Inge Konradi , Karl Skraup , Theodor Grieg and Hans Putz .

Since Haenel was liable as a tenant with his private fortune, he was also forced to put numerous comedies and "light fare" on the program, which were great successes with audience favorites such as Annie Rosar, Christl Mardayn or Curt Goetz ( Das Haus in Montevideo ) . Due to the unexplained leases, Haenel resigned in 1948 and founded the “ New Theater in der Scala ” , which is run as a partnership .

Paul Barnay (1948–1952)

In 1948, the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (as the legal successor to the German Labor Front ) acquired the majority of shares in the Volkstheater-Verein, the Volkstheater was converted into a limited liability company, and Paul Barnay became the artistic director and took over the house at a time of great financial difficulties. By founding the Volksbühne organization “Volkstheater-Gemeinde”, which soon had 15,000 members, he tried to overcome the crisis. Dramaturg and director became Joseph Glücksmann, who worked as a film director while emigrating to the USA, Gustav Manker continued his work as a director of Austrian classical music and contemporary authors. With folk actors like Paul Hörbiger , Karl Skraup , Hans Putz and Inge Konradi , he created popular hits like Ferdinand Raimund's Der Bauer als Millionär (1948) and Der Verschwender (1949) as well as Johann Nestroy'sTo Even Ground and First Floor ” (1948) and The Talisman (1951).

On December 1, 1948, the Austrian premiere of Horváth's Tales from the Vienna Woods with Inge Konradi , Karl Skraup and Harry Fuss turned into one of the greatest theater scandals of the post-war period. They were accused of “ blasphemy on Viennese people” and asked: “What are they doing inside and through lazy lemurs, these swamp flowers, which can flourish in any big city, to do with the people, with the people of Vienna? ” Barnay was an old-style theater principal, and under his direction there were seldom further discussions about modernity. such as in 1951 in Albert Camus ' Die Gerechten , 1951 Georg Kaiser's “Napoleon in New Orleans”, Vicky Baum'sPeople in the Hotel ” and in 1952 Franz Werfel's “Juarez and Maximilian” (all directed by Gustav Manker ). The program was dominated by comedies, comedies and folk plays, such as Jacques Offenbach's 1949 “ Die Schöne Helena ” in a Viennese dialect version with Christl Mardayn , Fritz Imhoff , Inge Konradi and Karl Skraup in a surrealistic stage design by Stephan Hlawa and in a production by Gustav Manker , Audience favorites of the pre-war period such as Hans Jaray (as Crown Prince Rudolf ) or Hans Olden were able to perform again, and Ernst Deutsch also appeared again in 1948 as Henri Dunant . The young Oskar Werner made his debut in 1947 in Eugene O'Neill's "O Wilderness". Young talents like Hilde Sochor and Martha Wallner have been hired. Inge Konradi had great success in 1950/1951 as George Bernard Shaw's St. Johanna and Annie Rosar in Stadtpark .

Leon Epp (1952–1968)

The direction of Leon Epps was a time in which , according to Ernst Lothar , the Volkstheater was considered the “bravest theater in Vienna”. The program included many pieces by contemporary dramatists such as Albert Camus , Jean-Paul Sartre , Sean O'Casey , Jean Cocteau , Eugène Ionesco , Jean Genet , Thornton Wilder , Tennessee Williams , William Faulkner , Jean Anouilh , John Osborne , James Baldwin , Heinar Kipphardt , Friedrich Dürrenmatt , Max Frisch and Václav Havel . During his time as director, Epp brought 71 Austrian and 7 German-language premieres as well as 17 world premieres. Epp introduced a “special subscription” that presented new works in world premieres and premieres with three pieces per season, with Epp also choosing pieces that other theaters did not play for fear of failure or scandals. The Volkstheater under Epp's direction achieved its extraordinary reputation primarily through the performances of this special subscription “Poetry of the Present”, which over the years has received various subtitles such as “Mirror of Time”, “Uncompromising Theater” or “Confrontations”; the conservative "normal diet" secured Epp's economic basis. Some of these Austrian premieres caused a sensation, such as the production of Jean-Paul Sartre's The Dirty Hands (1954/1955), which the author himself tried to prevent by traveling to Vienna because, in his opinion, it was overtaken by the passage of time . The deputy of Rolf Hochhuth in the Austrian premiere even caused fights on the floor. The theater director Epp interrupted the premiere in order to get on stage himself and announce: Everyone who is attending this performance should ask himself whether he was not somehow complicit in the things described here.

In the 1962/63 season, the Volkstheater dared to play a play by Bertolt Brecht with Mother Courage and her children , after the internationally acclaimed playwright had been in Austria for many years against the backdrop of the Cold War in a “ Brecht boycott ” under the leadership of Hans Weigel and Friedrich Torberg had been fought. The press spoke of the “Blockadebrecher” premiere on February 23, 1963, for the cancellation of which Epp was even offered money, with Dorothea Neff and directed by Gustav Manker, who subsequently also wrote The Caucasian Chalk Circle , “ The holy Johanna der Slaughterhouses ”and“ The Good Man of Sezuan ”staged. In 1961 Jean Genet's The Balcony won first prize at the Theater des Nations Festival in Paris, and in 1963 Genet's Die Walls was played for the first time , both times with the decor by the painter Hubert Aratym . Epp brought Kurt Moldovan , Wolfgang Hutter and Georg Schmid to the house as set designers , and had the covers of the program booklets designed by contemporary Austrian artists such as Wander Bertoni , Paul Klee , Albert Paris Gütersloh and Hans Fronius . The directors were Epp himself, Gustav Manker , Rudolf Steinböck , Karlheinz Stroux , Günther Haenel and Erich Neuberg . Walter Kohut , Ernst Meister , Fritz Muliar , Hans Olden , Heinz Petters , Herbert Propst , Hans Putz , Sieghardt Rupp , Wolfgang Hübsch , Otto Schenk , Karl Skraup , Kurt Sowinetz , Hugo Gottschlich , Oskar Wegrostek , Fritz Imhoff , Egon von played in the ensemble Jordan , Michael Heltau , Alexander Kerst , Fritz Eckhardt , Blanche Aubry , Maria Emo , Elisabeth Epp , Lotte Lang , Christl Mardayn , Louise Martini , Lotte Tobisch , Dorothea Neff, Annie Rosar , Dolores Schmidinger , Hilde Sochor , Martha Wallner , Albert Rolant and Josef Hendrichs . Young discoveries were Nicole Heesters as Gigi (1953), Elisabeth Orth and (1958) Elfriede Irrall , the 1961 Lulu triumphed. Guest appearances were made by Käthe Dorsch as Elisabeth von England , Marianne Hoppe in Strindberg's Ein Traumspiel and Hilde Krahl as Lady Macbeth and Libussa as well as Johannes Heesters , Paul Dahlke , Günther Lüders and Rudolf Forster .

Epp gave special care to the Austrian folk piece by Ludwig Anzengruber , Johann Nestroy and Ferdinand Raimund , for whom he had a first-class ensemble with Karl Skraup , Hans Putz , Hugo Gottschlich , Fritz Muliar , Walter Kohut , Kurt Sowinetz and Hilde Sochor and all of them from Gustav Manker , who, alongside Epp, was the decisive director of the house, chief set designer and the ideal complement to Epp. Manker's strength lay in bringing the pieces to the stage free of kitsch and sweet romanticism in a socially critical manner and with an emphasis on folk comedy. From Nestroy u. a. The house of temperaments (1953), The protégé (1953), My friend (1955), The evil spirit Lumpazivagabundus (1957), An apartment is for rent in the city (1962), Love stories and marriage matters (1964) and On the ground and first floor (1967). It gradually developed into a style of performance that shaped this genre until the late 1970s. Austrian Modernism from Arthur Schnitzler to Ödön von Horváth , Ferdinand Bruckner and Ferenc Molnár and the world premiere of Helmut Qualtinger's The Execution (1965) were also in Manker's hands. Qualtinger also appeared as an actor, for example in Nestroy's An Apartment Can Be Rented (1962), as the magical king in Horváth's Tales from the Vienna Woods (1968) and in Dostojewski's Schuld und Atonement (1969). A Wedekind cycle (“ Pandora's Box ” 1960, “ Spring Awakening ”, 1961, “Music”, 1962, “King Nicolo or something like that is life”, 1964 and 1966 “The Marquis of Keith”) under Manker also belonged to the program like classics from Shakespeare to Goethe . Especially Schiller's Die Räuber (1959, with Walter Kohut) was groundbreaking on a two-part simultaneous stage directed and set by Gustav Manker.

In 1954, together with the Chamber for Workers and Employees, Epp founded the series of plays “Volkstheater in der Außenbezirken”, during which productions of the Volkstheater toured through the districts of Vienna in order to bring “culture to the people”. It was played at 25 different venues such as popular education centers or small theaters and cinemas, the program for a long time consisted of four classics, two contemporary pieces and two comedies a year.

Gustav Manker (1969–1979)

Gustav Manker took over Leon Epp's business after he died in an accident in 1968 and was his logical successor, as he had been with the company since 1938, first as a set designer, then as director, equipment director and senior stage manager. One of the milestones of the Gustav Manker management team was above all the discovery of young contemporary Austrian drama, with which Manker put the decisive stamp on the first years of his management. In 1969, Wolfgang Bauer's Change premiered within the Konfrontationen series , and the spectacular production by Bernd Fischerauer (with Herwig Seeböck and Bernd Spitzer) was invited to the 1970 Berlin Theater Meeting. In February 1971 the first work Rozznjogd by the then 26-year-old Peter Turrini with Franz Morak and Dolores Schmidinger was premiered and established one of the great theater careers of an Austrian writer. Turrini remained connected to the Volkstheater, Sauschlachten followed in 1972, Der madste Tag in 1973 and the Goldoni adaptation Die Wirtin in 1975 , and by Bauer Silvester or the massacre in the Hotel Sacher (premiered 1971, with Helmut Qualtinger ). Other young authors were Wilhelm Pevny (“Sprintorgasmik”, 1971), Herwig Seeböck (“Household or the Sand Bunnies”, 1971), Wilhelm Pellert / Helmut Korherr (“Jesus von Ottakring”, 1972), Gerhard Roth (“Lichtenberg”, 1974 ), Walter Wippersberg (“What have from life”, 1976) and Helmut Zenker (“Crazy happy”, 1976). This created a new definition for the term “Volkstheater” and gave the name of the traditional house a current meaning. This also succeeded in attracting young audiences. In addition to the first performance of Elias Canetti's wedding (1970), at which the theater had to be protected by the police after threats from right-wing extremists, and the first performance of Dieter Fortes Martin Luther & Thomas Münzer , the current dramas by Rolf Hochhuth (1970 Guerillas with Kurt Meisel , 1972 "The Midwife" with Hilde Sochor ) as well as Hölderlin by Peter Weiss (1973) and Witold Gombrowicz's operetta important accents. The dramas by the Croatian poet Miroslav Krleža " The Glembays " and "Leda" (in the German version by Milo Dor ) also had their first performance, as did Eugène Ionesco's "What a gigantic swindle" (director: Karlheinz Stroux ), Martin Sperr's " Hunting scenes from Lower Bavaria " , Carl Zuckmayer's “The Pied Piper”, Mayakowski's “Die Bug”, Ernest Hemingway's “The Fifth Column” (with Hans-Joachim Kulenkampff ) and Marieluise Fleißer's “The Strong Tribe”. First performances by Günter Grass (“Davor”), Friedrich Dürrenmatt (“The Deadline”, “King Johann”, based on Shakespeare with Helmut Qualtinger), Peter Hacks (“Adam and Eve”), Hartmut Lange (“The Countess von Rathenow”) and Max Frisch (“Don Juan or The Love of Geometry”) were on the program as well as new British authors such as John Osborne (“A Patriot for Me”), Peter Barnes (“The Ruling Class”), Joe Orton (“Was the butler saw ”), Jack Nichols (“ A Day in the Dying of Joe Egg ”), Ronald Millar (“ The Story of Abelard and Heloise ”), Christopher Hampton (“ The Wild ”) and Brian Friel (“ The Freedom of the City "). Manker's ambitious cultivation of the classics included Franz Grillparzer as well as Büchner and Shakespeare (1970 saw the acclaimed premiere of Shakespeare's Hamlet in 1603 with Michael Heltau and Kitty Speiser , followed the following year with the same cast of “ Romeo and Juliet ”), Heinrich von Kleist's Der zerbrochne Krug ( with Helmut Qualtinger) and culminated in 1975 in Richard Beer-Hofmann's arrangement of Goethe's Faust I and II in one evening.

Manker generally paid great attention to the maintenance of Austrian literature, from Ferdinand Raimund (“ The Farmer as Millionaire ”, 1973, with Karl Paryla ; “ The Sputtering ”, 1975, with Heinz Petters ) and Ludwig Anzengruber (“ The fourth commandment ”, 1970 ) to Ödön von Horváth (“ The Unknown from the Seine ”, 1970, with Kitty Speiser ), Ferenc Molnár'sLiliom ” (1971, with Hans Putz ), Franz Theodor Csokor (“November 3, 1918”), Karl Schönherr (“ Frau Suitner ", with Hilde Sochor ), Alexander Lernet-Holenia (" Das Finanzamt "," Transaction "), Anton Wildgans (" An advertisement ", WP), Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando (" Zerbinetta's Liberation "), Ferdinand Bruckner ( “Heroic Comedy”) and Hermann Bahr , whose pieces Das Konzert (1971, with Hans Jaray , Susanne von Almassy , Michael Heltau and Kitty Speiser) and Viennese women (1977, with Herwig Seeböck ) became popular with audiences. In 1971, Arthur Schnitzler's posthumous piece , Zug der Schatten (with Kitty Speiser) was premiered , followed by a cycle of Schnitzler's early works Freiwild (1974), Das Märchen (1975) and Anatol (1978). Manker's annual Nestroy productions were legendary, which in addition to the often played pieces also unearthed the unknown and combined with a well-rehearsed "Nestroy Ensemble" (Heinz Petters, Herbert Propst , Rudolf Strobl , Walter Langer , Hilde Sochor, Dolores Schmidinger , Brigitte Swoboda ) special Nestroy style (“Nestroy pur”) became popular hits: The Talisman (1971, with Helmut Qualtinger ), Heimliches Geld, heimliche Liebe (1972), Das Gewürzkrämerkleeblatt (1972), There is no means against folly (1973), in vain (1974), He wants to have a joke (1976), Lumpazivagabundus (1977), Hell fear (1977), Former circumstances and The bad boys at school (1978).

Manker was fascinated by the art of acting, almost manically obsessed with the theater, inspired by intellectual curiosity, introverted, shy, emphatic and exalted ( Der Standard , December 31, 2010), a renaissance person of the theater ( Fritz Muliar ), full of ability and Vision ( Michael Heltau ) and in the eyes of the author Peter Turrini a strange mixture between a representative of the public theater and a bull and rebel and disruptor who, as a theater director , let others disturb - or who allowed the disturbance .

Paul Blaha (1979-1987)

Paul Blaha was a former theater critic when he took over the post of director of Gustav Manker in 1979. He opened with Shakespeare's " Romeo and Juliet ". The program focused on contemporary, socially critical performances as well as world premieres by Austrian authors. Productions such as “Kein Schöne Land” by Felix Mitterer , “Josef und Maria” by Peter Turrini, “Ghetto” by Joshua Sobol and “Der Raspbeerpflücker” by Fritz Hochwälder were highlights of Blaha’s time as director. Performances of Der Bockerer by Ulrich Becher and Peter Preses with Karl Merkatz and "Zwölfeläuten" by Heinz R. Unger became hits at the Austrian box office as film adaptations. The world premiere of Peter Turrinis Die Bürger (1981/82 season) made it into the German news magazine Der Spiegel with a multi-page report , which stated: Long before it came to the limelight, a play had not triggered so much party-political cackling and culturally fighting crows . During the extensive restoration in 1980/1981, the original roof dome was reconstructed and gaming operations were moved to other venues. During Blaha's time as director, a drama school was founded that was attached to the theater. In 1981 the Volkstheater-Studio was founded (until 1987) as a small stage for contemporary drama.

Emmy Werner (1988-2005)

In 1988, Emmy Werner , who was previously director of the Vienna Theater on Drachengasse, was the first woman to take over the management of a large Viennese theater. Werner's program included classics, contemporary pieces and strong female characters in programmatic cycles: " The Maiden of Orléans " (opening on September 4, 1988 with Angelika Meyer , who died in an accident on October 13, 1988 ), " Hedda Gabler ", " Nora ", " Emilia Galotti ”(director: Anna Badora ),“ Antigone ”,“ Judith ”,“ Anna Galactia ”,“ Libussa ”,“ Medea ”,“ Stella ”. Actresses like Andrea Eckert , Gundula Rapsch and Birgit Doll were the protagonists. The successful pieces Weininger's Nacht by Joshua Sobol in the production of Paulus Manker (1988/89) and Elfriede Jelinek's Illness or Modern Women from the 1989/90 season should be highlighted from the performances of her time as director . Terrence McNally's master class with Andrea Eckert as Maria Callas , which was on the program for over ten years, was a great success in 1996 . Authors such as Elfriede Jelinek ("Illness or Modern Women", "Clouds.Heim", "Clara S.") or Gert Jonke ("Opus 111", "Insektarium", premier 1998; "Presence of Memory", premier 1994) were played in front of the Burgtheater. Gustav Ernst and Franzobel experienced first premieres as well as Felix Mitterer's drama In der Löwengrube (1997). The first performance of Ergo (1996) by the emigrated writer Jakov Lind showed Lind for the first time ever in his native Vienna. In 2000, the dramatization of Sándor Márai's “Glut” was premiered. In 2003, Lida Winiewicz's “Late Area” provided a glamorous platform for Hilde Sochor , the doyenne of the house. The auditorium of the Volkstheater was reduced to 970 seats, with Am Plafond , U3 and the play bar , small experimental venues were created.

Michael Schottenberg (2005-2015)

Michael Schottenberg (2010)

Michael Schottenberg took over the management in autumn 2005 . The opening was “Spiegelgrund” by Johann Kresnik about the Vienna “ Euthanasia ” children's clinic at Steinhof and the post-war career of Spiegelgrund doctor Heinrich Gross . This was followed by “Before Retirement” by Thomas Bernhard , a piece that also deals with the Nazi past, and Johann Nestroy's “Freedom in Krähwinkel”. When Schottenberg wanted to remove the so-called “Führerzimmer”, which had been built in 1938 for a planned Hitler visit, he came into conflict with the Federal Monuments Office . The room had to be left, and performances took place in it from time to time.

From the productions of the last few years the following are to be emphasized: “ Cabaret ” with Maria Bill , “ Die Räuber ” by Friedrich Schiller directed by Nuran David Çalış and “ Liliom ” by Ferenc Molnár with Robert Palfrader .

In the "Hundsturm", a smaller theater venue, experimental theater works were presented for a while (among others by Barbara Weber, Wojtek Klemm, Dejan Dukovski and the artist collective monochrom ). In November 2007, the performance series The Best from the East also started there, for which independent theater groups , each from a different eastern neighboring country, were invited.

Schottenberg initiated a series of portraits of his predecessors in the management, which is hung in the White Salon in the break foyer. It started with Gustav Manker (portrayed by John Grützke ) and Leon Epp (portrayed by Peter Sengl ), 2011 was followed by Walter Bruno Iltz and Günther Haenel (portrayed by Heidi Baratta and Reinhard Trinkler ). In October 2012, he also expanded the actor's gallery with a portrait of Heinz Petters (on the occasion of his 80th birthday) by Reinhard Trinkler.

As a signal for his kind of performing arts, Schottenberg had a five-pointed red star that was visible from afar on the dome of the Vienna Volkstheater . After its replacement, the red star was removed.

Anna Badora (2015-2020)

Michael Schottenberg announced at the end of August 2013 that he did not want to extend his contract, which ended in summer 2015. On November 27, 2013, the Volkstheater-Privatstiftung announced that Anna Badora , then managing director of the Schauspielhaus Graz , will succeed Michael Schottenberg as the new artistic director from the 2015/2016 season.

Anna Badora announced in May 2015 that only four actors from the 22-person ensemble would stay at the house.

On September 5, 2015, she opened her first season at the house with a production of Carnival based on the novel of the same name by Gerhard Fritsch . The stage version comes from her and chief dramaturge Roland Koberg.

With the Volx / Margareten (the former Hundsturm), the Volkstheater under Anna Badora has a second, constantly played house. There, as at the main building, Anna Badora wants to realize what she announced at the beginning of her management time: take a look "from the outside in, but also from the inside out: Austria in and out."

However, since the audience occupancy rate of the Volkstheater was only 57% and 56% in 2016 and 2017, Badora has come under criticism. In June 2018 it was announced that she would not extend her contract as artistic director of the Volkstheater beyond August 2020.

Kay Voges (from 2020)

On June 7, 2019, the director of the Dortmund theater, Kay Voges, was introduced by Vienna's City Councilor for Culture Veronica Kaup-Hasler as director of the Volkstheater from 2020/21.

World premieres (selection)

  • Directorates Alfred Bernau (1918–1924) and Rudolf Beer (1924–1932)
  • Reigen , Arthur Schnitzler - Kammerspiele (ÖEA) February 1, 1921
  • The Sacrifice , Hans Kaltneker (UA) March 22, 1922
  • In the Summer Airs Game , Arthur Schnitzler (UA) 1929
  • Anatol's megalomania, Half past one, An overstretched person, The murderess, The sliding ones , Arthur Schnitzler (UA) March 29, 1923
  • Management Walter Bruno Iltz (1938–1944)
  • Love is duty-free , Fritz Gottwald (UA) 1939
  • Frackkomödie , Fritz Schweuert / Peter Kreuder (premiere) May 13, 1939
  • Nocturnal retreat , Franz Hauptmann (premier) June 19, 1939
  • Baron Trenck der Pandur , Otto-Emmerich Groh (ÖEA) October 16, 1940
  • Suez Canal , Hans Rehberg (ÖEA) November 8, 1940
  • Cows by the stream , Stefan Kamare (ÖEA) March 21, 1941
  • The giant , Richard Billinger (ÖEA) April 25, 1941
  • Queen Isabella , Hans Rehberg (ÖEA) October 21, 1941
  • Die Jungfern vom Bischofsberg , Gerhart Hauptmann (ÖEA) November 19, 1942
  • Samurai , Mirko Jelusich (UA) December 20, 1942
  • Hearth fire , Vojmil Rabadan (based on the novel by Mile Budak ) (DEA) March 11, 1943
  • Flying legend , Johann Karl Ander (UA) April 24, 1943
  • The conductor of his highness , Kurt von Lessen (UA) June 30, 1944
  • Management Günther Haenel (1945–1948)
  • Heroic Comedy , Ferdinand Bruckner , directed by Gustav Manker (ÖEA) September 12, 1946
  • Antigone , Jean Anouilh , directed by Günther Haenel (ÖEA) September 20, 1946
  • Heaven is waiting , Paul Osborn , directed by Walter Firner (ÖEA) November 3, 1946
  • Das Kuckucksei , Irma and Walter Firner, directed by Walter Firner (DEA) October 9, 1947
  • Director Paul Barnay (1948–1952)
  • Der Gangster (The gentle people), Irwin Shaw , directed by Gustav Manker (DEA) March 10, 1950
  • Die Gerechten , Albert Camus , directed by Gustav Manker (ÖEA) March 22, 1951
  • The great guest , Hans Weigel , director: Josef Glücksmann (premiere) April 29, 1951
  • Der Schelm von Limburg , Raimund Berger, directed by Joseph Glücksmann (WP) April 30, 1952
  • Director Paul Blaha (1979–1987)
  • Citizens Peter Turrini January 27, 1982



The Volkstheater has received 18 awards from the Nestroy Theater Prize : Birgit Doll ( Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 2000), Michael Schottenberg ( Der Talisman , 2002), Anna Franziska Srna ( Woyzeck , 2002), Xaver Hutter ( America , 2004) , Erni Mangold ( Prinzessinnendramen , 2005), Nuran David Çalış ( The Robbers , 2006), Katharina Straßer ( Der nackte Wahnsinn & Liebelei , 2007), Thomas Schulte-Michels ( Mr Puntila and his servant Matti , 2011), Maria Bill ( Die Threepenny Opera , 2012), Miloš Lolić ( Magic Afternoon , 2012), Till Firit ( Anna Karenina , 2013), Hans Kudlich (Woyzeck, 2014), Yael Ronen and Ensemble ( Lost and Found , 2016), Rainer Galke ( Old Masters , 2016 ), SIGNA ( Wirhund / Us Dogs , 2016), Birgit Stöger ( Der Menschenfeind , Kasimir and Karoline , 2017), Felix Hafner (Der Menschenfeind, 2017), Peter Fasching (The Ten Commandments, 2018).

In 2007 the doyenne of the house, Hilde Sochor , received the Nestroy for her life's work .

In 2001 , 2002 and 2005 the Volkstheater was also the venue for the Nestroy Gala.

Nestroy Theater Prize 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Nominations / Awards 4/1 0/0 3/2 2/0 1/1 1/1 1/1 2/1 1/0 1/0 1/0 4/1 4/2 2/1 4/1 2/0 5/3 7/2 3/1

Kainz Medal

The following artists from the Volkstheater were awarded the Kainz Medal :

Karl Skraup Prize

The Karl-Skraup-Preis was awarded annually from 1967 to 2010 by the Volkstheater in cooperation with the Bank for Labor and Economy and Österreichische Postsparkasse AG (BAWAG) . It was donated in memory of the great Viennese actor Karl Skraup , who worked at the Volkstheater. The prize was awarded annually by an independent jury in four categories - best actor, director, set designer, young actor. In 2011 it was rededicated to the Dorothea Neff Prize .

Dorothea Neff Prize

The Dorothea Neff Prize is a theater prize from the Vienna Volkstheater, donated by the Bank for Labor and Economy and Österreichische Postsparkasse AG (BAWAG) . Since 2011 - after the rededication of the Karl Skraup Prize  - it has been awarded in four categories (best directing, best acting, best young talent, audience favorite). Since then, BAWAG PSK has also awarded the MITTEN IM LEBEN Prize for outstanding humanitarian commitment.

The award is named after the actress Dorothea Neff (1903–1986).

Honorary members


  • Karl Glossy : Forty Years of the German People's Theater. A contribution to German theater history. Vienna 1929
  • 60 years of Volkstheater. Festschrift. Self-published by Volkstheater, Vienna 1949
  • Oskar Maurus Fontana : Volkstheater Wien (German Volkstheater). Path and Development (1889–1964). Bergland, Vienna 1964
  • Dietrich Hübsch, Das Volkstheater 1889–1966, in: Maske and Kothurn 13, Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 1967
  • Chamber for workers and employees (ed.): 25 years of popular theater in the outskirts. Vienna 1977
  • 100 years of popular theater. Theatre. Time. History. Youth and People, Vienna-Munich 1989, ISBN 3-224-10713-8
  • Paulus Manker : The theater man Gustav Manker. Search for clues. Amalthea, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-85002-738-0 [4]
  • Paulus Manker : The exposure of a hero. The unknown life of Walter Bruno Iltz . Vienna 2011 [5]
  • Johanna Mertinz: Exodus of Talents. Heinrich Schnitzler and the German People's Theater Vienna 1938–1945 . Mandelbaum Verlag, Vienna 2019, ISBN 978-3-85476-831-9 .

Web links

Commons : Wiener Volkstheater  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ MA 7 and "Volkstheater" Gesellschaft mbH, examination of the conduct; Subsidy check. City Audit Office Vienna, September 2019, accessed on October 10, 2019 .
  2. Thomas Trenkler: Das Wiener Volkstheater, a self-service shop. In: Kurier.at. Retrieved October 22, 2019 .
  3. 08.10.2019 at 16:05: Can the Volkstheater be saved? In: diepresse.com. Retrieved October 10, 2019 .
  4. ^ Volkstheater Vienna in "precarious financial situation". Retrieved October 10, 2019 .
  5. Paulus Manker : The Unmasking of a Hero. The unknown life of Walter Bruno Iltz . Vienna 2011
  6. ^ STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft mbH: New auditorium for the Volkstheater . In: derStandard.at . ( derstandard.at [accessed on February 21, 2017]).
  7. orf.at - Volkstheater: renovation starts in 2015 . Article dated December 20, 2014, accessed December 20, 2014.
  8. orf.at - "The Volkstheater expires": Please donate . Article dated August 23, 2014, accessed December 20, 2014.
  9. diepresse.com - Volkstheater expired, please donate! . Article dated August 22, 2014, accessed December 20, 2014.
  10. derstandard.at - Volkstheater: renovation only in 2019 . Article dated December 1, 2017, accessed March 29, 2018.
  11. First construction steps: What will the renovation of the Volkstheater bring? Details on the general renovation. June 20, 2019, accessed July 10, 2019 .
  12. Volkstheater is preparing a major renovation. July 15, 2019, accessed July 16, 2019 .
  13. Volkstheater moved to event hall. In: ORF.at . January 11, 2020, accessed January 11, 2020 .
  14. Venues - Volkstheater . In: Volkstheater . ( volkstheater.at [accessed on February 21, 2017]).
  15. The “Hundsturm” venue is located at Margaretenstrasse 166 and thus in the so-called railway workers' home of the vida union (formerly: the railway workers' union ), see also: Railway workers' home. In: dasrotewien.at - Web dictionary of the Viennese social democracy. SPÖ Vienna (ed.); Retrieved June 1, 2010
  16. ^ Volx / Margareten - Volkstheater . In: Volkstheater . ( volkstheater.at [accessed on February 21, 2017]).
  17. Margarete von Stigler-Fuchs, How the German People's Theater Came to be Founded, in: Vienna Theater in Front of and Behind the Scenes (Vienna, 1943)
  18. Joseph Glücksmann: Almanach Des Deutschen Volkstheater for 1920. E. P. Tal & Co, Leipzig 1920
  19. ^ Karl Glossy : Forty Years of the German People's Theater. A contribution to German theater history . Vienna 1929
  20. ^ Verena Keil-Budischowsky, Die Theater Wien. Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Vienna / Hamburg 1983
  21. 60 years of Volkstheater. Festschrift . Published by Volkstheater GmbH, Vienna 1949
  22. ^ Documentation archive of the Austrian resistance (ed.): Gedenken und Mahnen in Vienna 1934–1945 . Vienna 1998, p. 149 .
  23. Oliver Rathkolb , Das Deutsche Volkstheater under Walter Bruno Iltz, in: Führertreu and Gottbegnadet (Vienna 1991)
  24. a b c 100 years of popular theater. Theater, time, history. Jugend und Volk, Vienna 1989, ISBN 3-224-10713-8
  25. a b c d Dietrich Hübsch, Das Volkstheater 1889–1966, in: Maske and Kothurn 13, Böhlau, Vienna 1967
  26. ^ Susanne Gruber-Hauk: The Vienna People's Theater between 1889 and 1987 in a social context. Diploma thesis, Vienna 2008
  27. a b c d e Paulus Manker : “The theater man Gustav Manker. Searching for traces. "Amalthea, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-85002-738-0 [1]
  28. Paulus Manker : The Unmasking of a Hero. The unknown life of Walter Bruno Iltz , Vienna 2011 [2]
  29. Irene Löwy: Cultural Policy in National Socialism from 1938 to 1945 using the example of the German People's Theater in Vienna . Diploma thesis, Vienna 2010
  30. Paulus Manker : The Unmasking of a Hero. The unknown life of Walter Bruno Iltz , Vienna 2011 [3]
  31. Ursula Müller: Paul Barnay (1884–1960), biography of a theater practitioner with special consideration of his direction at the Vienna Volkstheater 1948–1952 , diploma thesis on obtaining the Magistrate of Philosophy at the Philological and Cultural Studies Faculty of the University of Vienna in 2005
  32. ^ Ernst Lothar : Critique of Bertolt Brecht's " The Caucasian Chalk Circle " in the " Express " on April 27, 1964
  33. Karin Breitenecker: It has to be dared. The directorate Leon Epp , diploma thesis, Vienna 1991
  34. Hans Heinz Hahnl : “A day in the dying of Joe Egg” in the Volkstheater: What society doesn't talk about . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna April 7, 1970, p. 8 ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
  35. Der Spiegel , January 25, 1982
  36. Girid Schlögl: Paul Blaha as director of the Vienna Volkstheater , dissertation, Vienna 1994
  37. The Maid of Orleans . In: emmywerner.at , accessed on June 14, 2013;
    "Jungfrau" performance canceled . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna October 15, 1988, p. 26 , bottom left ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
  38. Theater: Paulus Manker's honor rescue for Walter B. Iltz. In: DiePresse.com. October 23, 2011, accessed January 1, 2018 .
  39. http://www.reinhard-trinkler.de.tl/Hommage-an-Heinz-Petters.htm
  40. cf. The red star of the Volkstheater has had its day in the Vienna daily newspaper Die Presse , August 20, 2015.
  41. Anna Badora becomes director of the Volkstheater. In: derStandard.at. November 27, 2013, accessed December 3, 2017 .
  42. http://www.volkstheater.at/media/file/124_PM_Neue_Direktion_VT.pdf  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.volkstheater.at  
  43. orf.at - 18 new actors at the Volkstheater . Article dated May 7, 2015, accessed June 14, 2015.
  44. Occupancy only 56 percent: Volkstheater renovation. Retrieved April 20, 2018 .
  45. orf.at: Artistic director Badora leaves Volkstheater . Article dated June 26, 2018, accessed June 26, 2018.
  46. orf.at: Kay Voges new director of the Volkstheater . Article dated June 7, 2019, accessed June 7, 2019.

Coordinates: 48 ° 12 ′ 19 ″  N , 16 ° 21 ′ 24 ″  E