Volkstheater Rostock

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Entrance area of ​​the Volkstheater
City theater from 1786 to 1880

The Volkstheater Rostock is the municipal theater of the Hanseatic City of Rostock . It has the three venues Large House , Ateliertheater and Kleine Komödie in Warnemünde and includes the fields of drama , music theater / opera , ballet and dance , philharmonic and since the 2014/15 season also the puppet theater and the open stage, a co-production between the Volkstheater and Rostock citizens. For younger target groups there is a children's, a youth and a student theater club, as well as children's and youth theater performances.


Early development

Up into the 19th century, mainly wandering groups of actors performed theater performances in Rostock. The venues changed, from the medieval market square to the ballroom in the 17th to the comedy house in the 18th century, before the old city theater was built in 1786, which was destroyed by fire in 1880. However, a larger theater southeast of the stone gate was inaugurated in 1895 . This house was destroyed in the British Royal Air Force bombing Rostock at the end of April 1942 .

Development in the 20th century

The Rostock Volkstheater developed under the direction of Hanns Anselm Perten (1917–1985), who was general manager from 1952 , into one of the most prominent theaters in the GDR. Kurt Barthel (1914–1967) was chief dramaturge from 1956 until his death in 1967 . Together they offered a political theater that aimed at the interpretation of reality in the sense of socialism. A program with a tendency towards openness included classical legacy and contemporary drama from the GDR and the Soviet Union as well as plays by “progressive” authors from the West and Latin America. The productive collaboration with the playwright Peter Weiss (1916–1982) attracted particular attention. The GDR premiere of Weiss' play The Persecution and Murder of Jean Paul Marat performed by the acting group of the Charenton Hospice under the guidance of Mr de Sade on March 26, 1965 was a high point and was also internationally recognized. In 1968 the Volkstheater collective was awarded the Patriotic Order of Merit in gold. From 1974 onwards, the theater group “Teatro Lautaro”, made up of Chilean political emigrants, worked at the Rostock Volkstheater.

Ambitious plans for a new building have been discussed since the 1970s but never materialized. Instead, the houses, which had been set up as makeshift venues since the 1940s and spread across the city, were gradually expanded and expanded. As early as the 1942/43 season, what was then known as the Neues Haus ( New House ) was opened in Doberaner Strasse in the building of the former Philharmonie guest and concert hall . The Small House (193 seats) was created in a former hotel in Eselföterstrasse in 1954, the Intime Theater am Glatten Aal (67 seats) in 1960 , the Theater for Trials in the former Army House in 1965 , and the Small Comedy in Warnemünde in 1968. Later it was then in the Kunsthalle , the Studio 74 furnished in a shack the Theater am Kehrwieder (soon to sample Haus der Philharmonie). The large house was modernized between 1975 and 1977 and a new entrance area and a theater café were added. Open-air spaces were created in the garden of the Holy Cross Monastery and the summer stage by the sea in the Kurhaus garden . From 1986 to 1989 Ekkehard Prophet was general director of the Rostock Volkstheater. The small house , intimate theater , theater for trials and studio 74 were closed in the 1990s.

Theater in the city harbor at night

The theater in the city harbor was created as a new venue, but has not been used since the end of 2013. The large house was modernized again with the active help of the theater association. Plans for a new theater were approved by the Rostock citizenship with a large majority in June 2012, but have not yet been implemented (end of 2019).

Current developments

The theater is equipped with a complete dance theater, music theater and drama ensemble, which today play in the Big House and in the Small Comedy Warnemünde. The North German Philharmonic Rostock is also an integral part of the Volkstheater . The A orchestra is the largest orchestra in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . Concerts take place regularly not only in the Great House, but also in the baroque hall , the art gallery and the Nikolaikirche .

The extremely tight budget situation in Rostock is leading to ever increasing demands for savings on the theater, which call into question its existence as a fully-fledged four-branch theater.

Before the political change in 1989 there were 700 employees, today there are no longer 300. Discussions about the theater's budget intensified in the course of the 1990s, and the directors changed several times. The budget cuts resulting from the tight budget situation in the city of Rostock and the planned conversion of the city theater into a GmbH culminated in an open letter from General Manager Steffen Piontek in the press in October 2007 , to which Mayor Roland Methling responded by resigning from Piontek, which he responded to justified the violation of the duty of loyalty. The planned cost-saving measures envisaged cutting the city's grants to the theater from 7.8 million euros in 2007 to 6.6 million in 2008 and to 4.8 million euros in 2009. According to Piontek, this would have meant that a large part of the premieres, many concerts and almost all special events would have been canceled in 2008, and music theater, ballet and the North German Philharmonic would have had to cease operations from 2009. This would have cut around 100 jobs. Peter Leonard , who became the new general manager in 2008, placed the condition of receiving a four-branch house in order to take office. Leonard was already general music director at the Volkstheater Rostock from 2004 to 2007. In 2012 he announced that he did not want to extend his contract, which ran until 2014. Sewan Latchinian was the artistic director from September 2014 . Ralph Reichel has been Artistic Director and Managing Director of the Volkstheater since the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

Closure of the Great House

The poor financial situation of the Rostock Theater reached a climax with the announcement in February 2011 that the central venue, the Great House, would remain closed until at least May 2011. The reason given was fire protection regulations that could not be met. Initial studies have shown that the actual numbers will noticeably exceed the city hall's estimates. The house must remain closed until at least the end of 2011 and the cost of the renovation would be in the six to seven-digit range.

On March 26, 2011, more than 300,000 viewers worldwide saw the Internet performance of Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest at the Rostock Volkstheater. In addition, around 3,000 people saw the play on large screens at public viewing events throughout Germany as well as in Brazil and Canada, said dramaturge Katharina de Vette. She rated the result as a great success. "We were actually hoping for failure," she said. With the online staging, the ensemble primarily wanted to draw attention to the closed house.

Excerpt from the theater at the city harbor

Due to financial savings and a lack of subsidies of 500,000 euros, the Theater am Stadthafen has not been used since the beginning of 2014. These financial arrears arose from the fire protection renovation and the associated temporary closure of the Great House.

2014/15 season

With the new artistic director Sewan Latchinian there were a few fundamental changes at the Rostock Volkstheater. The season opened with an interdisciplinary theater spectacle entitled Launched , the season ended with a Rostock Folk Theater Summer .

The theater opened new venues in the Great House: the former studio theater forms the “stern”, the foyer the “nave”, the choir hall the “intermediate deck”, the former artistic foyer the “bridge” and the ballet hall the “bow”. There are two additional seating options in the Great Hall: the “engine room” (behind the iron curtain ) and the “front deck” (front stage). The Kleine Komödie in Warnemünde will continue to be used as an independent venue.

Two new branches are introduced with the puppet theater , under the direction of Karl Huck, and the Bürgerbühne. Latchinian rejected requests to downsize or close various divisions. While the 2014/15 season was still in its early stages, the cultural and political debate about the financing of the theater that had been going on for many years in Rostock came to a head. On 25 February 2015, the citizenship of the city decided to grant reduction for the National Theater and an accompanying so-called "2 + 2" -Sparten model what the end of the branches music and dance theater and instead an ordered cooperation with the Mecklenburg State Theater Schwerin in had to mean these areas. On the grounds that this would not be feasible in the form of regular performances due to the great distance between the two theaters and the financial expense and that the decision also meant the loss of around a hundred jobs, Latchinian opposed the cuts.

After Lord Mayor Roland Methling and the Minister of Culture of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Mathias Brodkorb , agreed on a target agreement with austerity requirements for the Volkstheater on May 6, 2015, Latchinian and Stefan Rosinski , the then commercial manager of the house, put a paper on July 20, 2015 Predictions of how devastating the austerity course would affect the popular theater in the next few years.

2015/16 season

In February 2016, the Lord Mayor of Rostock, Roland Methling, decided by shareholder resolution that the Volkstheater should be converted into an opera house by 2018. The so-called "hybrid model" of the commercial director Stefan Rosinski, according to which the drama is to be dismantled down to a rump ensemble and the focus of the folk theater to be shifted to orchestra and music theater, was declared by the supervisory board and the city administration as the basis for further planning.

Season 2016/17

Joachim Kümmritz has been director of the Rostock Volkstheater since the beginning of the season. Kümmritz presented a new concept for the theater under the title "Preservation and Renewal" and started - for the first time in 5 years - the summer theater in the 1000 m² old shipyard at the Kesselschmiede, Hall 207 , where from June to July 2017 Children's or family play, a music theater piece, a dance theater evening and concerts by the North German Philharmonic of the Rostock Volkstheater took place.

2017/18 season

The Volkstheater starts the 2017/2018 season with performances in all genres and directors such as Anja Nicklich, Johanna Schall , Elias Lazaridis, Christoph Bornmüller , Sören Hornung and Paula Thielecke from Kollektiv Eins, Kai Wuschek, Hans-Joachim Frey , Stephan Brauer, Jan Koslowski and Konstanze Lauterbach . In addition, the theater is strengthening its offerings for children and young people, is building a youth choir connected to the Singakademie, expanding two intergenerational theater clubs for laypeople and participating citizens and cultural institutions in Rostock (in the summer of 2017 at the world premiere of “Leben und Die Kaplans Joachim Slüter zu Rostock "And in the 2017/2018 season, among others, at the Musical Fame ). The summer theater in Hall 207 will also take place in June and July 2018 with a program similar to the previous year.

Honorary members

  • Vera Bräuer
  • Ursula Figelius
  • Peter Juhnke
  • Ulrike Masopust
  • Dorothea Meissner
  • Rosita Mewis
  • Harry goof-up
  • Gerd Puls
  • Ursula Rösler-Erdmann
  • Hans Salomon
  • Ida Schillen
  • Manfred Schlosser
  • Gabriele Schwabe
  • Gerhard Sparenberg
  • Kathrin Stephan


  • Gerd Puls: The musical schedule of the Rostock City Theater from 1786 to 1944. 2 volumes. Hanseatic City of Rostock, Rostock 1999, OCLC 66840106 .
  • Renate Meyer-Braun: Holes in the Iron Curtain. Theater exchange between Bremen and Rostock during the Cold War (1956–1961): A piece of German-German post-war history . trafo, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89626-678-1 .
  • Michael Pietschmann: “I must flee from your kingdom - O Queen, Goddess! Let me go! ”: Wagner's works at the Rostock City Theater . Tectum, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-8288-8428-8 .
  • Redieck & Schade present theater! From the history of the Rostock theaters. Ed. Redieck & Schade GbR Rostock. Norddeutscher Hochschulschriftenverlag, Rostock 1995, ISBN 3-929544-13-X .
  • Buildings and projects for the theater of the Hanseatic City of Rostock 1895–2005. Edited by Friends and Patrons of the Volkstheater Rostock. Volkstheater, Rostock 2005, OCLC 254749545 .
  • Wilhelm Schacht: On the history of the Rostock theater (1756–1791) . Adler, Rostock 1908.

Web links

Commons : Volkstheater Rostock  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Open stage
  2. High honors for deserving collectives and personalities. In: New Germany . October 4, 1968, pp. 1-2.
  3. Robert Rosentreter : On the history of Rostock theater building visions: Prevented Palace on Wall. In: Hanse Anzeiger. January 31, 2007, p. 2.
  4. Steffen Piontek resigned. ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Mykenae Verlag, August 25, 2008.
  5. Temporarily no performances in the big house. February 22, 2011. ( www.volkstheater-rostock.de ( Memento from November 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ))
  6. Lord Mayor massively endangers the theater location Rostock. ( Memento from July 22, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ) SPD for renovation of the large house.
  7. Resolution proposal in the Rostock citizenship ( Memento from September 14, 2015 in the Internet Archive ).
  8. Volkstheater: Intendant is combative. ( Memento from February 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Volkstheater: Methling calls Latchinian again. ( Memento of April 22, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Methling and Brodkorb agreed on target agreement.
  10. ↑ Analysis of the financial development of July 20, 2015 ( Memento of September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ).
  11. The Volkstheater becomes an opera house. In: Ostsee-Zeitung . February 2, 2016.
  12. Stefan Rosinski: Hybrid model for the Rostock Volkstheater. ( rathaus.rostock.de ( Memento from July 24, 2018 in the Internet Archive ))
  13. ^ Nikolaus Merck: Volkstheater Rostock as a three-part house? Retrieved October 30, 2017 .
  14. NICP: Rostock Volkstheater plays in the hall 207 | nnn.de . In: svz . ( nnn.de [accessed October 30, 2017]).
  15. The schedule - Volkstheater Rostock  ( page no longer available , search in web archives: volkstheater-rostock.de )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / volkstheater-rostock.de
  16. Courage 2017 - 25.11.2017, 8:00 p.m. - play - Volkstheater Rostock. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on November 7, 2017 ; accessed on October 30, 2017 .
  17. Lenore Lötsch: Slueter - the reformer who preached on Platt. ( www.ndr.de ( Memento from November 7, 2017 in the Internet Archive ))
  18. ^ Fame - The Repertoire - Volkstheater Rostock. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on November 7, 2017 ; accessed on October 30, 2017 .