Wolfgang Jansen (theater scholar)

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Wolfgang Jansen (* 1951 in Hamburg ) is a theater scholar, author and cultural manager.

Live and act

Jansen studied theater studies and German at the Free University of Berlin and received his doctorate in 1990 with a thesis on the history of the development of vaudeville theater .

As a theater scholar, Jansen taught at the Free University of Berlin from 1986 to 1991, at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf from 1999 to 2001, at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen from 2001 to 2011 and since 2008 at the University of the Arts Berlin (as of 2016). His research on the history of theater was supported by the state of Berlin and the state of Brandenburg . Guest seminars on the subject of culture and event management took him to the University of Music and Theater Hamburg , the Institute for Cultural Policy of the University of Hildesheim , the University of Economics and Politics Hamburg and the University of Hagen . He gave scientific lectures at home and abroad. His research and teaching focus on popular music theater in the 19th and 20th centuries and theater history in the state of Brandenburg.

Jansen has published regularly as an author since 1986. He is a specialist in all forms of musical entertainment theater on German-speaking stages. Since 1987 he has also been writing reviews of selected theater productions and specialist publications. From 1992 to 1997 he was a regular theater critic for the Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg . In addition, after 1991, in his capacity as chairman of the GUBK (Society for Entertaining Stage Art), he founded a series of publications in which he edited and edited nine publications until he left in 2003. Since 2010 he has published on theater history in the state of Brandenburg.

In 2015, Jansen proposed the establishment of an online musical lexicon at the Center for Popular Culture and Music at the University of Freiburg with information on all premieres and premieres in German-language theater. After five years of preparation, the project got underway in spring 2020: www.musicallexikon.eu

As a cultural manager, Jansen combines science and practice. While studying, he completed an apprenticeship as an actor from 1981 to 1985 and was part of the ensemble of the theater manufactory on Halleschen Ufer Berlin. Guest performances have taken him to the USA and the Soviet Union . From 1987 to 1991 he was the assistant to the gallery owner Jule Hammer , manager of the house on Lützowplatz . In 1991 Jansen founded the non-profit society for entertaining stage arts, which he headed for twelve years and which he developed into an important network of venues, companies and artists of popular theater (musical congress). From 1997 to 2001 he worked in the management team of the Düsseldorf Capitol Theater, responsible for project development and public relations (including representative of the theater in political and cultural committees of the city of Düsseldorf, conception and construction of a theater school as a public-private partnership project , conception and Implementation of the lecture series "Düsseldorfer Speeches zu Kultur & Wirtschaft" with selected representatives from culture, economy and politics, acquisition and implementation of special events as well as organization of a theater award ceremony together with Messe Düsseldorf 1998). In 1999 he initiated the establishment of the "Varieté Conference", the amalgamation of all variety theaters in Germany, from which the Association of German Variety Theaters (VDVT) emerged in 2003 and which Jansen has been president of since its foundation until 2013. Since then he has been the secretary of the Presidium. From 2001 to 2003 he was project manager for Projekt Ruhr GmbH, a state-owned company in North Rhine-Westphalia for economic development and acceleration of structural change in the Ruhr area , responsible for the area of ​​cultural and leisure concepts, especially for the realization of the former EXPO theme park "Planet of Visions" in the city of Bochum (including general project management, representation of the management, examination and assessment of the concepts and operating models, coordination between economy, city and state politics as well as investor search and support). Jansen organized and supervised street festivals, exhibitions, panel discussions, symposia, congresses, workshops, premieres, theater productions, galas and events. From 2003 to 2009 he was the owner of the "Guest Performance Director Wolfgang Jansen", with which he sent selected music theater productions on tour. Since 2008 he has been running an artist agency for musical performers. In 2010 he initiated the establishment of the German Musical Archives as an independent collection and research unit in the Center for Popular Culture and Music in Freiburg i.Br., which was integrated into the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg in 2014. In 2011 Jansen also founded a circle of friends of the musical archive, of which he has been chairman ever since. In this capacity, he organizes annual meetings with speakers from science and practice. In 2014 he organized the European musical school festival as project manager on behalf of the Uckermärkische Bühnen Schwedt / Oder in Brandenburg.


  • Splendid revues of the twenties (= sites of the history of Berlin. Volume 25). Hentrich, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-926175-34-6 .
  • Das Varieté, the glamorous story of an entertaining art (= contributions to theater, film and television from the Institute for Theater Studies at the Free University of Berlin. Volume 5). Hentrich, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-926175-85-0 .
  • Varieté Today, The Handbook (= Small Writings of the Society for Entertaining Stage Art. Volume 2). Henschel, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-89487-190-3 .
  • (Ed.): About laughter, essays (= small writings of the society for entertaining stage arts. Volume 7). Weidler, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89693-169-5 .
  • Musicals in Production, On Realization Practice as Constituents of the Work. In: Armin Geraths, Christian Martin Schmidt (ed.): Musical: The entertaining genre (= Handbook of Music in the 20th Century. Volume 6). Laaber, Laaber 2002, ISBN 3-89007-426-X .
  • The musical comes to Germany, to the reception of the popular American music theater in the German-language feature pages of the fifties. In: Christiane Schlote, Peter Zenzinger (Ed.): New Beginnings in Twentieth-Century Theater and Drama, Essays in Honor of Armin Geraths (= CDE Studies. Volume 10). Scientific publishing house, Trier 2003, ISBN 3-88476-639-2 .
  • In search of the future, on the situation of the operetta in the late twenties. In: Nils Grosch (Hrsg.): Aspects of modern music theater in the Weimar Republic. Waxmann, Münster, New York, Munich, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-8309-1427-X .
  • Cats & Co., history of musicals in German-speaking theater. Henschel, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-89487-584-8 .
  • Comedians, jugglers, church games: On the medieval beginnings of theater in the Mark Brandenburg. In: Clemens Bergstedt, Peter Knüvener u. a. (Ed.): In dialogue with robber barons and beautiful Madonnas, The Mark Brandenburg in the late Middle Ages. Lukas, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86732-118-1 .
  • War! It's war !, The Royal Theater in Potsdam during the First World War. In: Yearbook for Brandenburg State History, published by the State History Association for the Mark Brandenburg. Volume 63. Berlin 2012, ISSN  0447-2683 .
  • with Gregor Herzfeld : Bernstein: West Side Story . Seemann Henschel, Leipzig 2015, ISBN 978-3-89487-906-8 .
  • Willi Kollo, author and composer for operetta, revue, cabaret, film and television, 1904-1988 . Popular culture and music, Volume 28, Münster u. a .: 2020, print ISBN 978-3-8309-3995-5 , e-book ISBN 978-3-8309-8995-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bureau of vdvt