Berliner Ensemble is one of the most renowned and long-standing theatres in Germany. Named after Bertolt Brecht’s world-famous company, Berliner Ensemble has written theatre history. Throughout its 125-year history, the theatre on Schiffbauerdamm has always addressed issues of current social relevance, and from the 2017/18 season, the beginning of Oliver Reese’s tenure as Artistic Director, Berliner Ensemble once again places a stronger focus on contemporary texts and topics.
In the tradition of its former Artistic Directors, Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Müller, and under its new director Oliver Reese, Berliner Ensemble directs its attention on theatre that reflects upon our present times. Beside works by Bertolt Brecht, the repertoire features current topics and contemporary plays by living authors examining the urgent issues of our times on stage.
The significance of international contemporary drama is reflected especially in a programme for authors, which aims to attract new authors for the stage, and a repertoire featuring many international plays from countries like England, the US, Norway, France and Congo.
At the core of this theatre is its acting company. Currently, Berliner Ensemble has 28 permanently employed actors, among them Constanze Becker, Andreas Döhler, Stephanie Eidt, Bettina Hoppe, Ingo Hülsmann, Corinna Kirchhoff, Tilo Nest and Stefanie Reinsperger.
Apart from the acting company, a continuous cooperation with pioneering directors like Frank Castorf, Mateja Koležnik, Antú Romero Nunes and director-in-residence Michael Thalheimer significantly contributes to Berliner Ensemble’s profile. Modern productions are presented, as well as innovative theatre formats.
In its largest auditorium, the neo-baroque building on Schiffbauerdamm, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017, holds around 700 seats. The interim venue “Kleines Haus” in the Berliner Ensemble’s annex seats 200 audience members. In the 2018/19 season and after extensive reconstruction work, “Neues Haus” will be opened with a capacity of 200, and the “Werkraum” will become a venue for emerging talents and innovative artistic formats.