Munich: The first season in the new Volkstheater – Munich

Everything here is glorious promise. The beer garden, even if it has only been a little tree so far, the new gastronomy, the “Schmock Minchen”, a wonderfully light, airy room. And of course the theater itself, the new Volkstheater in the Schlachthofviertel, which will open on October 15, created according to the wishes and plans of its operators, technically absolutely top, large stage, middle stage, side stage, back stage, carpentry, assembly hall – all in one Level, all great. Artistic director Christian Stückl: “We wrote down what we needed and received almost everything.” On time and within budget. And, viewed from the foyer, it is invitingly beautiful too.

A theater like this is currently only available here in Germany

Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter’s chest swells, and rightly so, a new theater building like this is currently only available here in Germany; the Isarphilharmonie (opening on October 8th) and the new Schwere Reiter (opening in a week), not to mention the upcoming renovations – Gasteig, city museum – are also investing in urban cultural buildings. What Reiter forgets out of sheer joy, pride, gratitude and campaign mode is the fact that a theater is not just a building. Yes, the number of permanent employees was increased from 100 to 150, the ensemble grew by seven performers to 22. But firstly, this is still quite modest compared to other city theaters, secondly, the old Volkstheater was always understaffed and thirdly, there is a rider very erratic when asked, you need money to be able to produce art. In the new house, theater can be performed on the three stages at the same time in front of 900 seated spectators. Marek Wiechers, deputy of the cultural advisor Anton Biebl, who is still on vacation, rummages through his papers and says that the report has calculated an additional need of nine million for art and the surrounding area, four of which remain in the quasi-post-pandemic austerity budget. The first season in the new house is secured thanks to reserves, said Stückl. Nobody knows what happens after that. But the house is very nice.

But let’s forget the injustice of corona-related austerity budgets and turn to art. It is generally hoped that this will be able to take place in front of 600 spectators on the large and 200 on the middle, plus the small stage with 100 seats. This corresponds to the old night box; So far, the Volkstheater has not had anything like the middle, multifunctional and unstaired concert room. At the opening on October 15th, Christian Stückl will perform Christopher Marlowe’s “Edward II” on the big stage. stage, the Shakespeare contemporary drama about “a young man who becomes king in England in the 11th century, wants to enforce homosexuality at court and fails because of it” (Stückl).

That’s it for now with the classics; At the beginning of January, Oscar Wilde’s “Bunbury” from the new in-house director Philipp Arnold, who will also direct Martin Sperr’s “Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria” in April, will come. At the end of March, Schiller’s “Johanna von Orleans” will be released, directed by Nikolas Darnstädt.

16 new productions, seven of them world premieres, are planned

The opening weekend, however, shows the breadth of the new popular theater. On October 16, Jessica Glause’s “Our Meat, Our Blood” will have its world premiere, a play development, search for clues in the vicinity of the slaughterhouse including live music. The next day, “Gymnasium”, a “high school opera” in cooperation with the Orchestra Academy of the Munich Philharmonic and the State Youth Choir, invented by Bonn Park and Ben Roessler. The “Spielart” festival will be a guest with a work by Sankar Venkateswaran, from April 29th to May 8th “Radikal jung” will take place. And in May staged “Koma” by Georg Friedrich Haas in cooperation with the State Opera Romeo Castellucci – the Volkstheater is now suitable as an opera stage with the possibility of a real orchestra pit. Which also conquered the Philharmonic at the end of May.

16 new productions, seven of them world premieres. That has never been done at the Volkstheater, so far they have brought out around nine works per season. Now there is a hip-hop project, video artists, sound designers and Juli Zeh. Christian Stückl brings her novel “Über Menschen” to the stage in December. And hopes that after Corona the visitors will come back in droves. It’s already possible: On September 10th and 11th, two open days will take place with a beer garden, concerts and guided tours.


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