The Deutsches Theater in Berlin is a well-known German theatre. It was built in 1850 as Friedrich-Wilhelm-Städtisches Theater, after Frederick William IV of Prussia. Located on Schumann Street (Schumannstraße), the Deutsches Theater consists of two adjoining stages that share a common, classical facade. The main stage was built in 1850, originally for operettas.
Adolf L'Arronge founded the Deutsches Theater in 1883 with the ambition of providing Berliners with a high-quality ensemble-based repertory company on the model of the German court theatre, the Meiningen Ensemble, which had been developed by Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and his colleagues to become "the most widely admired and imitated company in Europe", thanks to its historically accurate sets and costumes, vividly-realized crowd scenes, and meticulous directorial control.
Otto Brahm, the leading exponent of theatrical Naturalism in Germany, took over the direction of the theatre in 1894, and applied that approach to a combination of classical productions and stagings of the work of the new realistic playwrights.
One of Brahm's ensemble, the legendary theatre director Max Reinhardt, took over the directorship in 1904. Under his leadership it acquired a reputation as one of the most significant theatres in the world. In 1905 he founded a theatre-school and built a chamber theatre. Reinhardt remained the artistic director of the theatre until he fled Nazi Germany in 1933.
The Deutsches Theater remains one of the most prominent companies in Berlin.
- Banham, Martin, ed. 1998a. "Deutsches Theater" In The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43437-8. p. 294.
- ---. 1998b. "Meiningen company." In The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43437-8. p. 718.
- Willett, John and Ralph Manheim. 1970. Introduction. In Collected Plays: One by Bertolt Brecht. Ed. John Willett and Ralph Manheim. Bertolt Brecht: Plays, Poetry and Prose Ser. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-416-03280-X. p.vii-xvii.
- Banham (1998a) and (1998b).
- Banham (1998a).
- "[In 1924, Brecht] was about to go as a 'dramaturg', or literary advisor, to Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater in Berlin, at that time one of the world's three or four leading theatres." (Willett and Manheim 1970, vii).