Berlin’s Amazing Theatres with English Translation
Posted by Gil Travel on Sep 25, 2019 10:36:00 AM
German’s capital is home to a great number of famous sites, architectural wonders and fantastic events, but unfortunately, not all of them can be fully experienced by the non-German-speaking visitors. The language-barrier is an issue which tourists run into in every country. But Berlin is working hard on making sure its guests can be a part of everything the metropolis has to offer. Imagine seeing a play in one of Berlin’s iconic theatres staring some of the world’s most brilliant performers.
It’s many a theatre lovers’ dream, but there is no need for it to remain just a dream. You too can enjoy Berlin’s renowned and vibrant theatre scene, because – yes, you can understand the plays! As a matter of fact, some of the leading theatres offer English subtitles or surtitles. Let’s check out some of the theatres with translations in English, but also in other languages, such as French and Turkish.
The Schaubühne, founded in 1962, is a place with an enviable reputation. This winner of numerous prizes is known for the directorial variety, featuring musical theatre and novel dance forms, and a combination of contemporary plays, experimental theatre and phenomenal dramatic works by celebrated writers from across the world. What you will find in this home of modern drama is experimentation, yet faithfulness to the work, combined with an immense love for the art and the stage. The architecture itself is interesting as, in addition to the Studio in the adjacent building, there are two large sliding panels that can divide the large hall into three stages for performances to be held simultaneously. It boasts a repertoire of over thirty productions, while at least ten shows per season are premiered in the Schaubühne. Of course, you can see selected plays with surtitles in English and French.
This award-winning, gorgeous theatre is another must for your to-visit list. It was built in 1850 and encompasses two connecting stages that share an impressive classical facade. It's a perfect place for an entertaining night out and enjoying a rich repertoire that includes traditional and modern classics, as well as many contemporary plays. If you’d like to see Ibsen, Goethe, Chekhov, Sartre, and many other brilliant minds’ creations, this is the place for you. English surtitles are, of course, available for selected productions. That’s not all, as every spring, the Deutsches Theater hosts the two-week Autorentheatertage festival of contemporary drama, which combines the trends of the contemporary theatre.
The famous Maxim Gorki theatre will definitely prove worth your visit, no matter when you decide to come and experience the contemporary theatre like nowhere else in the world. Founded in 1952 in East Berlin, this municipal theatre is located in the very heart of Berlin. Right from the start, it will charm you with its architecture, as it is housed in the historically significant building. But the further you go, the more intriguing it gets.
With its dedication to contemporary theatre, at the beginning it focused mostly on Russian and Soviet realist productions. Today, Maxim Gorki’s motivation and focus is still on societal issues, social changes, diversity, critical exploration of the world we live in, research, discussion, experimentation, and so much more. The program includes contemporary plays and novel interpretations of classical pieces, with an interdisciplinary approach. You can see all productions in this theatre with English surtitles.
Ready for more breathtaking experiences? Let’s move to the exhilarating world of opera and ballet. Your next stop is Germany’s second largest opera house and home to the Berlin State Ballet, first opened in 1912. It was almost completely destroyed in World War II, and a new building was constructed and inaugurated in 1962. Its style is modern, sleek, with very little ornamentation – it was made spacious, comfortable, and in a way that nothing will impede your view of the stage. By sitting in one of its 2,000 seats, you are invited to enjoy the finest productions world has to offer. While, traditionally, you can see here classical 19th-century opera, such as Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and Strauss, you can also enjoy French composers, Italian bel canto operas, revived early 20th-century works, as well as works by contemporary opera composers – and a lot of it with English surtitles. Meanwhile, its wonderful Tischlerei stage in the old carpenter’s workshop is home to its experimental works.
The last but not the least – the fabulous Komische Oper, which stages modern comic performances. Opened in 1892, it was reconstructed and reopened in 1947. Today, thanks to its diversity, it’s very popular with international audiences. It offers the most entertaining operas, operettas and musicals, performed in the beautiful neo-baroque auditorium. However, pre-WWII program is being re-discovered and its elements revived through the innovative approach of this excellent theatre, thanks to which you can see works by Jewish composers once banned by the Nazi regime. You’ll find here displays on the back of each seat with translations in English, French, German and Turkish.