Live Performance in Berlin

Live Performance in Berlin, Berlin, Germany (D)

Because Berlin is a famous contemporary art city currently the most thriving in the world right now, live performance is one of those arts which is flourishing. Often mixing genres of contemporary theater and dance, live performance in Berlin is programmed from all over the world in venues all over Berlin. As an exciting hub for live work, Berlin provides theater and comedy which can also be found in English for those who are non-German speaking.
How it works: The full article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the sights featured in this article. The app's navigation functions guide you from one sight to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Live Performance in Berlin
Guide Location: Germany » Berlin
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Attractions: 15
Author: Alexa Wilson
Author Bio: Alexa Wilson is a writer, performance and video artist from NZ based in Berlin nearly 3 years. She has written a number of reviews on performance and film for online sites and publications amidst teaching at institutions in NZ like Auckland University and Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts in performance, M.I.T in film theory. Her live works have won awards in NZ and she has made performances in Europe and New York.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hau Theater (Hebbel am Ufer)
  • Sophiensaele
  • Volksbühne
  • Schaubühne
  • Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • Admirals-Palast
  • Ufer Studios
  • Quatsch Comedy Club
  • English Theater Berlin
  • Dock 11
  • Radial System
  • Theater am Schiffbauerdamm
  • Theater am Potsdamer Platz
  • Deutsches Theater Berlin
  • Staatsballett-Berlin
Hau Theater (Hebbel am Ufer)

1) Hau Theater (Hebbel am Ufer)

This venue offers a wide range of many types of international and local contemporary performances including dance, theater, live art and music. The venue is divided between 3 different theaters Hau 1, 3 and 3 which are all within walking distance to each other near the same Train line station. Hau 1 is the main and largest venue while the other 2 can also be found at HAU2: Hallesches Ufer 32 10963 Berlin, HAU3: Tempelhofer Ufer 10 10963 Berlin. These venues host a range of live performance all year round including festivals like Tanz Im August, Europe's most prestigious Contemporary Dance festival and 100 Grad Festival in February.
Image Courtesy of Merzbow.

2) Sophiensaele

This venue offers a wide range of many types of international and local contemporary performances including dance, theater, live art and music. This prestigious and progressive venue also hosts a range of live performance all year round including festivals like Tanz Im August, Europe's most prestigious Contemporary Dance festival as well as Berlin's Biennale for Contemporary Art, DAAD Concert, Tanztage, German Israeli Literature Festival, Lucky Trimmer, 100 Grad Festival and dozens more.
Image Courtesy of Okin.

3) Volksbühne

The Volksbühne ("People's Theater") was opened in 1914 intended by the architect to be the "Freie Volksbühne" ("Free People's Theater") which also remained through the GDR times in Berlin. It currently has a wide range of large scale dance, theater, live art and music concerts from local but mostly international contemporary artists and also composers from the past. Due to its history it is a wonderful venue to see bigger scale contemporary work in such a unique building made 'for the people'.
Image Courtesy of Jensens.

4) Schaubühne

Set far in Berlin's former west Schaubühne is host to many prestigious live performances of dance, theater, live art and music. It is made from the former Kino Universum built in 1926, which has been speculated to be the first modern cinema in the world. Today it hosting a wide range of top international and local contemporary performance artists across art forms all year round and top dance festivals such as Berlin's Tanz Im August.
Image Courtesy of Andreas Praefcke.

5) Friedrichstadt-Palast

Today the Friedrichstadt-Palast is the largest most popular theater for large scale performance in Europe, offering impressive spectacles of circus and dance in Berlin. It boasts a 'Las Vegas' and 'Broadway' style of performance to be enjoyed by thousands of happy audiences weekly and all year round involving 100s of performers. For a great night out this venue provides entertainment regardless of whether you speak German as there is very little talking.
Image Courtesy of By FriedrichstadtPalast.

6) Admirals-Palast

Admirals-Palast offers a large range of mainstream opera for audiences to enjoy all year round. It opened in 1910, and is one of the few variety theaters still existing in Post-War Berlin. Today it offers excellent entertainment in the form of large scale current and historic operas in a range of languages and an exciting evening out for travelers who enjoy opera.
Image Courtesy of Deutsche Fotothek‎.
Ufer Studios

7) Ufer Studios

Ufer Studios, situated in the northern suburb of Wedding, is a center for contemporary dance and performance and currently the most thriving place to see new live art and dance/theater in Berlin. Formerly a factory, it has 14 studios which are all large and host to many live shows all year round, residence to famous choreographer Meg Stuart and the Masters Dance Programme from HZT/UDK. To witness the most interesting work you will find in Berlin in an organized capacity this center also hosts festivals like Tanznacht, Ausufern and Herbst Festival. Uferstudios was officially opened in 2010, supported by TanzRaumBerlin network, as a space to enable the local contemporary dance scene.
Image Courtesy of Hans Schiller.
Quatsch Comedy Club

8) Quatsch Comedy Club

Quatsh Comedy Club was established in 1992 Thomas Hermanns as part of the Friedrichstadt-Palast and offers a wide range of international and local comedians of top quality. If you want to experience top notch stand comedians in the center of Berlin's Mitte and do not speak German it offers entertainment for people in English also for a great night out.
Image Courtesy of Andreas Thum.
English Theater Berlin

9) English Theater Berlin

Created in 1990, English Theater Berlin is the only theater in town that is committed to presenting original and translated works in English. For travelers interested in original contemporary local and international theater in English, based in and out of Berlin, this venue offers a range of fascinating plays and festivals all year round.
Image Courtesy of Devo Nelson.
Dock 11

10) Dock 11

Dock 11 is an intimate venue situated in the heart of Berlin's trendy district of Prenzlauerberg on Kastanienallee and close to Mitte, offering experimental performances from a range of local and international artists. The focus for this venue is contemporary dance, but also includes theater and performance art. For anyone interested in very contemporary works this venue is great.
Image Courtesy of Robert Steijn.
Radial System

11) Radial System

Radial System was opened in 2006 as a new creative space for the arts in Berlin. Prior to 2006, it was a water pumping station for Berlin, but now works as a major cultural center. You can see top quality performances of both international and local art forms, as well as spot famous names working live at Radial System. It is also host to a number of festivals, including Tanz Im August, Berlin's largest contemporary dance festival.
Image Courtesy of Michael Reinold.
Theater am Schiffbauerdamm

12) Theater am Schiffbauerdamm

Theater am Schiffbauerdamm is a theater by the riverside in the Mitte district of Berlin, which opened in 1892. Since 1954, it has belonged to the Berliner Ensemble theater company, founded by famous German playwright Bertolt Brecht. Currently the Berliner Ensemble still inhabits the building and stages the works of Bertolt Brecht and a wide range of contemporary German plays by current German writers and directors. To experience a play of Brecht in German in his original theater or current German theater is a very unique experience.
Image Courtesy of Andreas Steinhoff.
Theater am Potsdamer Platz

13) Theater am Potsdamer Platz

Theater am Potsdamer Platz is a very contemporary theater built in the 1999 right in the heart of Berlin's entertainment and corporate district of Potsdamer Platz. It seats 1800 and specializes in musicals, which range from classical musicals like West Side Story and Wizard of Oz to more recent stories like Dirty Dancing and German stories like Hinterim Horizont (Beyond the Horizon). Its website offers special adult nights, whether you are able to speak German or not, because the musicals are visually spectacular and often accompanied by multimedia.
Image Courtesy of Hendric Stattmann.
Deutsches Theater Berlin

14) Deutsches Theater Berlin

The Deutsches Theater in Berlin is a theater with highly-acclaimed ensemble built in 1850. The Deutsches Theater building has three stages: the main stage. The theater's repertoire includes both classics and modern classics by writers such as Chekhov, Goethe, Max Frisch, Gerhart Hauptmann, Heiner Müller, Friedrich Schiller, Shakespeare and Frank Wedekind. It also stages works by contemporary playwrights like Dea Loher, Elfriede Jelinek, Simon Stephens and Stephen Belber – including many world premieres. The ensemble includes well-known actresses and for German speakers it is a wonderful evening out enjoying top quality live German theater.
Image Courtesy of Beek.

15) Staatsballett-Berlin

With the slogan 'You will be totally moved' Stattsballett Berlin is the city's biggest and most famous ballet theater. With a top quality ensemble this theater re-stages ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle and Romeo and Juliet, more modern stories like The Wizard of Oz as well as contemporary ballet such as by William Forsythe. It is recommended for ballet lovers to make it to this theater to see such excellent and beautiful performances of ballet. The main venues for this company are Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater and Komische Oper Berlin.
Image Courtesy of Theater Dortmund.

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