With around 70 productions per season, the Theater Dortmund is one of the most prolific theatres in Europe. What's more, it stands out in the theatrical landscape of the Ruhr area thanks to its diversity. Comprising five sections, the theatre provides everyone with a love of the performing arts with a comprehensive programme that encompasses concerts, ballet, opera, plays and children's and young people's theatre across four venues.
Current programmes display a number of pieces which underline the courage and level of importance the theatre has when it comes to societal discussions. And the residents of Dortmund love all the different sections of their theatre. For example, the children's opera, which was opened in 2008, was funded exclusively through donations.
Recently, the Theater Dortmund has begun to frequently attract attention outside of the Metropolis Ruhr. In 2018, under the artistic direction of Kay Voges, a survey of critics voted it the best theatre in North Rhine-Westphalia for the third time in a row. Voges is a pioneer when it comes to the latest in stage technology.
In 2017, the multimedia mastermind behind the rejuvenation of the theatre was invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen – the most significant gathering of the German-speaking theatre industry – for his direction of the piece "Die Borderline Prozession". As a result, his productions, which blend the world of the theatre with video and computer aesthetics, have gained a substantial following and can no longer be called an "insider tip". What's more, this avant-garde approach works well with statements surrounding urgent, socio-political questions.
With his contemporary interpretations, new artistic director Heribert Germeshausen is promising to bring a breath of fresh air to the field of opera. Under his direction, the Metropolis Ruhr is set to receive a "RuhrOper 21" in Dortmund. Together with its visitors, this project aims to discover what the genre of opera could look like in the 21st century.
It may have been around a long time, but it's still young at heart. The RuhrBühnen can be proud of the knowledge that their ranks include a long-standing theatre specifically aimed towards children and young people in the shape of the Kinder- und Jugendtheater (KJT, children's and young people's theatre) in Dortmund. The KJT was founded in 1953. Though they may be aimed towards the younger members of society, there's nothing to stop adults from enjoying a visit to one or two of the productions on offer. As long as they don't block the view of the stage, of course. This is because Dortmund's ensemble is sure to offer a remarkable theatrical experience, even for those visitors who have long-since come of age.
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