Berliner Ensemble

Berliner Ensemble

Berliner Ensemble

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The Berliner Ensemble () is a German theatre company established by playwright Bertolt Brecht and his wife, Helene Weigel in January 1949 in East Berlin. In the time after Brecht's exile, the company first worked at Wolfgang Langhoff's Deutsches Theater and in 1954 moved to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, built in 1892, that was open for the 1928 premiere of The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper).

Bertolt Brecht's Berliner Ensemble

His students Benno Besson, Egon Monk, Peter Palitzsch, and Manfred Wekwerth were given the opportunity to direct plays by Brecht that had not yet been staged. The stage designers Caspar Neher and Karl von Appen, the composers Paul Dessau and Hanns Eisler as well as the dramaturge Elisabeth Hauptmann were among Brecht's closest collaborators. After her husband died in 1956, Weigel continued managing the Berliner Ensemble until her death in 1971.

The Berliner Ensemble achieved successful theater through long and meticulous rehearsals, often spanning several months. Each production was documented with a Modellbuch or preview album containing 600 to 800 action photographs.

Die Dreigroschenoper and Happy End premiered in Berlin in 1928 and 1929 respectively. Brecht wrote no new plays for the Berliner Ensemble, but remounted previously staged plays, premiering with Mother Courage and Her Children in 1949. Brecht also directed The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and with Erich Engel, Life of Galileo. After Brecht's death, 3 plays, The Resistible Rise of...... ...
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