A journey through the Dusseldorf independent theatre and dance scene

In the 1970s, traditional theatre culture dominated Düsseldorf; alternative theatres such as ZAKK, FFT or tanzhaus nrw were still unthinkable. It was not until the late 1970s and 1980s that a diverse independent theatre scene emerged. Innovative groups and venues such as Theater Jhawemirc, Theater der Klänge and Theater Kontra-Punkt enriched the city’s cultural offerings. The former director of the Düsseldorf Theatre Museum, Heinrich Riemenschneider, documented this development in 1987 in his “Theatre History of the City of Düsseldorf”. Today, the theatre scene comprises up to 40 funded projects per year and is a dynamic part of Düsseldorf’s culture.

The book “Die Bretter, die die Stadt bedeuten – 50 Jahre freie darstellende Künste in Düsseldorf” by Jens Prüss and J.U. Lensing, published in May 2024, summarises this eventful history on 335 pages in the form of an oral history based on 40 audio interviews with key figures from the scene. This history of theatre and dance shows how creative passion has had a lasting impact on Düsseldorf’s cultural landscape and continues to do so today.

Narrated by: Mario Alfonso, Evelyn Arndt , Thomas Bernhardt, Annette Bieker, Felix Bürkle, Andreas Dahmen, Helga Dürr, Jacqueline Fischer, Vera Forester, Brigitta Gillessen, Angie Hiesl, Philipp Kohlen-Priebe, Claudia Küppers, Frank Küster, Jörg U. Lensing, Bernd Lohmann, Ilanit Magarshak–Riegg, Ernest Martin, Manes Meckenstock, Joachim Meurer, Brygida Mich, Maura Morales, Juergen Mühle, Bertram Müller, Morgan Nardi, Dieter Nuhr, Christiane Oxenfort, Ben J. Riepe, Rudi Rölleke, Frank Römmele, Gianni Sarto, Reiner Scharlowsky, Frank Schulz, Christof Seeger-Zurmühlen, Robert Solomon, Christoph Stüttgen, Alexandra Waierstall, Jürgen Weintz, Rainer Wittek

introduced by forewords by Sascha Förster, J.U. Lensing and Jens Prüss

German Droste-Verlag