Berlin’s theater and concert organizers are planning a new start

If everything works out, Adel Tawil will perform on the Parkbühne Wuhlheide on June 5th. Photo: Image

You finally want to do theater and concerts again – despite Corona. Nationwide, cultural workers are now pressing for a quick opening of the cultural industry. Together with a total of 40 organizations, sports associations and physicians, they have now presented a study to encourage the federal and state governments to gradually allow spectators to attend events. Berlin’s cultural institutions are also among the signatories to the paper.

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For example the Friedrichstadt-Palast, which used its forced break to renovate the house. “Endless closings cannot be a political answer to Corona,” says director Berndt Schmidt. The aim of the concept is to show that “a pandemic can also open up scope”. At the Friedrichstadt-Palast, one hopes that the lockdown will be relaxed at Easter and that the house will be able to reopen. We are looking forward to the concert by the rock singer Suzi Quatro, which is firmly booked for May 17th.

Concerts in Corona times: This is what Helge Schneider’s concert in the Waldbühne looked like in September. The arena has 22,000 seats, with a maximum of 5,000 spectators. Photo: dpa

Nationwide, the cultural scene has been idle for almost a year – with a few exceptions in summer and autumn 2020, when individual concerts or theater performances took place. In the study of the sports and cultural organizers, which was co-developed by virologists, it is now assumed that in a first step towards opening, 25 to 30 percent of the audience in halls or theaters will be able to take part in events. At open-air events, a 40 percent audience share should be possible – but subject to compliance with minimum distances and hygiene rules, which are tightened by the requirement to wear a mask in halls and halls.

Even small stages are preparing for a new beginning

“The concept is a perspective that politicians should discuss,” says Brigitta Valentin, spokeswoman for the comedy on Kurfürstendamm. The theater is also one of the initiators of the study, is planning the German premiere of the play “Curtain up for Cyrano” on April 9, and a guest performance by entertainer Gayle Tufts for the end of May. Small stages such as the Adlershof Theater are also working on a new start: there will be concerts and readings as well as plays that will be shown in a rented circus tent from April, as director Kathrin Schülein announced.

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Kathrin Schülein is the boss of the Adlershof Theater and wants to dare to start again in April. Photo: Sabinbe gudath

The Berlin concert promoter Burkhard Zahlmann focuses on open-air shows in summer – plans shows with stars like Katie Melua. If everything works out, Adel Tawil will perform on the Parkbühne Wuhlheide on June 5th. The opening concept is an important step towards finally revitalizing the cultural scene, said Zahlmann. However, one would need accompanying financial support from politics. “Performances with 30 percent viewers are not economical for organizers,” says Zahlmann. “They only pay off when the audience is 75 percent.”

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