The Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, founded at the court of the Grand Duke of Baden in 1719, is one of the largest theatres in Germany, presenting a wide repertoireof opera, ballet, drama and concert with resident companies in all departments. It claims over 750 performances, 10.000 subscribers and 275.000 audiences annually. Its main building, opened in 1975, houses three stages: a 1002 seat opera house, a 350 seat house predominantly for spoken drama and a newly opened studio with 125 seats. A fourth stage, Insel (126 seats), for the program of the newly founded “Young State Theatre” is located nearby. The Staatstheater employs over 650 soloists, chorus members, musicians, and employees in all departments. Since 2011 it is led by Generalintendant Peter Spuhler. Peter Spuhler has initiated the founding of a new department, the “Junges Staatstheater” coordinating all children’s and youth activities. It started its activities in the fall of 2011and, in its first season, premiered 2 new operas for children and youth and 4 plays for children and youth, among them a family Christmas play and a play for the very young – 2 years and older. The bilingual “Young Europe 2” project, in collaboration with ETC and the TJP Strasbourg, “Fragen fragen / La vache et le commissaire” has been an attempt to connect the theatre with local schools and reach out to the French neighbour.
The Drama department, under the direction of Jan Linders, is marked by literary masterpieces in contemporary interpretations, philosophical theatre based on books by Peter Sloterdijk, Byung-Chul Han, Peter Handke, and Klaus Theweleit, musical plays, contemporary drama, strong collaborations with neighbouring France as well as participatory projects under the label “Volkstheater”. Among these projects was an opening project with 100 people from Karlsruhe directed by Rimini Protokoll in 2011, a restaging of the classical Golden Fleece myth in the city with a citizen’s chorus on stage in 2012, and a dance work with French director Pascal Rambert, a philosopher, 4 actresses and 50 people from the city in 2013. In June of 2013, the Staatstheater will host the renowned festival “Premières” for young European directors, in collaboration with the Théâtre National Strasbourg and Le Maillon, Strasbourg.