In 1954, when the troupe of Bertolt Brecht "The Berliner Ensemble" moved to its current building at Schiffbauerdamm, "The Caucasian Chalk Circle " was the first production on the new stage.
At Michael Thalheimer’s performance interweaves epic theater traditions of Brecht and indicative expression of German directing. Dramaturge and producer have unequivocal notion of war: it is not a romanticism it's blood, cruelty, and deformity. Performance has no decorations, it’s entirely built on actors’ energetics, their peculiar way of character creation and stage existence.
The play’s plot is based on a parable of a baby from a noble family who was saved by kitchen maid Grusha during the revolution in medieval Georgia. After the revolution, a true mother asks for a baby back and a new one doesn’t want to let him go. To resolve a dispute, the judge Azdak comes to Solomon’s Wisdom and re-creates his chalk circle trial. In the Berliner Ensemble production, the role of Grusha is performed by the star of the Austrian and German stage Stefanie Reinsperger.
“Stunning; the most de-cluttered Brecht you could wish for”
“Stefanie Reinsperger is tremendous”
“Stefanie Reinsperger plays with an extraordinary, appalling energy, fuelled by the electric guitar rhymes, which the musician rumbles on the stage - it is Brecht of the XXI century”
Michael Thalheimer is the famous German director, the luminary of the contemporary European stage and the permanent of theatrical festivals.
From 2005 to 2008, he was head director of Deutsches Theater Berlin. He has directed productions at the Vienna Burgtheater, Schauspiel Frankfurt on Main, Residenztheater Munich, Thalia Theater in Hamburg and the Berlin Schaubühne. Since 2017 he has been in-house director of Berliner Ensemble.
He is the winner of the television channel 3sat’s Innovation Award, the Berlin Friedrich-Luft-Preis, tow Russian “Golden Mask” and several the Nestroy-Awards. The festival panellist at the Berlin Theatertreffen, Wiener Festwochen, Salzburger Festspiele, Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro in Bogotá and others.
“Berliner Ensemble” is one of the main Germany’s theatres worldwide renowned for Bertolt Brecht’s play productions. The Theater am Schiffsbauerdamm was founded in 1892 and got the name of Berliner Ensemble in 1954 when it was handed over to Brecht’s theatre company. Over the years the theatre was managed by Helene Weigel, Ruth Berghaus, Manfred Wekwerth, Heiner Müller (along with Matthias Langhoff, Fritz Marquardt, Peter Palitzsch and Peter Zadek), Martin Wuttke and Claus Peymann.
At present, the intendant of the theatre is Oliver Reese. At the Berliner Ensemble’s repertory, there are performances of Robert Wilson, Heiner Müller, Frank Castorf and other famous directors.