Theater der Welt 2017 doesn’t only want to use the traditional stages of Thalia and Kampnagel as performance spaces – the plan is to also transform areas of the harbour into stages and establish a creative connecting line between the harbour and the city.
The original building of the Thalia Theater was built in 1843 across from today’s building. During the Second World War, the building was mostly destroyed; at the end of the 1950s it was restored, and re-opened in December 1960. The Thalia Theater is one of three Hamburg state theaters; it is a theater stage with a solid and famed ensemble. It is located directly next to the Binnenalster; the port is reachable by foot. The repertoire includes approximately 20 productions; there are about nine premieres per season at the Großes Haus at the Alstertor. The season’s themes now reflect a tendency to concentrate more on the “world” and less on personal and psychological issues.
The Gaußstraße is simultaneously a dependence of the Thalia Theater and a city district theater for Hamburg Altona. In the last ten years, it has shifted from being a factory to a creative center with the charm of a New York courtyard.
Kampnagel is a former port crane factory with navigable river access. Since 1982, the former factory has been developing into an international stage for performing arts with a European-wide reputation. Kampnagel sees itself as a place where art and life can relate to one another – as a space in which artists and different communities from Hamburg with their issues meet the diverse cultures of invited international artists. Kampnagel is an international avant-garde stage and production venue for theater, dance, art and music theater, a laboratory for developing ideas, a location for controversies and conferences but also a concert hall, music lounge and club.
The Baakenhöft is the northern dock on the tip of the peninsula in the Baakenhafen directly across from the Hafencity University. The Hafenbecken was built at the end of the 19th century and since then it has been leased to various shipping companies. Since 1998, the Baakenhafen has been a part of the Hafencity project. It is simultaneously the only port location close to Hamburg’s center that still embodies past harbor use. This former Africa terminal, with its huge cocoa warehouse, the berth of the MS Stubnitz and the festival center all form the heart of Theater der Welt 2017.
Built in 1869, the 9000m2 warehouse 29 is the last relic of the old port. Originally equipped to store unrefined cocoa, it lost its function in the shift to container shipping. The Kakaospeicher [cocoa warehouse] was repeatedly slated for destruction; most recently to create a visitors’ center for the Olympics. Now it will be transformed for the first time into an impressive stage for Theater der Welt 2017.
Since 2006, the Thalia Zelt has been operating as an additional venue for the Thalia Theater at different locations in Hamburg; most recently, it was at the Baakenhöft with „Die drei Musketiere“ by Peter Jordan and Leonhard Koppelmann in 2015. In addition, the tent has also been travelling with guest performances: at the „Radikal Jung – Das Festival Junger Regisseure“ festival in Munich and „Jung Directors Project“ in the context of the Salzburger Festspiele.
The MS Stubnitz was built in 1964 and belonged to the GDR high seas fishing fleet. On this approximately 80-meter-long cultural ship from Rostock, concerts, parties and other events take place on a regular basis. The floating monument is still seaworthy today and a true mecca for Hamburg’s club and music scene.
HAVEN is a high-spirited, fantastic and simultaneously real playfield, a meeting place as an invitation to everyone: artists, the audience, local protagonists and producers, neighbors and guests. As a connector between the venues, people and subjects of the festival and the Baakenhafen, HAVEN is open at different places: from the tiny house to racetrack, from barge to tower, from archive to bar. It’s an opportunity to relax and eat dinner, get exhausted and reflect, get involved and be inspired.
At the Sandtorhafen, a huge warehouse for the Hamburg port was built in 1875 – the Kaiserspeicher. Cocoa, tobacco and tea were stored here into the 1990s. On its foundation, the new glass building of the recently opened Elbphilharmonie was built, the new Hamburg landmark. With its breathtaking view of the port, it is a perfect cooperation venue for Theater der Welt 2017.
The Oberhafen lies parallel to the Baakenhafen; its numerous warehouses have primarily served as logistics centers for quite some time. Cultural events and other creative projects have been taking place there for the last ten years; the objective is a step-by-step transformation process of the 6.7-hectare surface with renter involvement. Warehouses 3 and 4 at the Oberhafen, which have unusual dimensions and an interesting industrial history, serve as two additional venues for the festival.