Schauspielhaus Zürich

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Template:Infobox building

The Schauspielhaus Zürich (Template:Lang-en) is one of the most prominent and importantTemplate:Citation needed theatres in the German-speaking world. It is also known as "Pfauenbühne" (Pfauen Stage). The large theatre has 750 seats. The Template:Lang also operates three stages in the Template:Lang in the western part of Zurich, the Template:Lang (400 seats), the Template:Lang (up to 200 seats) and the Template:Lang (80 seats).


The building was constructed in 1892 as the Template:Lang (People's Theater on the Pfauen Square) with a Bavarian beer garden and a bowling alley. It served initially as a music hall or vaudeville stage. In 1901 the building was rented by the director of the Zürich Opera House and opened as a play house with Goethe's comedy Template:Lang (The Accomplices). From 1903 until 1926 the play house was run by a private cooperative.

In 1926 Zürich wine wholesaler and play house director Ferdinand Rieser acquired the house and had it renovated. Then in 1938 it was leased to the Template:Lang, a company founded by the city of Zürich in order to save the theater from its financial difficulties. When the lease ran out in 1952, the citizens of Zürich refused to purchase the house for the proposed price of 3 million Swiss francs. Upon their refusal, UBS AG, a Swiss banking group, stepped in to purchase the building and arranged a new lease arrangement with the Template:Lang.

However, the effort to establish an ambitious theater in Zürich was met with little success at first, and until 1933 the theater was rarely thought of outside of Switzerland.

After the rise of the Nazis in 1933, however, many important actors and directors immigrated to Switzerland from Germany and Austria. With the help of these artists, the theater achieved great success, staging many anti-fascist works, importantly the world-premiers of several plays by Bertolt Brecht. During this time the Template:Lang was the largest free stage in the German-speaking world, as stages in Germany and Austria were strictly regulated.

After the war, the theater retained its important place in world and German-language theater. During this time it saw world premiers of such important playwrights as Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Carl Zuckmayer, Georges Schehadé, Botho Strauß and Yasmina Reza.

From 2000 to 2004 the theater experienced with Christoph Marthaler as director a new artistic blooming and was chosen as theater of the year twice by Theater heute (Theater Today), the most important and widely read German theater publication.

Since summer 2009 Template:Lang is headed by Barbara Frey. The house's repertoire spans over the whole history of theatre literature, from the old Greek up to the first performances of contemporary plays.