Recently, our Admin Officer Laura went on an exchange programme to work with our friends in the Staatstheater Stuttgart. Here’s what she got up to…
I spent 10 days working in the Schauspiel (theatre) department of the Staatstheater Stuttgart. The theatre employs around 1,297 people across the theatre, opera and ballet. This figure includes 43 actors, 566 technical staff, 181 administration/front of house staff and 5 full-time prompts, which is miles bigger than Nottingham Playhouse! The acting company are employed on 1, 2 and 5 year contracts and the theatre operates in repertoire, with the programme scheduled approximately two months in advance, taking into account the play’s popularity, actor’s availability and the theatre’s subscribers.
Consequently, the theatre can only sell tickets one month in advance. For example, on 1 June, tickets go on sale for month of July. Theatre, ballet and opera performances all go on sale at the same time and a pull out brochure containing all three offerings is produced for patrons each month. Again, this is completely different to the way we work here at the Playhouse with whole seasons on sale at a time and different actors/directors/creatives for each show.
The benefit of performing in repertoire is that I was able to see lots of different performance during my time there. I experienced La Línea, a studio piece for young people about two siblings trying to cross the border from Mexico to the United States, Katja Kabanova, an opera sung in Czech, Die Flucht, the story of a group of Russian Civil War refugees told in eight dreams, Breiner / Lee / Volpi, three new ballet pieces by Stuttgarter Ballett, Der Kirschgarten, the classic play by Anton Chekhov and Der Prinz Von Dänemark, a spoof Hamlet musical.
I was also able to attend rehearsals for Die Nibelungen, a German fairytale, Volpone, a modern adapted version set in a hospital and Orlando, a contemporary ballet choreographed by Marco Goecke.
On Wednesday 19 May I attended The Staatstheater Stuttgart annual press conference. The Managing Director, Director of Opera, Director of Ballet and Director of Theatre addressed local and national press about the upcoming programme, the newly appointed Director of Opera, the refurbishment of the theatre’s auditorium and the temporary theatre space for the coming year. The event was very successful.
Overall, I had a very worthwhile time in Stuttgart. I met lots of friendly, interesting people and was made to feel very welcome. It was fascinating to learn about the way Staatstheater Stuttgart operates as it is completely different to Nottingham Playhouse.