Oldenburgisches Staatstheater

The Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (Oldenburg State Theatre) is a German theater in the city of Oldenburg, Lower Saxony.

Oldenburgisches Staatstheater
(Oldenburg State Theatre)
Großherzogliches Hoftheater
Großherzogliches Residenztheater
Oldenburgisches Landestheater
Photo of the main theatre building
View at the corner of Theaterwall and Roonstraße (2017)
Addressvenue: Theaterwall 19
office: Theaterwall 26
26122 Oldenburg
Oldenburg (Lower Saxony)
OwnerCity of Oldenburg
DesignationListed Baudenkmal
CapacityGroßes Haus: 540
Kleines Haus: 350
Spielraum: 80
OpenedFebruary 1833; 191 years ago (1833-02)
Rebuilt1881; 143 years ago (1881), Gerhard Schnitger
1893; 131 years ago (1893), Franz Noack / Paul Moritz Zimmer
ArchitectGerhard Schnitger (1841–1917)



The theatre was first opened in the times of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, on 1 February 1833. At that time it was a wooden structure built by local master carpenter Herman Wilhelm Muck, who also owned the building. Founder and first director of the theatre was Carl Christian Ludwig Starklof (1789–1850), a lawyer and writer who served as a privy councilor in Oldenburg. Also involved was actor Johann Christian Gerber (1785–1850) who had previously directed a theatre in the neighbouring city of Bremen.[1] The founding was supported by Grand Duchess Cecilia (1807–1844). The theatre was named Großherzogliches Hoftheater (Grand Ducal Court Theatre) in 1842.

The wooden building was given up in 1881 when the theatre moved into the more imposing new Renaissance-style stone building designed by court architect Gerhard Schnitger.[citation needed] It was built next to the old structure.

Only ten years later, in November 1891, the new building burnt to the ground after a fire accident.[citation needed] The theatre company continued to work in a temporary wood building nearby while the destroyed venue was rebuilt under the supervision of Oldenburg court architect Franz Noack and Paul Moritz Zimmer, an architect from Chemnitz. The reconstruction adhered to Gerhard Schnitger’s original design, but modifications were made to replace gas lighting with electrical lighting. A large dome roof was added in order to accommodate a water tank above the stage area – an important fire protection measure at the time. Workshop space was expanded. The interior walls and ceilings were lavishly decorated with baroque-style mouldings, wall sculptures, frescoes. The new electrical lighting was integrated into the decoration. The theatre then reopened in October 1893.[2][3]

General directors since World War II

  • Irene de Noiret and Otto Daue (both 1945/46)
  • Albert Lippert (1946/47)
  • Jost Dahmen (1947/48)
  • Gerd Briese (1948–1954)
  • Fred Schroer (1954–1957)
  • Ernst Dietz (1957–1963)
  • Wilhelm List-Diehl (1963–1968)
  • Harry Niemann (1968–1985)
  • Hans Häckermann (1985–1993)
  • Stephan Mettin (1993–2001)
  • Rainer Mennicken (2001–2007)
  • Markus A. Müller (2007–2014)
  • Christian Firmbach (2014–present)


  1. ^ Kürschner, Joseph: Gerber, Johann Christian. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.), vol. 8 (1878), p. 722. Digital full text: Wikisource (accessed 27 January 2012)
  2. ^ Henneberg, Jörg Michael / Kreier, Peter: Musentempel des Historismus im neuen Glanze – Zur Baugeschichte des Oldenburgischen Staatstheaters. In: Kulturland – Zeitschrift der Oldenburgischen Landschaft. Issue 4/2011. Oldenburg 2011. ISSN 1862-9652
  3. ^ Nordwest-Zeitung Online, 11 August 2010: Theaterbau aus Holz im Februar 1833 eröffnet (accessed 24 January 2012)


  • Neumann, Karl-Heinz: Theater in Oldenburg. Wesen und Werden einer nordwestdeutschen Bühne, Oldenburg 1982, ISBN 3-87358-149-3.
  • Schmidt, Heinrich (Ed.): Hoftheater, Landestheater, Staatstheater. Beiträge zur Geschichte des oldenburgischen Theaters 1833–1983, Oldenburg 1983, ISBN 3-87358-165-5.
  • Krüger, Christian: Geschichte der Oper am Landestheater in Oldenburg 1921–1938. Ein Beitrag zur Musikgeschichte der Stadt Oldenburg vor dem Hintergrund der sozialen und politischen Entwicklung dieser Epoche, Oldenburg 1984, ISBN 3-87358-184-1.

53°8′21″N 8°12′36″E / 53.13917°N 8.21000°E / 53.13917; 8.21000