Curtains Up! Discover Queer-friendly Theatres und Performance Venues

The variety of venues in Berlin can be overwhelming. To help you choose, Annabelle Georgen, cultural editor of the queer Berlin city magazine, SIEGESSÄULE, recommends ten venues. What they have in common is that they regularly score points with programmes that are of particular interest for gays, lesbians, and the queer community.

One of the favourite addresses of Berlin's LGBTQI* theatre audience: The "Bar jeder Vernunft".

Bar jeder Vernunft

Bar jeder Vernunft is a cabaret gem. In its dazzling historic mirrored tent, big names from Germany's chanson, cabaret, and comedy scene regularly take to the stage in an intimate atmosphere. It is also one of the Berlin's LGBTQI* theatre audiences’ favourite destinations. The small family of artists at Bar jeder Vernunft includes the Geschwister Pfister, Tim Fischer, Maren Kroymann, Sven Ratzke, among others.

Bar jeder Vernunft
Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin-Wilmersdorf
U Spichernstraße
Website of Bar jeder Vernunft

Radical Programme: The Maxim Gorki Theatre.

Maxim Gorki Theater

Post-migration, feminist, queer - the smallest of Berlin's state theatres is also the most radical in its artistic and political stance. Social issues such as racism, LGBTQI* hostility, migration, and rape culture are regularly addressed and explored on the stage of the Maxim Gorki Theatre. Queer authors and directors such as Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Falk Richter, and Ersan Mondtag are closely associated with the Gorki. Definitely worth seeing is the revue theatre play, 'Alles Schwindel', which flamboyantly revives the spirit of the wild, queer 1920s. The Gorki also organises the small festival 'Queer Week' every summer.

Maxim Gorki Theater
Am Festungsgraben 2, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
U Museumsinsel
Website of Maxim Gorki Theater

Despite its splendid interior, the "Komische Oper" is not elitist at all.

Komische Oper

Among the three opera houses in the capital, the Komische Oper is the smallest and the least elitist opera house. Its magnificent, Neo-Baroque interior delivers serious opera classics, as well as operettas and contemporary musical theatre pieces that attract a wide audience. Thanks to its artistic director, Barrie Kosky, the Komische Oper has become a queer stronghold in Berlin over the last decade. The gay Australian director is known for always 'queering' the classical repertoire with a touch of gender-bending and camp aesthetics. Our favourite classics in the repertoire are 'The Pearls of Cleopatra' and 'Ball at the Savoy'.

Komische Oper
Behrenstraße 55-57, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
U Unter den Linden
Website of Komische Oper

Breeding ground of contemporary dance currents: The "Sophiensæle".

Sophiensæle

The Sophiensæle is a hotbed of contemporary performance and dance. Many young, international queer-feminist artists such as Florentina Holzinger, Nora Chipaumire, the Henrike Iglesias Collective, and Rita Mazza perform there. The in-house festival, 'Tanztage', which takes place every year in January, is not to be missed.

Sophiensæle
Sophienstraße 18, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
U Weinmeisterstraße
Website of Sophiensæle

Home of many queer cabaret stars: The "BKA Theatre".

BKA-Theater

Tucked away in the attic of an old building in Kreuzberg, the Berliner Kabarett Anstalt, affectionately called BKA by its regular audience, has been closely connected to Berlin's LGBTQI* community since its founding in the 1980s. Many local greats appear regularly on the small stage, such as the famous drag artist, comedian Ades Zabel with his legendary character Edith Schröder, the lesbian cabaret artist Sigrid Grajek, and the drag queen Jurassica Parka, who performs the late-night show, 'Paillette geht immer'.

BKA-Theater
Mehringdamm 34, 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg
U Mehringdamm
Website of BKA-Theater

Daring productions: The "Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz".

Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

With gay Director, René Pollesch, as the artistic director, a new era has begun at the famous Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in 2021. The Volksbühne is the proud representative of the former Eastern sector of the capital. Besides theatre, a lot of concerts and readings appear on the programme. Names of international queer actors and musicians are repeatedly headlined.

Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
Linienstraße 227, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
U Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
Website of the Volksbühne

The current show "20 20 - Die 20er Jahre Variété Revue" in the "Wintergarten".

Wintergarten

Wintergarten can look back on a long history. The iconic Variety Theatre first opened its doors at the end of the 19th Century, in Berlin-Mitte. In the 'Golden Twenties’, the lesbian cabaret singer, Claire Waldoff (among others) performed there. Because the original building was destroyed in a bombing raid during the Second World War, Wintergarten was relocated. The new location is to be found in the Tiergarten district. The current show, '20 20 - Die 20er Jahre Variété Revue', is a wild mixture of acrobatics, burlesque and chanson, and it is presented by a brilliant, gay compere duo, namely, Director Markus Pabst and the entertainer in high heels, Jack Woodhead.

Wintergarten
Potsdamer Straße 96, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
U Kurfürstenstraße
Website of Wintergarten

Actors on the stage of the "Berliner Ensemble".

Berliner Ensemble

Named after Bertolt Brecht's company, the Berliner Ensemble is an institution in the German theatre landscape. The oeuvre of the world-famous playwright still forms an integral part of the repertoire today. One highlight is the new production of the 'Threepenny Opera', directed by star opera director, Barrie Kosky. The masterpiece by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill is imbued with exciting queer glamour. Also worth seeing is the classic 'Baal', in a visually powerful production by the young gay director, Ersan Mondtag.

Berliner Ensemble
Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
S + U Friedrichstraße
Website of Berliner Ensemble

The "Chameleon Theatre" is dedicated to contemporary circus and acrobatics.

Chamäleon Theater

The Chamäleon Theater is a real eye-catcher: it is quite at home in the famous setting of the Hackesche Höfe. These are a network of inner courtyards connected by corridors with exterior facades decorated in Art Nouveau style. This makes the Hackesche Höfe one of Berlin's most famous landmarks. The Chamäleon Theater is dedicated to contemporary circus and acrobatics and it is an important stage for international companies touring Europe.

Chamäleon Theater
In den Hackeschen Höfen, Rosenthaler Straße 40/41, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
S Hackescher Markt
Website of Chamäleon-Theater

"Ugly Duckling", starring Judy LaDivinia, at "Deutsches Theater".

Deutsches Theater

The Deutsches Theater is one of the most important spoken-theatre companies in Berlin. Its focus is on German-speaking playwrights. These include renowned names such as René Pollesch and Rosa von Praunheim. Our favourite play from the repertoire is 'ugly duckling' by gay director Bastian Kraft, who juxtaposes Andersen's famous fairy tale about being different with biographies of Berlin drag queens. English-speaking viewers are not lost, by the way: they can simply follow the productions thanks to the surtitles.

Deutsches Theater
Schumannstraße 13a, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
U Oranienburger Tor
Website of Deutsches Theater

Additional information

Speaking of Stage and Theatre, the Place2be.Berlin ambassador, Tarik Tesfu, shares his favourite cultural places in Berlin-Mitte with you in this video!

And this is how you get there: The Queer City Pass gives you a ticket for public transport - and on top of that a great discount with lots of partner companies!

Subscribe to Place2be.Berlin's Instagram channel for the latest info and impressions from Berlin!

The Place2be.Berlin city map shows you interesting queer locations all over Berlin.

You can find a complete overview of all events for every single da on the event pages of SIEGESSÄULE, Berlin's famous queer city magazine.

A project of SIEGESSÄULE
Funded by