For avant-garde on stage, you can see the latests movements in theatre, dance and performance at the three theatres of the Hebbel Am Ufer.
HAU1, HAU2 and HAU3 are the names of the three different stages where the Hebbel am Ufer group of theatres performs contemporary dance, theatre and performance. Whether on the big stage in the Hebbel theatre or on the small one HAU 3, the productions are always fascinating examples of the latest in theatre and dance. The programme also includes music, visual arts and discussions.
Annemie Vanackere has been artistic director since 2012, and she and her team seek forms of artistic expression for the current social and political situation. The group does not have its own ensemble; instead it invites theatre groups to perform ambitious productions of high artistic quality. International co-productions and projects of the Berlin and (inter)national theatre and dance scene are developed and performed here.
Vanackere’s strategy continues that of the previous artistic directors Nele Hertling – who from 1989 to 2003 quickly turned what was then called the Hebbel-Theater from an empty building to an internationally renowned venue – and Matthias Lilienthal, under whose stewardship it wons the Federal Republic of Germany’s Design Prize in 2007 for its corporate design. The Hebbel am Ufer has already been voted the theater of the year twice in the critical review of the theater magazine "Theater heute".
The three theatres
HAU1 is in the former Hebbel-Theater in Kreuzberg, which looks back on a long history, having been built in the early 20th century in the Art Nouveau style. It is a narrow building in a row of houses. The unostentatious but stylish wood-panelled auditorium has a number of boxes. The Hebbel-Theater was the only theatre that survived the second world war without major damage.
WAU at the HAU
Not just for premieres and festivals – the WAU at the HAU Hebbel is a café in the mornings, a canteen at lunchtime and in the evenings a restaurant with regional and Mediterranean cuisine.
HAU2 was once the home to the legendary productions of the Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer, before the theatre group moved to the Mendelsohn-Bau on Lehniner Platz in Charlottenburg in 1981. For the next ten years it hosted the Theatermanufaktur am Halleschen Ufer. In 1992 it was repurposed as the main venue for independent theatre groups in Berlin, and has since then also become one of the main venues for dance theatre.
The smallest theatre is HAU3, a courtyard stage with space for only 100 people. In the 1990s, the Polish director Andrej Woron’s Teatr Kreatur played here.
The venues are located in three different buildings in close proximity to each other:
Out and about in the south of Kreuzberg
Perhaps the perfect time to appreciate the area around the HAU is on a sunny Sunday when the streets and parks are full of people taking a walk or just sitting in the cafés enjoying the sun. The spacious park at Gleisdreieck with all its sporting facilities gives the area a truly recreational atmosphere.
Find out more about the city’s neighbourhoods with our Going Local Berlin app.