Some stages therefore organize empty premieres, i.e. only play for a handful of journalists, so that the ensemble at least gets feedback in review form. Others stream their premiere live for a fee. But what only very few stages can afford, many do not even have a video department.
And how does it continue? Some theaters have voluntarily extended their corona break until late January or late February. However, gradual openings in the federal states would be allowed if “they have an incidence of significantly less than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within 7 days and a downward trend”, as stated in the penultimate federal corona ordinance. With the current seven-day incidence values of 67.8 and 47, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are still well above or only slightly below.
Subsidized houses do not have to worry about insolvency for the time being, because the institutional funding continues to flow. Many theater people fear, however, that they will soon be punished for not being forced to act – because of the corona-related billions in debt at the federal and state levels. “The reduction of cultural budgets and grants for theater is already becoming apparent, the discussions are ongoing,” says Hanover’s theater director Sonja Anders. What is she hoping anyway? “We will probably not be allowed to play in front of fully occupied rows of spectators until mid-2021, but we may finally be able to act more unrestrained and without any distance on the stage.