The Studio Theatre bat
The bat-studiotheatre lies at the heart of the popular area of Prenzlauer Berg, between Kollwitzplatz and Wasserturm, (between Schönhauser and Prenzlauer Allee). In 1887–89, the building was opened as a dance hall and was later converted to the courtyard cinema, Roxy. In the early 1960s, Wolf Biermann and Brigitte Soubeyran founded the Berlin Workers and Student Theatre, shortened to ›bat‹. The first productions at the new theatre enjoyed a great reception by their audience, much to the distrust of the GDR cultural bureaucracy. Shortly after its opening, the bat was forced to close. The name however survived. Right through the years up until the 1970s, there were occasional performances by the State Acting School. In 1974 the building became the home to the newly founded Directing Institute, which was integrated into the Ernst Busch in 1981. The Directing department is still based here.
As a theatre, the bat offers a more diverse programme than perhaps any other theatre in Berlin. Here young actors, who a short while later will become the nations’ shooting stars, have their debut, and the early works of future young directors, choreographers and puppeteers can be seen. Increasingly, students from other Berlin colleges are also involved in productions at bat. It offers the audience the privilege to get to know a new generation of artists before they make their way into the profession.
There are at least 10 new productions a year at bat. On average the repertoire contains 10–15 performances each month. The season begins in September and runs until July. The steep gradient of the stalls sits an audience of over 115.