HISTORICAL INFORMATION ON THE YOUNG THEATRE BONN
On this page you will find further information about the Junge Theater Bonn from the Denkmal- und Geschichtsverein Bonn-Rechtsrheinisch e.V. (Bonn Historical Monument and History Society).
Young Theatre Bonn
The Young Theatre Bonn (JTB) is a private children's and youth theatre with a permanent professional ensemble in Bonn-Beuel. It is considered one of the most successful German children's and youth theatres.
The theatre was founded in 1969 by Helmut Tromm (* 12 May 1922; † 4 May 2007) and his wife Heidi Scholz-Tromm (* 2 June 1941; † 22 August 2005) under the name of Theatre of the Youth founded. On 16 September 1969, the "TdJ" celebrated its first premiere in the auditorium of Bonn's Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Gymnasium with the then politically red-hot play The Fantastic Journey of Kim van Dong by Joachim Jomeier.
Even the first production tried out what became known as the "Bonn Model" and remained controversial among some theatre colleagues for a long time: alongside professional adult actors, the characters of the children and young people were played by their peers, whom the Tromms recruited from schools.
In the beginning, various rooms, such as the lecture hall of the Bonn State Museum, were used as temporary venues. In 1979, the ensemble was able to move into the former "Rheingold" cinema on Hermannstraße in the Beuel district. The 19th century building seats up to 400 spectators.
On its 25th birthday in 1994, the TdJ changed its name and has since been called "Junges Theater Bonn" (JTB). In autumn 2003, shortly after Mr. and Mrs. Tromm had given up the theatre management for health reasons, the theatre was on the verge of insolvency; however, the insolvency was averted with the help of the appointed insolvency administrator as well as through increased involvement of local companies, such as through commissioned work and the use of premises of the company T-Mobile Deutschland GmbH. In the meantime, the JTB is back on a solid financial footing. In winter 2003, the stage and safety technology was extensively renewed.
Moritz Seibert (* 1967) took over the directorship in 2003, a position he still holds today. He quickly succeeded in leading the JTB into the top league of all German children's and youth theatres. In summer 2013, the over 30-year-old seating in the theatre hall was replaced with the help of "chair sponsors". In order to permanently secure and sustainably support the work of the Junges Theater Bonn, the JTB Foundation, established in 2014, purchased the theatre building in Hermannstraße. In summer 2016, the foundation thoroughly renovated the theatre and made it barrier-free.
The ensemble of the Junges Theater Bonn consists of around 30 permanent employees: actors, technicians, set designers and administration. With this team, the JTB produces five to six new plays a year for audiences of all ages. In addition, around 40 children and young people take part in the JTB's junior ensemble (in one to three productions each). In its repertoire, the theatre offers around 400 performances in Bonn each season, both almost daily in its 400-seat theatre in Beuel and on its studio stage, the Kuppelsaal above the Thalia bookshop on the Markt. A further 100 performances are staged as guest performances in other cities throughout Germany.
Work and performances
A way of working that is completely self-evident at theatres in England or the USA makes the Junge Theater Bonn an exotic among German children's and youth theatres - and with over 500 performances and around 150,000 spectators in 2017, one of the most successful. The roles of children and young people in many JTB productions are played by children and young people who are carefully selected for this purpose, professionally guided and continuously supervised and supported.
Some of the theatre's greatest successes in recent years have been with the productions of Chick (2014 to date), Secret friends (2010 to date), the German-language premiere of The Greenie (2010 until today), the world premieres of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart - The Musical (2006), Dragon Rider (2005), Lord of the Thieves (2004) or Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran (2005) based on the monologue by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Dragon Rider ran more than 70 times in its first season, always to sold-out audiences. With the second part of the Ink Trilogy by Cornelia Funke, Inkblood - The Musicalthe theatre brought another great audience favourite to the stage in 2007.
In January 2008, the Junge Theater Bonn attracted nationwide attention. With the German-language premiere of the English play Beautiful Thing about the first love between two boys, the theatre landed a great success under its artistic director Moritz Seibert. For the first time, the two main roles were cast with young actors the same age as the characters.
In the meantime, a large part of the young performers can be recruited from the course participants of the JTB workshop, the drama school for children and young people of the Junges Theater Bonn, founded in 2001. There, around 960 participants of all ages take part in 90 different workshops and acting/musical courses. Nevertheless, for many productions young actors are additionally sought in open castings.
The Junge Theater Bonn is run by a non-profit e.V. as a private theatre and receives subsidies from the city of Bonn and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the JTB has to generate over 80 % of its total budget itself, through ticket sales, guest performances as well as donations and sponsorship income.
- In 2007, the Junge Theater Bonn was named one of the 365 most creative idea locations of the year in the nationwide competition "Germany - Land of Ideas" by Federal President Horst Köhler.
- In 2010, the theatre received the Youth Culture Award of the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland Culture Prize, endowed with 5000 euros.
- 2016 Monica Bleibtreu Prize of the Private Theatre Days for the play Super good days
- In 2020, the Young Theatre Bonn was awarded the NRW - Economy in Change prize as NRWandler
Source: Junges Theater Bonn, Wikipedia