When the Curtain Falls

Margarita Broich – Photographs

“Of course women belong in the theatre. Up on stage – not down at the director’s desk!” There are still a lot of theatre people who think like director Christina Paulhofer’s father, who is himself an actor. But why? Because directing means having to take responsibility and make decisions? Because it’s a matter of creating an artistic world? Or because the work often starts after the kindergarten shuts?

For her project ‘Women Directors’ theatre expert and journalist Christina Haberlik has invited almost forty female directors to step in front of her camera and asked them about their careers, their artistic work and their experiences as woman in this particular professional arena. They include Reinhild Hoffmann, Christine Mielitz, Anna Badora, Anna Viebrock, Andrea Breth, Katharina Thalbach, Doris Dörrie, Barbara Frey, Karin Beier, Christina Paulhofer, Frederike Heller, Katharina Wagner and Jette Steckel.

She has discovered that for all their differences, there are shared attitudes and experiences which allow the interviewees to be categorized into four generations: the “pioneers”, the “achievers”, those who have “arrived” and the “directors of today and tomorrow”, whose route into the theatre is no longer a struggle – although the fact that theatre overall has lost some of its social significance is a contributory factor here.

The exhibition ‘Women Directors’, transferred from the Munich Theatre Museum in a new configuration, is a snapshot of the world of the theatre from a female perspective as well as a panorama of intimate and unposed views of a good three dozen leading theatre and opera directors of the present day – a series of personal statements which are as lively and debateable, as inspiring and irritating as the artists and their works themselves.

The exhibition catalogue is published by the Henschel Verlag.

In cooperation with the Akademie der Künste