[Translate to Englisch:]

We are Oldenburg! The Oldenburg State Theatre

Culture is an important aspect of life in our hometown Oldenburg. The people of Oldenburg like enjoying art in any form accompanied by a nice atmosphere. The Oldenburg State Theatre in the heart of the city is not only an architectural artwork by itself, it's also home and stage to many forms of art such as theatre, ballet, opera, concerts or exhibitions. The highlight in Oldenburg - you can experience many of them performed in the traditional dialect of Lower Saxony.

History of the theatre

The first theatre in Oldenburg was fought for hard: People of Oldenburg were keen on seeing theatre plays but could only enjoy them sporadically, since those had to be organized by the actors themselves. The first theatre was built around 1833, financed by private investors. It was made of wood and located near today's state theatre. Eventually, its importance got recognized by the monarchy in 1842 and the theatre became more popular among the upper class. Tragically, the theatre burned down in 1891 due to an accident. 

The new theatre in new baroque style was built two years later and had one additional dome and a small building functioning as a workshop. In 1918, the last Grad Duke of Oldenburg abdicated and so the theatre became public property. From 1938 till today it's been ran and owned by the city of Oldenburg. 

An architectural artwork inside and out: The Oldenburg State Theatre. Photos: Oldenburg Tourism and Marketing

The theatre today

The "Big Hause" is the largest hall in the theatre and offers 540 seats and 43 standing spaces at plays and operas as well as addtional 75 seats at concerts. The "Small House" is used for smaller events as it offers about 350 seats. 

Since 2008, the theatre has two more stages located at the Pferdemarkt in Oldenburg with approx. 100 seats. These stages are used specifically for modern theatre forms and performances. As you can see, the Oldenburg State Theatre is an institution very much interested in keeping the traditions as well as exploring new forms of art and ensuring diversity of its programme. You can enjoy over 30 premieres and 25 concerts over the course of a season.


The programme of the theatre is a balanced variety of innovation, relevance and tradition as well as discovering and promoting new talents, as art director Christian Firmbach explains. From classic ballet to modern dance classes, from classic plays to modern interpretations - the variety of the theatre's programme offers cultural enrichment for people of all ages. 

Find the current programme of the State Theatre here. (German only)

To learn more about the play you want to attend, watch its trailer in the online media library of the theatre. 

The art behind the scenes

The props that are being used in plays and performances are worth a second glance: Each of them is being handcrafted in the inhouse workshop of the theatre. The workshop includes a painting hall and rooms for make-up artists as well as costume designers. Every costume is tailor-fitted for the actor who has to wear it.

Each stage play gets an individual set and design, which means the settings have to be exchanged between the plays. The creating, planing and the logistic implementation of every setting are a huge amount of work. 

As you can see, art is not only happening on stage, but also off stage. If you're interested in taking a look behind the scenes, you can book a tour of the theatre every second Saturday of the month. See all dates here. (German only)

The Oldenburg State Theatre is a symbol of the city and a home to an important part of Oldenburg's culture and traditions. Have you ever been to the theatre?

  • Share this post