English-language Live Theatre in Vienna

March 28, 2012 by

Festivals & Events, Tours & Activities, Travel Tips

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

The state of English-language live theatre in Vienna is and has historically been very strong indeed. As with most big cities, there is a profusion of impromptu, independent, and experimental theatrical productions playing at various times throughout the year in the Austrian capital, but the two main players are Vienna’s English Theatre (VET) and the International Theatre Vienna (IT). The former is the oldest and most established English-language theatre in continental Europe and the latter, while smaller and decidedly less prestigious, is well respected in theatrical circles and has been mounting full-scale productions since 1974.

To say that VET is a venerable artistic institution would be to understate things considerably. Founded in 1963 by the Austrian director Franz Schafranek and his American wife, Ruth Brinkmann, the company has produced world premieres by Tennessee Williams and others, as well as the 1991 world premiere of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Three Tall Women, which was directed by the author and dedicated to Schafranek.

Numerous stars of stage and screen have graced the stages of VET’s various venues over the years, including Joan Fontaine, Anthony Quinn, Horst Buchholz, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Princess Grace of Monaco, Dame Anna Neagle, Siobhan McKenna and Judi Dench as well as Jean-Louis Barrault, Jeanne Moreau and Jean-Paul Belmondo.  VET’s current season includes plays by Marc Camoletti (May 21-July 4), John Morogiello (March 26-May 5), and Donald Margulies (January 30-March 10).

The IT has produced more than 100 plays since its inaugural season, as well as literature readings, lectures, workshops, play readings, and charity events. The company is currently performing An Inspector Calls (now through April 21), by J.B. Priestly.

-John Reality

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One Response to “English-language Live Theatre in Vienna”

  1. vienna theatre project Says:

    Not to forget vienna theatre project, which has been running in different high end theatres around Vienna’s inner districts (Theater Drachengasse, Ensemble Theater, Ensemble Theater, Kammer Oper etc.) since 2002 with up to 4 shows a year. A quote from their website…

    “vienna theatre project was founded in 2002 to facilitate high-quality English-language theatre productions at different venues in and around Vienna. Drawing from a pool of Vienna-based professional actors, vienna theatre project offers a wide range of contemporary plays written in English, making the tremendous scope of first-rate English-language plays more accessible to Vienna audiences. We aim to integrate art into the community, creating a dialogue between the artist and the audience. vienna theatre project explores the boundaries of theatrical style, producing work that is both innovative and challenging. We are particularly committed to supporting new plays that can illuminate our time.

    We encourage you to share and uncover with us rich, diverse, inspirational and exciting stories and voices. We look forward to welcoming you at a future production.

    About Us

    The vienna theatre project verein, or “the team”, share a common vision, a common mission and common values: Working together to facilitate the production of vibrant, exciting English language theatre in Vienna. The team personifies our inter-cultural mission with members from all over Europe and beyond.

    Every member of the team helps to steer vienna theatre project both professionally and artistically so that we can produce stirring, inspiring theatre. We believe that Carnegie was right when he said: “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”


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