Chamäleon Theater: A Century of Shaping Berlin's Arts Scene

Circus News

Chamäleon Theater: A Century of Shaping Berlin’s Arts Scene

Is it too romantic to say that a place, a building, has an essence or a spirit that draws a certain type of person or group to it? Is it possible that such a building, despite being built many generations ago, having survived two wars, an occupation, and a reunification, exists to attract such a person or group? If such an idea were not too romantic or idealistic, it could be argued that the Chamäleon Theater, located in the Hackesche Höfe area of Berlin, Germany, is such a place. 
Over the years, the Chamäleon Theater has lived many lives. At each point, it has been a place for live performance, gathering, and celebrating the arts. After its construction in 1906, it hosted Vaudeville-style acts until World War Two broke out. Despite being spared the worst of the bombing during the War, under the division of Berlin, the Chamäleon Theater ended up in the Soviet-controlled East Block where it fell into disrepair after years of neglect.  But the show must go on, and the Chamäleon Theater was resurrected in 1991, after the reunification of Berlin, by a group of local artists. The space was reclaimed and transformed into a theatre once again, the Berlin Varieté. This incarnation of the ...
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Jackie Houghton

Jackie Houghton is a recreational circus performer, elementary school teacher, and freelance writer. When she is not teaching visual arts to school children, Jackie dreams about running away with the circus, but until then she is happy to write about it. She has been the exclusive writer for Femmes du Feu's Circus Sessions residency program for the past two years, and has also written for Circus Talk and American Circus Educators magazine.