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Theatre Museum

Duke Georg II. of Saxe-Meiningen, patron and artistic director of the Meiningen theatre, was striving for the renewal of the dramatic art. It was his aspiration to merge the philosophical, dramaturgical and decorative elements of theatre into one harmonic work of art. His theatre company ‘Die Meininger’ gave a series of exemplary guest performances in 39 cities across Europe between 1874 and 1890. They staged the works of Shakespeare, Schiller and Kleist. On the basis of the Meininger’s way of performing, the Russian actor and director Konstantin Stanislavski later developed his teaching and directing methods which were, in turn, adopted by the famous actor and dramatic arts instructor Lee Strasberg in New York. In Strasberg’s Actors Studio in New York, Hollywood legends like Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffmann started their careers. – without Meiningen, no Hollywood?

The exhibition

In Meiningen’s theatre museum ‘Magic World of Scenery’ the appeal of the Meininger’s performances is brought back to life. Its unique collection comprises 280 original, painted stage decoration pieces and a number of complete stage sets from the Duke’s era. One of the beautifully restored stage sets is presented with music and spectacular lighting which will take you to a fascinating world of illusion. The video show will give you an impression of the impact the Meininger company had on their audience at that time. Costumes, requisites and other theatre memorabilia are also on display. The annual change of decoration ensures a new and exciting experience at each visit.

On display till January 17th 2016

stage set ‘Bankettsaal’, 4th act of ‘Piccolomini’ by Friedrich Schiller
The original stage set from 1882 was kept in storage for decades and has been extensively restored in 2013.