1908 – 1934
1907/1908 – Construction of the theatre. The architect: Oskar Kaufmann
1908 – Opening of the Hebbel-Theater, named after the playwright Friedrich Hebbel, who died in 1863. The opening is celebrated with a performance of Hebbel’s play “Maria Magdalena”. Founder and first director: Eugen Robert
1911 – Carl Meinhard and Rudolf Bernauer take over the house. The Hebbel-Theater is renamed “Theater in der Königgrätzer Straße”.
1925 – Victor Barnowsky takes over as director. He engages stars such as Hans Albers, Fritz Kortner, Paul Hörbiger, Curt Bois and director Erwin Piscator.
1930 – renamed “Theater in der Stresemannstrasse”.
1934 – 1945
Under National Socialism the theatre is renamed again: “Theater in der Saarlandstrasse”. During the Second World War becomes subject to the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and becomes part of the National Socialist Association of Public Stages, with the goal of coordinating German theatre life. General director during this time: Eugen Klöpfer. Starting in 1934 he also become director of the Volksbühne and in 1936 also the general director of the Theater am Nolldendorfplatz. Starting in 1935 Klöpfer is the vice president of the Reichstheaterkammer, and in 1940 he acts in the anti-Semitic propaganda movie “Jud Süß”. Under his direction the theatre becomes a venue for fostering right-wing social satire and comedy. The building remains largely undamaged during the war.
The house is renamed “Hebbel-Theater”. Reopening on August 15, 1945 with “The Threepenny Opera” by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Director: Karl Heinz Martin (until 1948). Until the opening of the Schiller Theater in 1951, the house is the most important stage in West Berlin.
1952 – Rudolf Külüs takes over direction of the house. His new ‘Volkstheater’ has great success with actors like Hans Epskamp, Harald Juhnke, Inge Meysel, Klaus Schwarzkopf and Rudolf Platte. Following his death in 1975 his wife Hela Gerber becomes director of the theatre.
1960 – Modernization of the house by architect Sigrid Kressmann.
1972 – The property Hebbel-Theater is bought by the state of Berlin.
1978 – The Hebbel-Theater files for bankruptcy. Afterwards the house is used as an alternative location for other theatres and as a touring house.
1979 – The Hebbel-Theater is protected as a historical site.
1986/1987 – On the occasion of Berlin’s 750 Year Celebration, long overdue renovation and modernization work is initiated by the Berlin Senate.
1987 – Reopening of the Hebbel Theater as a venue for Berlin’s 750 Year Celebration.
1988 – 2003
1988 – The Hebbel-Theater is used for international productions and tours as part of “Werkstatt Berlin” on the occasion of “Kulturhauptstadt Europas E88”.
1988 – Nele Hertling founds the festival “Tanz im August”.
1988 – Founding of the Hebbel-Theater Berlin GmbH as a local institution with Nele Hertling as artistic and managing director. She creates a profile for the house as a venue for international co-productions in contemporary theatre, modern dance and new music theatre, forming a network of co-producers among other houses with a similar profile, such as the TAT in Frankfurt, Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, the Szene Salzburg and the Kaaitheater in Brussels. Under Hertling’s tenure artists and groups from all over the world come to Berlin for the first time, including Robert Wilson, the Wooster Group, Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich, Robert Lepage, Jan Fabre, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, Richard Foreman, Susanne Linke, Meredith Monk, Jo Fabian, Edith Clever, Ricardo Bartis, Heiner Goebbels, Romeo Castellucci and Peter Sellars.