In Brief: René Pollesch appointed artistic director of the Volksbühne, Humboldt Forum won’t open in 2019 as planned

The Volksbühne finds their new artistic director, the opening of the Humboldt Forum will be delayed until 2020, and Späti owners will take to the streets on Sunday to protest against rules limiting their business hours on Sundays.

Photo of the Humboldt Forum © SHF / Stephan Falk



Playwright and director René Pollesch will become the new artistic director of the Volksbühne starting in summer 2021. On Wednesday, Berlin’s Senator for Culture and Europe Klaus Lederer said he was very pleased about the appointment.

This comes after a turbulent time for the famous Volksbühne theater, notably during the brief tenure of Chris Dercon.

Pollesch is no stranger to the Berlin theater scene, having worked with longtime former Volksbühne director Frank Castorf.


The Humboldt Forum in the reconstructed Berlin city palace will not open in 2019 as originally planned. The delay was announced after project officials visited the construction site and noted technical aspects that still needed to be worked out.

2019 marks 250 years after the birth of German scholar, Alexander von Humboldt, one of the namesakes of the new forum.

Project officials will convene at the end of June. A new timetable and opening date for 2020 should be presented then.


This coming Sunday, Spätkauf owners will take to Hermannplatz in Neukölln to protest against rules limiting their store operations on Sundays.

Generally only businesses at certain locations or that offer specific goods like flowers, newspapers, bread and milk products, are allowed to be open in Berlin on Sundays. In recent months some district officials have been cracking down to make sure Späti owners are abiding by these regulations.

Many Späti owners say they want their businesses to be treated like gas stations or supermarkets in train stations.


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