The Hans Otto Theatre (German: Hans-Otto-Theater), named after the actor Hans Otto, is a municipal theatre in Potsdam in Germany. Its headquarters and main venue is in the Großes Haus am Tiefen See in Potsdam's cultural district on Schiffbauergasse. Other regular venues are the neighbouring historic Reithalle and occasionally the Palace Theatre in the Neues Palais. The Kingliches Schauspielhaus, dedicated to the pleasure of the inhabitants, was opened in 1795 under King Frederick William II of Prussia, successor to Frederick the Great, on the Potsdamer Stadtkanal. It was called the Canal Opera House in the vernacular because of this location. The house had room for 700 guests and initially functioned as a venue for the Schauspielhaus Berlin, had no ensemble of its own and was under the artistic direction of the Berlin general management. The programme included plays, operas and ballets – all of them guest performances from Berlin. Since the Potsdam garrison accounted for about a third of the population, military personnel made up a large part of the audience in addition to the middle-class audience. From 1846 onward, the theatre was run by private tenants and directors with their own ensembles. Plays and operas were shown, as well as comedy and much trivial entertainment. The business was on shaky ground; the theatre was temporarily closed several times. After the beginning of the First World War, the theatre switched to patriotic productions. After the German Revolution of 1918-1919, the state took over the theatre and in 1919 handed it over to a former officer, Kurt Pehlemann, as tenant, head of the theatre and actor. Pehlemann performed popular German classics, entertainment and German nationals. In 1924 the theatre was transformed into the Potsdamer Schauspielhaus GmbH; Pehlemann became artistic director. Shortly afterward, the theatre was renovated with public money and donations and reduced to 650 seats. For the reopening in 1929, Schiller's Kabale und Liebe was performed. After 1933, the repertoire was changed: In addition to little classical music, they played light fare and National Socialist drama. In 1945, the theatre burned down after heavy artillery fire during the Second World War, and in 1966 the ruins were blown up. More information...

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