ETL’s Arden premieres on September 8th!

Auditions for our September production Arden are now closed and rehearsals are underway.

Our cast and crew can’t wait to see you at Neues Schauspiel Leipzig on opening night, 8th September 2022.

Following shows on 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th September 2022.

Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram or Facebook for pictures, updates and a lot more!

Auditions still open!

We are still looking for performers of any age, gender and background for our next production in September 2022:

“Arden”, a non-pastoral comedy based on Shakespeare’s As you like it.

Previous theatre experience is welcome but not required.

Rehearsals for the show will be held weekly, with a summer break between late July and beginning of August. You will also need to be available for ALL of the following shows:

8th, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th September 2022

Get in touch with us to learn more about open audition slots at and follow us on social media to find out more about the project!

We look forward to meeting you!

Call for Auditions

closed theatre curtains

We are opening auditions for our next production in September:

“Arden”, a non-pastoral comedy based on Shakespeare’s As you like it.

When: Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April, from 10am to 12pm.

Callbacks on Saturday 30th April, time tba.

Where: Neues Schauspiel Leipzig, Lützner Str. 29.

What to bring: 1) a short text you know by heart, max. two minutes long and ideally from a playscript, but a songtext is perfectly fine; 2) comfortable clothes and shoes.

We are looking for six performers of any age, gender and background. Previous theatre experience is welcome but not required.

Rehearsals will be held weekly, with a summer break between late July and beginning of August. You will also need to be available for ALL of the following shows:

8th, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th September 2022

Get in touch with us & sign up for one of the audition dates via email at the following address: and follow us on social media to find out more about the project!

We look forward to meeting you!

Casting Call for December 2020 Show

ETL is looking for actors for our December 2020 show: A Collier’s Friday Night, by D.H. Lawrence.

You will need to be available from September onwards up to performance dates on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th of December.

Auditions will be held at:

Neues Schauspiel at Lütznerstraße 29, on Saturday 29th August starting at 13.30, with callbacks on Sunday 30th August between 10.00 and 14.00.

We are seeking individuals of all genders with a playing age between 18-30 and 40-50.

You can apply by contacting:

Please state your name, gender, and playing age in the email.

You will then receive a short piece of text to prepare and a time slot for your audition so we can all keep to the social distancing guidelines.

Call for directors for 2021 season

Calling potential theatre directors for ETL’s 2021 Season!

Due to the current circumstances and having no idea how many people will be allowed in our theatre next year, we have decided to embark on a “shoe-string” theatre season.
If we are the thrive next year we need to be prepared and to stay ahead of the game. To this end we are seeking imaginative shows without the usual budget!

• Have you got a royalty-free piece you’ve been itching to produce? (There are
thousands out there!)
• Have you written your own piece and would love to see it staged?
• Have you an idea to create a devised piece?

We truly believe this is an opportunity and not a hindrance. Let’s get creative and do our part in keeping theatre alive in these uncertain times.

Think about minimal sets and simple costumes… Free to perform ( or low-cost royalties) We have access to previous stock sets and wardrobe , so let’s utilise these along with our creativity and prove that we can still make amazing theatre whilst COVID19 looms nearby!

We cannot wait to hear your ideas!

Please apply by downloading and completing the form and returning it to us at: by the 31st August.

You can download the form here:

ETL Director’s Show Application Form 2021

Actors Needed

ETL is looking for actors for our next show in September 2020. Are you of any age, any gender, any colour and any height? If so, we want to see what you can do on the stage!

We will be holding auditions at the Neues Schauspiel at Lütznerstraße 29, on Sunday 12 July from 10am to 2pm as well as Tuesday 14 July  and Wednesday 15 July from 7pm to 9pm.

If you would like to take part, please drop us a line at providing the following information: Full name, age if under 18, English proficiency, previous acting experience if any.

Please prepare to deliver 2 separate monologues, from one modern and one classical text. Due to the current situation we only have limited space available at the venue, so get your applications in early to ensure you get a place!

Cheers from ETL

The show must go on – but not at the moment

Dear Friends of ETL,

We, like all other community institutions in Leipzig, have had to react to the current crisis. We are therefore announcing the postponement of the performances of Philoctetes on March 20th and 21st. We hope this is only a delay and not a cancellation. We shall work in collaboration with Neues Schauspiel Leipzig in an attempt to find new performance dates. We will naturally inform you if a solution can be found.

As we finance our productions through box office revenue from our performances as well as donations,  we would ask you to consider contributing the cost of your ticket or, perhaps, something more. You can find our donation information here. This will ensure that we can keep doing more shows. We do also contribute a part of our revenue to NSL but that won’t be near sufficient for their needs.

Now, more than ever, we need to do what is right not just for ourselves individually but also for each other. Let’s work together to emerge from this stronger and better than we were before. And, most of all, we wish everyone all the best in dealing with this situation.


the membership, cast and crew of

English Theatre Leipzig

Directors Needed!

Thank you for your pitches! If you have any questions regarding pitches or the new season, please contact us here.

Do you have a script that you’re dying to see performed? Have you always wanted to direct an ETL production? Well, now’s your chance!

ETL is now accepting applications to direct our December and March shows next season. We kindly request that anyone interested in directing a production submit two potential titles. You need to fill out one of our application forms (available for download here) and return it to us along with a digital copy of your scripts. All submissions must be received before Midnight, March 29.

After we have had an opportunity to go through the applications, we will arrange individual interviews where you can pitch your shows personally. Following the pitches and adequate time to deliberate, the committee will notify those selected and then post the titles.

Please send us an e-mail ( requesting an application. If you have any additional questions, you can use the same address.

Actors / Singers Needed

English Theatre Leipzig is casting for its March 2020 show, Sophocles’ Philoctetes,
a new adaptation of a Greek tragedy with an original musical score.

Actors and singers of ANY LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE AND OF ALL AGES are welcome to join
our open auditions on Sunday, December 8th, from 10am to 2 pm.

Callbacks will be on held on Saturday, December 14th, 10am-2pm.
Show dates are 5th, 6th, 7th, 20th and 21st of March.
Auditions and performances will take place at the Neues Schauspiel Leipzig, Lützner Str. 29, 04177 Leipzig.

If you would like to participate, please respond to this mail (

The open casting workshop will include group improvisation, and experimentation with rhythmic movement and vocal delivery.
We might ask you to recite a short song or poem you know by heart (a lullaby, or a song you learned at school, or your soccer team’s anthem, for instance). We might also ask you to sing a short song. You’re welcome to prepare a song in advance, but you don’t have to: singing “Happy Birthday” will be just fine, too.

Finally, make sure you wear clothes and shoes you can easily move in.

For any questions or additional information, please write to the director, Abigail Akavia

We look forward to seeing you there!

Casting Call for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

We here at English Theatre Leipzig are currently casting for our December production “30 Neo-Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes)” by Greg Allen. The director, Emily Wessel, will be holding open auditions from 10am to 3pm on October 5th and 6th. The auditions will take place at the Neues Schauspiel Leipzig, Lützner Str. 29, 04177 Leipzig.

If you would like to participate, please tell us by sending an email to ( stating on which day you will attend the audition. Additionally, Emily has requested that you prepare a few things for the audition:

Please come with a 2 to 3-minute true story about something that happened in your life. It can be sad, it can be happy, it can be funny, it can be ridiculous, it can be mundane. We are looking at your ability to tell a story, not your ability to memorize a monologue.

Along with your prepared story, come with two topics that you want to talk about. These can be topics that are important to you, topics you find interesting, funny, scary, compelling, poignant or annoying. Topics you relate to.

Also, make sure you wear clothes and shoes you can easily move in.

We look forward to seeing you there,

Your friends at English Theatre Leipzig

Flashback: Eric Idle’s Only Stage Play and How It Got to Germany

It was 40 years ago today, that Monty Python’s Life of Brian – the best known film by the British comedy troupe – was shown for the first time. The movie about Brian, a guy born on the same day as Jesus in a neighbouring stable and mistaken for the Messiah throughout the film, premiered in five theatres across the United States on August 17, 1979. Monty Python – the group was John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Eric Idle. They had made themselves a household name with their  TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which premiered on British television in 1969. Their oeuvre mainly concentrated on TV, films, touring stage shows and records. Still today, they are certainly recognized as one of the most influential comedy groups of the late 1900s. In 2005, three of them were voted into the list of the Top 30 comedians of all time by other comedians from the UK and the USA.

Lesser known is the fact that one of the members of Monty Python – the one who was voted number 21 in aforementioned list – also wrote a stage play, that was produced in the London West End in 1982.

I was, at the time, engaged in English Drama Group of Münster University and in the spring of that year discovered what would become my favourite role I ever played on stage. As I usually did more than once a year during the 70s and 80s, I spent a few weeks in Britain. When browsing through some record shops in Soho one day, a poster for a play by Eric Idle caught my eye. The English Drama Group were, needless to say, all fans of English humour and comedy – Monty Python were cited regularly. Hardly having seen the advert, I had already bought a ticket for the play – hoping but not foreseeing, that I would spend one of the most amusing evenings in theatre at the Globe a couple of days later.

Revolving around a hilariously played protagonist William Rushton – long time radio and TV comedian – I saw what has been described as ”A satirical look at British social and political mores“, with all the Idle humour you could wish for. Every character in this comedy-cum-mystery is a little more than a bit over the top, mostly a bunch of upper class loonies (not quite as overplayed as in the Pythons’ sketch Upper Class Twit of the Year, but you get the picture).

The scene of Pass the Butler is the country home of the Charles family. Sir Robert Charles (a Tory) is Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister of the UK – but he is dying, having suffered a heart attack about a year ago, which has successfully been withheld from the public until this day. He is on life support, laid in a coffin in the middle of the estate drawing room (i.e., the middle of the stage). The family have decided to pull the plug – it’s Sir Robert’s birthday and everyone gather in the room; Lady Charles, heir apparent Hugo (38), his twin sister Annabel (29); their younger brother Nigel, an Oxford student of Zen buddhism; Kitty, a nanny not just a little hard of hearing but also seemingly quite dim-witted; Ronnie, a politician friend of Sir Robert’s; and Butler, the butler. But right before the ceremony of switching Sir Robert off, they get the message, that the Prime Minister has died and Sir Robert is the new Prime Minister. They wait, yet within minutes, the life support machine stops – the Prime Minister has mysteriously been murdered by other means.

A police inspector had arrived on the scene beforehand, pretending to be a journalist, as well as a reporter claiming to be the police and they all together try to solve the riddle of the murder. In the evolving confusion, it is revealed that Sir Robert is not Sir Robert, but – no, no spoiler, just a word that Idle is playing on the themes of transvestism and transgendering. (Just a reminder: at the time, Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minister.) During the course of the rest of the farce, almost everybody learns that they are not who they and the audience believed they were – a typically Pythonesque chaos.

Critics did not give the play all the recognition it deserved. The first production was by the Cambridge Theatre Company in 1981 and it was then brought to the Globe in the West End in early 1982. Michael Coveney in the Financial Times reviewed its opening night as ”…a cheap reproduction of Joe Orton, combining elements of Loot and What the Butler Saw in a flagrantly tactless exercise of misguided hommage.“ The Daily Telegraph confirmed it to have ”an atmosphere of skyborne lunacy … splendidly nonsensical … kept its first night audience laughing continuously.“ The Harvard Crimson decided that “Idle uses the opportunity to take pot shots Americans, the British government, and the class system while moralizing on euthanasia;” whilst “the abrupt, anticlimactic denouement fails to resolve all the political and moral issues it raises. But as entertainment, Pass the Butler is more than satisfying.”

Pass the Butler only lasted in the Globe for less than five months. But it has been around time and again since then. One of the latest productions to be found on the web was by the Brighton Theatre Company from Brighton, Melbourne, Australia, in November 2018.

However, I at least was enthused and bought the book the next day, took it home to Münster and suggested it be our next production. The troupe was as positive about this as me, and thus it came to pass that, as far as I know, Pass the Butler had its German premiere on the Studiobühne of Münster University in February 1983, with yours truly thoroughly enjoying the part of Hugo, based on a fantastic Willie Rushton in the original.

Eurydice Crowdfunding

Support our crowdfunding campaign on StartNext!

The English Theatre Leipzig turns to Greek mythology in its newest production and presents Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice from the year 2003, a retelling of the myth of Orpheus in the underworld.

A little bit about the story: Eurydice and Orpheus celebrate their wedding, when Eurydice dies and finds herself in the underwold. Because she was dipped into the river of forgetfulness, Lethe, she has lost all her memories. She meets her father – a character newly created by Sarah Ruhl – who managed to save his memory and now wants to refresh hers. Three stones – the classic chorus – want to prevent this.

As you will see, water plays a significant role in the play. As we travel along with Eurydice, we hear the water acting as the rhythmic background for the song of Orpheus. It rains and flows, nurturing the memory of what is now a part of the past. It is a tale of love, and loss, with tears as souvenirs of those remembrances.

In order to bring you into this mystical underworld of Eurydice, our stage designer and constructor Peter Klippell has devised, among other things, a well that will serve as a representation of the river of forgetfulness.

But since this is a more extravagant and elaborate undertaking, we are now coming to you, to ask for your help! As a Thank You for your contributions, we again have a number of selected gifts, ranging from postcards or posters to free tickets to a full night of pampering. So please, check out our crowdfunding campaign here, every cent and every share counts!

Flashback: The Birthday Party

Harold Pinter’s play The Birthday Party had its London premiere – on this day in 1958 – at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith. The critics didn’t take to it and shot it down in flames – it was taken off after not even a week’s run. What made the play so controversial, and why is it still met with a mixed bag of emotions today? You’re about to find out.

Written during a prolific phase in 1957 that also saw two of his other plays set in claustrophobic rooms come to life – The Room and The Dumb Waiter – all of these rooms experience an invasion by unwanted intruders. This is about as much of a theme as we get; any approach to interpreting the play is an attempt as volatile as trying to penetrate a sealed and impervious surface with a toothpick.  Pinter himself never gave any explanation either, thereby evoking James Joyce’s concept of the artist “like the God of the creation, [who] remains […] above his handiwork […] paring his fingernails.”

British society at the time experienced massive changes. The NHS came to live,  social-housing schemes introduced and a solid education available to everyone in British society. Plays that merely depicted the lives of middle-class people ceased in popularity, seeing a new wave of plays such as Osborne’s Look Back in Anger and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot sweep the stages of the country. Against this backdrop of changes in politics, society and education, the theatre of the absurd became a loose movement where events and actions remain unexplained and illogical, not pursuing any kind of particular theme.

What was new and to a certain degree outrageous about The Birthday Party was what fellow playwright David Campton described as the ‘Comedy of Menace’. With Pinter, elements of intertextuality and an interplay of meta-stories, myths, archetypes and what’s today called lampshading proved too much for his contemporaries to stomach. Audiences were left bewildered by a play that was told in a very conventional way, but then let the action drift off and play with the audience’s perception of how a play was supposed to evolve. This posed too big a challenge to the audience and critics in the late 1950s, a circumstance that wasn’t helped by the use of language that was markedly poetic and laced with metaphors. To sum it up, an appreciation of the absurd had not yet found its way into people’s minds and is exactly what makes The Birthday Party so mysteriously nubile today.

I like the play as it keeps you in suspense throughout, conveying a world without any outside authority or governing moral values. The protagonists are the ‘bad guys’ who define arbitrary values. However, the absurd element of the play prevents the plot from following up on deeds in a way logical to human conduct in a way you’d expect it from conventional storytelling. There are stark allusions to death and violent revenge that, albeit never come to fruition, keep lingering on like a subtle charm of malediction. The two intruders are the harbingers of spiritual and psychological destruction, and none of the other characters have the guts to confront or even question them. And yes, some of the dialogue – especially the scenes involving Goldberg – is razor-sharp and witty in a way only Pinter could write it.

Photo by In Defense of the Artist shared under the CC-BY-2.5 license

Casting Call for Eurydice

Thespians assemble! We’re casting for our new show Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl!

The famous myth of Orpheus reimagined – this play follows his lover Eurydice’s journey to the underworld. After Eurydice dies on the two lovers’ wedding night, Orpheus, consumed with grief, tries to reach her in the land of the dead. While he tries to find a way into the underworld, Eurydice meets her dead father, but all her memories of him and her love have been washed away by the river of forgetfulness. Suspended between life and death, Eurydice tackles themes of love, loss, and connection.

We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to our auditions. Come join the fun on the 4th of May!

Sign up here until the 1st of May!

Here’s your chance!

English Theatre Leipzig will be holding an open audition for its March production on Saturday, January 26 from 1 to 3 pm at the Neues Schauspiel Leipzig, Lutzner Str. 29. If you want to act, come around and join the fun. No need to prepare anything, just show up. See you there!