The director of the Volksbühne theater in Berlin, one of many Europe’s most influential theaters, stop on Monday after accusations of sexual harassment, making a hostile work atmosphere and humiliating older actresses have been revealed in a German newspaper. Klauss Dörr had led the Volksbühne since April 2018.
His resignation, which the theater confirmed in an electronic mail, got here simply days after Die Tageszeitung, a each day newspaper, mentioned that complaints towards him by 10 ladies have been being investigated by Berlin’s tradition ministry, which oversees the playhouse. The ladies mentioned Dörr had stared inappropriately at ladies who labored on the theater, made sexist feedback and despatched inappropriate textual content messages, the newspaper reported.
Metropolis officers acquired the complaints in January and have been investigating them, the ministry confirmed in a press release launched on Saturday. Dörr was interviewed as a part of this course of in the beginning of March, the assertion added.
“I take full accountability, because the inventive director of the Volksbühne, for the allegations made towards me,” Dörr mentioned in a press release launched by the theater.
“I deeply remorse if I’ve damage staff with my conduct, phrases or gaze,” he added.
A spokeswoman for the theater declined to remark additional.
Dörr’s resignation is barely the most recent scandal to hit the storied Volksbühne. In 2018, Chris Dercon, its earlier director and the previous chief of the Tate Trendy museum in London, stop simply months into the job after widespread protests over his appointment. These included an occupation of the theater by left-wing activists; at one level, somebody left feces exterior his workplace.
The activists, who included members of the theater’s workers, accused Dercon of trashing the corporate’s custom of ensemble theater, by which a everlasting firm of gamers creates a rotating repertoire, and turning it into an area for visiting worldwide performers to mount their exhibits. Many noticed the strife round Dercon’s appointment as a proxy for debates about gentrification in Berlin.
Dörr was meant to be a stabilizing, if non permanent, drive on the theater till a brand new everlasting director may very well be discovered. In 2019, René Pollesch, an acclaimed German playwright and director, was named as the brand new chief, set to take up the position in summer season 2021.
The issues on the Volksbühne emerged at a time of give attention to the conduct of male leaders in Germany towards feminine members of workers. On March 14, Julian Reichelt, the editor in chief of Bild, Germany’s largest newspaper, took a depart of absence after ladies who labored on the paper accused him of misconduct.
A regulation agency is investigating the allegations, which have to this point not been specified. Reichelt denies all wrongdoing.
Jagoda Marinic, an writer who has written extensively concerning the #MeToo motion in Germany, mentioned in a phone interview that she noticed Dörr’s resignation as a watershed. That the revelations in Die Tageszeitung involved a gaggle of girls, fairly than a person accuser, was vital, she mentioned, including that the case was additionally the primary time somebody in Germany had resigned so shortly after a criticism turned public.
“My hope is it spurs different folks to talk out,” Marinic mentioned.
On Tuesday, the Volksbühne’s ensemble expressed its “unreserved solidarity” with the ladies who spoke out towards Dörr, in a message posted on the theater’s Instagram account. “Our trade suffers below outdated energy constructions,” the message mentioned. “This discourse should not finish with Klauss Dörr’s resignation.”