How is the theater today? Claus Peymann has thought about it. A “deep melancholy” overtakes him.

Theater maker Claus Peymann struggles with the stage world. In his opinion, the theater has lost some of its influence. It is less of a topic than it used to be, said the director of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

Sometimes he thinks “in the deepest melancholy, maybe the theater is really dead?” Football, the football gods, had become the real artists. “They have the heart of the masses.”

The ancient Greek theater used to be filled like a fat soccer stadium, said Peymann, who turns 85 this Tuesday (June 7). “Football, which I love myself – especially Werder Bremen and Union Berlin, I don’t miss a game – with a goalkeeper like last time in the game Liverpool against Madrid, it might deliver the Hamlet of our time.”

That might sound resigned, but it’s true: “The theater has almost disappeared from the arts pages,” said Peymann, who directed the Berliner Ensemble and the Burgtheater in Vienna for many years.

«The theater used to fill the front pages of the newspapers. There were headlines about performances by Peter Stein, Peter Zadek, Ruth Berghaus, Einar Schleef and also by me, »said Peymann.

Actors gone mad, escapades, scandals, but above all formative, enlightening performances – that was the talk of the day. ‘Today we’re an oddity, poor lonely nutcases. But in me you will find someone who believes in theater steadfastly. Of what it can be for people: the dream of a better life.”