Protestors have occupied the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin as they call for the removal of new director Chris Dercon. They believe Dercon will take the theatre – which has a reputation for producing provocative political theatre – in a more commercial direction.
Dercon’s appointment was announced in 2015, but he only took up the role this year and launched his first season on 10 September. The Belgian previously led Tate Modern in England and was director of Haus der Kunst in Munich for eight years.
Demonstrators occupied the building on Friday night and plan to remain for the next three months as part of an artists’ collective called ‘From Dust to Glitter’. The collective will stage its own season, with donations from audience members supporting their protest.
On Facebook a Volksbühne representative said: “We expect the occupiers to stand on their own house rules, preserve the listed house from damage and meet our employees in a peaceful manner.”
Meanwhile, Dercon and programme director Marietta Piekenbrock released a joint statement: “We in no way condemn the occupiers, and their social and policy issue, which are important for Berlin. But we condemn the irresponsible way in which they swooped in the building on Friday afternoon.” Dercon and Piekenbrock also called on politicians to “take action” against the protestors.