250 Young people from all over the world
Friedrichstadt-Palast is not only the biggest and most modern show palace in Europe. It also maintains an institution with a long tradition: Germany’s largest ensemble for kids and young people. The beginnings of the Young Ensemble date back to 1945. Some 250 kids who live in Berlin and come from more than 20 nations, ages 6-16, obtain a thorough stage education here. Every year, over 1,000 candidates apply for 20-30 spots. Under the motto “Kids perform for kids,” they display their talents every winter season on the huge stage on Friedrichstraße.
The kids are taught by experienced teachers who are trained to work with children. The teachers direct the kids’ education in the stage disciplines of dancing, singing and acting (speech), depending on the kids’ preferences and talents. The kids quickly learn that theatre work is always teamwork and that theatre means hard work, no matter how easy it may seem to the spectator. Hard training, many rehearsals, corrections and a lot of discipline are essential, not only for a successful premiere but for every show.
Of course, this all happens in an atmosphere perfectly suitable for kids, and no one gets burdened beyond their capabilities. Yet, it is no walk in the park. Not all the kids want to become dancers or actors, but many do. An education from Friedrichstadt-Palast does not guarantee that the child will one day be a professional performer, but is an excellent start for those with talent.
In 1997, the Young Ensemble won the Cultural Award bestowed by the German Children´s Fund.