Mission and History

Mission

The Association sees it as its purpose, by supporting the Putbus Theatre, to foster cultural life, to promote education, to awaken and raise cultural awareness.
The Association strives to find and establish new additional venues in the area for theatre performances, recruit new spectators and associates, and provide non-financial support to the theatre advocating its work and its needs.
The Association's activities are not self-seeking. It is a non-profit organisation and it does not pursue its own economic interests. We would be very happy to welcome you as a member.

 

History

In 1992, some theatre enthusiasts got together in the former NVA (National People's Army of GDR) building and founded the Putbus Theatre Friends' Association. At the beginning there were 20 founding members who wanted to campaign for the preservation of the Putbus Theatre which was in a poor state of disrepair.
Founding members::
Heidrun Freymark*, Jürgen Hinze*, Dieter Hinz*, Hans-Joachim Hoemcke*, Dr. Hermann Hoge, Kerstin Kassner, Kristine Kasten, Roswitha und Hans Kowalewski*, Dieter Kraatz*, Brigitte Krooß, Sabine Kulau*,  Lange*, Dr. Angela Merkel, Dr. Gisela Meyer*, Eckart Naumann*, Ulrich Müther*, Günter Schmidt, Peter Schmidt*, Holger Thiel, Peter Ultsch* und Friedhelm Wagner*. *no longer in the Association.

Due to immense construction defects, the Putbus Theatre had to be closed in 1992. Leaks in the roof caused a part of the ceiling to collapse. The second balcony was in danger of collapse as well. Despite serious shortages of public funds, a substantial sum of 4.5 mln DM was allotted for the renovation of the roof and the foundations. To make matters worse, dry rot infestation was soon discovered, which made a complete renovation necessary.

By 1998, 16.5 mln DM had been spent. In those difficult times, the State District of Rügen had to allocate substantial sums for the theatre every year. Considering severe budgetary constraints, this frequently caused disputes about the theatre's future.
During those years, the Association was lobbying and advocating for the interests of the theatre. It reached an understanding with various political and public offices and institutions that the theatre should be kept. In the end, thanks also to the great devotion of people of Rügen to their theatre, all hurdles were eventually overcome.

To keep performances running during the renovation period, the Association set as its target to establish new additional venues.  Besides, it was felt that introduction of summer performances for the numerous tourists could be a good idea.

Raising funds for the Theatre has always been one of the most important tasks of the Association. For example, the theatre seats were offered "for sale" for 2000 DM. It meant that a name plate would be put on a seat in the theatre after its re-opening. This also demonstrated great loyalty to the theatre.

The Association commissioned an artist to create a drawing series based on an Anklam Theatre performance at the substitute stage in Prora. The drawings were presented to the theatre after its opening and have now decorated the stairway for many years.

On May 2, 1998, the Putbus Theatre celebrated its re-opening after long renovation. The important task undertaken by the Theatre Friends' Association was thus accomplished. Now the Association could concentrate on supporting the operation of the theatre focusing as always on work with the younger generation.

Dieter Hinz, a member of the Association who is sadly no longer with us, had volunteered to lead guided tours around the theatre since its reopening. Not only were these tours extremely popular, they soon became legendary and threw quite a few obols into the Association's piggy-bank. This tradition has been kept by Egon Noetzel, another Association member. He has many fascinating stories to tell and he is happy to show all theatre's nooks and corners to its visitors.

Rügen's artists also show their devotion to the Theatre. The Theatre always stands to profit from the sale of their artwork commissioned by the Association.

In the following years, the Association often tried to help out when some projects were not financially secure.
In 1999, for example, a large contribution made the Christmas Fairy Tales possible, as public funds at the end of the year appeared insufficient.

The Rügen Putbus Festival led by Wielhelm Keitel was an integral part of the cultural life for many Rügeners and visitors, when in 2002 it had to say goodbye to the island. However, this established music festival with its attractive offers for Ascension Day and Pentecost could not be just left to die. The Putbus Theatre Friends' Association and the Putbus Festival Friends' Association took over in 2003 and moved forward with a new concept under the name of PUTBUS-FESTSPIELE. The financial side was secured owing to generous sponsorship by Sparkasse Rügen. Consequently, the former Festival Association was dissolved and the Putbus Theatre Friends' Association took over full responsibility. The partner and organiser was the Putbus Theatre and later the Vorpommern Theatre.

A corporate sponsor helped the Association in 2005 purchase a minibus which was handed over to the Theatre.

The Association launched in 2006 a big fundraising campaign in order to purchase new seats for the second balcony. 24 000 € was raised and twelve new chairs were ordered. They were higher than existing chairs which allowed for a better view of the stage. Six new seats were installed in Row 10 and the seat capacity increased to 256.

The Putbus Theatre merged in this year with the Vorpommern Theatre. Putbus became the third play venue along with Greifswald and Stralsund. As Putbus often welcomes guest performances of Vorpommern Ballett and the dance show has become almost a permanent fixture, the Association financed the purchase of a new dance floor, an important prerequisite for dances on the stage.

In the same year, the association Kleinkunst Rügen, which organised the quite successful Rügener Kabarett-Regatta, terminated its operations. The Putbus Theatre Friends' Association took over this function, as Sparkasse Rügen extended its sponsorship to cover the costs.

2016. Gerhard Reese, the long-standing Chair of the Association, decided not to run for Board elections any more. After 20 years of successful work for the Association he was elected Honorary Chair.

Also in 2016, the Association launched an initiative to raise the membership to 200 by the 200th anniversary of the Putbus Theatre in 2020. It sought help from the German Federal Cultural Foundation project "Call for members" which provided financial support for recruitment of new association members in order to promote and foster volunteer work. The open-mindedness towards our wonderful island theatre was demonstrated yet again. 100 new members joined the Association in the framework of the project. This was rewarded by 4000 € for the Association funds from the Federal Foundation.

2018. The Association received the Award for Honorary Office (Ehrenamtpreis) from the city of Putbus

2019. The Schinkel Award (Schinkelpreis) was given to the Association by the Borough of Altenkirchen and the Kap Arkona Association.

2020. Reinhard Litty is welcomed as the 200th member of the Association. The target to have 200 members by the 200th anniversary of the theatre in 2020 has thereby been reached.

1992. Board members

  • Holger Thiel, Chair
  • Dr. Gisela Meyer, Deputy Chair
  • Günter Schmidt, Treasurer
  • Sabine Kulau
  • Ulrich Müther
  • Hans-Joachim Hoemcke

1995*. Board members

  • Gerhard Reese, Chair
  • Dr. Gisela Meyer, Deputy Chair
  • Günter Schmidt, Treasurer

1997*. Board Members

  • Gerhard Reese, Chair
  • Barbara Lüth, stellv. Deputy Chair
  • Günter Schmidt, Treasurer

2000-2008*.[nbspBoard members

  • Gerhard Reese, Chair
  • Barbara Lüth, Deputy Chair
  • Wolfgang Münch, Treasurer

2008-2012*. Board members

  • Gerhard Reese, Chair
  • Barbara Lüth, Deputy Chair
  • Wilfried Liedtke, Treasurer

2012*. Board members

  • Gerhard Reese, Chair
  • Klaus Möbus, Deputy Chair
  • Wilfried Liedtke, Treasurer

2014*. Board members

  • Gerhard Reese, Chair
  • Klaus Möbus, Stellv. Deputy Chair
  • Wilfried Liedtke, Treasurer

* It was only possible to verify the membership according to entries in the Association register during those years. Doris Dahms, Dieter Hinz und Egon Noetzel were also Board members. However, the exact yearly data are missing.

2016-2020. Board members

  • Gerhard Reese, becomes Honorary Chair
  • Klaus Möbus, Chair
  • Kristine Kasten, Deputy Chair
  • Anke Möller, Treasurer
  • Egon Noetzel
  • Beatrix Wilke
  • Brigitte Krooß

2020 - . Board members

  • Klaus Möbus, Chair
  • Kristine Kasten, Deputy Chair
  • Susanne Rutte, Treasurer
  • Gerhard Reese, Honorary Chair
  • Egon Noetzel
  • Birgit Schuster
  • Brigitte Krooß