Theater in Vienna 1900

Burgtheater Directors

1890-1898 Max Burckhard (1854-1912)

1898-1910 Paul Schlenther (1854-1916)

1912-1917 Hugo Thimig (1854-1944)

Burgtheater Actors

Hedwig Bleibtreu (1868-1958)

Josef Kainz (1858-1910)

Friedrich Mitterwurzer (1844-1897)

Adele Sandrock (1863-1937)

Adolf von Sonnethal (1834-1909)

Charlotte Wolter


Josef Jarno (1866-1932)

Alexander Girardi (1850-1918)

Hansi Johanna Niese (1875-1934)


Eleonora Duse

Josephine Gallmeyer

Marie Geistinger

Katharina Schratt










During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Vienna was an ethnic, religious, and cultural melting pot, a world center of arts, sciences, and literature, famous for its theater, renowned for its music, and was home to some of the most famous historical figures in the world. It was during the turn of the century Vienna that modernism flowered here. Stefan Zweig accounts that the middle class Viennese of that period scanned their newspapers not for political news but for articles about the theater--a classic illustration of the divorce between intellectual and artistic life and political developments. There were many actors and actresses who left a mark on the world of stage during this period most of whom were not Vienna born. Famous amongst them were actresses like Eleonora Duse who immortalized ‘Nora”, Charlotte Wolter, Marie Geistinger, Josephine Gallmeyer, Katharina Schratt, Adele Sandrock etc. and actors like Joseph Kainz, Friedrich Mitterwurzer, Rudolf Tyrolt, Alexander Girardi, Adolf von Sonnenthal, etc. Around 1885, the commercial theaters were very pricy and that was partly because the actors were grossly overpaid, so much that even the educated middle class could not afford the theater. This resulted in the reorganization of the theaters and the development specialties with Carltheater playing comedies and the Theater an der Wien cultivating the operetta repertoire. With a wide variety of actors and actresses from different walks of life and yet with a common aim of entertaining the people, almost a whole gamut of theatrical possibilities opened in the Vienna of the late nineteenth century.