The former silent film theater Delphi is being reawakened as an international center for arts and culture, a venue which is home to a diverse spectrum of events: theater, dance, opera, concerts, performances, forums, exhibitions, and many hybrid projects which lie somewhere in between. As a production and performance space it offers a unique and extraordinary setting, with wonderful acoustics and stunning aesthetics, inviting artists to reimage their ideas in the space, or even serve as a muse for new concepts. Berlin has countless blackbox spaces, but not every project is suited to one. Exceptional projects which think “outside the box” are at home with us. While undoubtably a venue for the free scene, also major institutions are attracted to the unique possibilities in the Delphi, names such as Fashion Week, Berlinale, Transmediale, and even Hollywood have presented here, allowing us to create a cross-genre network, introducing artists and audience alike from both sides to a new experience, and allowing for new creative synergies to arise. The theater also seeks to pay homage to the artistic visionaries of the past by programming events which honour the rich cultural history of Berlin, especially those of the German Silent Film era, which the Delphi was once an integral part of.
More than almost any other venue in the city, this theater embodies the vivid cultural landscape for which Berlin has become famous – a fertile environment for exciting new developments in the arts – a reputation held in the 1920’s just as today, in this unique space, then as now. The ghosts of the avant-garde are being awakened again in the former Delphi cinema.
When we first discovered the former silent film theater Delphi, our immediate response was that of most people: awe, excitement and inspiration. In 2012 we reopened the doors with a site-specific opera inspired by the space, the first major production since 1959. The show was met with unexpected success, and demands starting pouring in from all sides; audiences, artists, press, and even the neighbours wanted more opportunities to experience the Delphi. A one-off production in an abandoned space turned into a life-long project in 2013, when, with the generous support of the building’s owner, we signed a 20 year lease on the house. Since then we have dedicated our lives to once again filling this beautiful space with the most exciting and innovative art and culture – as it was originally designed to be.
We, Nikolaus Schneider (Dresden) and Brina Stinehelfer (New York), are the main creative team of Per Aspera, an artistic and production company which realised a diverse range of projects before taking over the former silent film theater Delphi. Although we are the only two full-time staff members at the Delphi, this vision was not created alone! Many hands, heads and hearts helped to bring this project to where it is today, contributing to big picture issues and small details in a thousand ways that are a part of the collective act of creating an institution. Even our artists and audience contribute to making the space the unique place that it is. For all of these contributions we are very grateful, and we look forward to our team growing as the activities and infrastructure of the venue does. We are always interested in welcoming new people to become a part of “us”
The former silent film theater Delphi is not only our space, it is also yours: it belongs to the cultural heritage of Berlin – and its future artistic face. We are open to concepts and ideas of all kinds, from large scale public artistic events to private celebrations, conferences, concerts and everything in between. If you have a concept and the means to realise it, we can help you bring it to life. We are also always on the look out for new team members. Internships in production, technical direction, public relations and more are always available. Also, as a non-publicly-funded, not-for-profit arts institution, we always welcome financial and structural support. For queries about artistic events or internships, please contact Artistic Director Brina Stinehelfer at firstname.lastname@example.org. For queries about commercial/private events or joining our board of directors or body of funders, please contact managing director Nikolaus Schneider at email@example.com.