75 Years Basler Puppet Theatre
The famous puppet theatre of Basel (Basler Marionetten Theater) celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2019. The premiere took place on 27 March 1944 with “Das alte Puppenspiel vom Doktor Faust” by Karl Simrock (1802-1876). The founder Ricardo Koelner (1904-1993) was fascinated by this theatre at a young age, and he developed this idea further together with his wife Käthi Koelner-Schellenberg (1906-1998), which led to the premiere in the Kunsthalle of Basel in March 1944. Some other cities in Switzerland had already introduced this theatre much earlier, starting in 1908, including St. Gallen, Geneva, Ascona, Ligerz and Zurich.
The theatre at the Münsterplatz managed to attract an interested audience. One of the reasons the attention, the level and the historical-scientific attention to music and singing in the performances and the diversity, quality, and originality of the direction and choreography.
Moreover, this puppet theatre aims for children and adults. The theatre also does not always make things easy for itself. For example, in 1968 it produced the play “Krokophant” (cotion of Crocodile (because of the many teeth) and elephant (only two teeth) with an educational program for children about brushing teeth, including depicting bacteria which do their destructive work.
Richard Koelner made no less than 240 puppets and directed 30 pieces ( operas, fairy tales, educational plays, theatre, and singing). The theatre is run mainly by volunteers today, but that does not stand in the way of the next 25 years of success. (Bron: Basler Marionetten Theater. 75, Bazel, 2019).