In the Berlin dialect, "Atze" is your best friend or big brother - the sort of person you can absolutely trust with your innermost secrets. And this is the way that the performances at the ATZE Musiktheater wish to encourage and accompany the development of its young audience: with good advice and support. The ATZE began in 1985 just as a band project before establishing itself in the mid-90s as a musical theatre for primary school age children and their families.
The prizewinning repertoire includes adaptations of modern children's book classics like "Ronia the Robber's Daughter", "The Pasta Detectives" ("Rico, Oscar und die Tieferschatten") original by Andreas Steinhöfel or "All the Dear Little Animals" ("Die besten Beerdigungen der Welt") from Ulf Nilsson's book, fairy stories such as "Frau Holle" or "The Little Mermaid" as well as productions like "Bach - the Life of a Musician" and "Spaghetti Wedding" (both by Thomas Sutter), awarded the Ikarus prize for outstanding Berlin theatre productions for children and young people in 2014.
The lively productions employ a modern musical form in which sung and spoken dialogue interweave, choral elements establish and scenes mostly have music throughout. For all the pieces there is extensive accompanying educational material as well as talks after the show. The ATZE Musiktheater is housed in the former Max Beckmann Saal built in Berlin's Wedding district by the architect Herbert Rimpl, with its large glazing and distinctive V-shaped concrete pillars typical of 50s and 60s architecture. The theatre consists of a large main stage with 480 seats and a 150-seat studio.