The Grips Theater forged the idea of an "emancipated theatre". It was the first theatre in the world to deal with the lives and living conditions of children and young people in a socially critical way, creating original comic and musical productions. Grips has developed this idea with unrivalled success for 45 years while remaining open for new ideas and artistic directions. It is and will remain a theatre that wishes to encourage its audience to realise that the world of grown ups and the world of children are both changeable above all else.
Grips is a theatre for all generations, cultures and levels of society. It is post-elite and anti-pompous - a contemporary popular and political theatre of the people. Grips is notably an ensemble and writer's theatre. Its founder and long serving director, Volker Ludwig has written over 40 plays for children, young people and adults and remains the theatre's resident author and managing director. Regular collaboration with writers such as Lutz Hübner and directors like Frank Panhans is an important part of the Grips Theater but its support of the next generation is also close to its heart.
In 2011 there was the first change of directors since the theatre was founded. The new artistic director is Stefan Fischer-Fels. His mission is to preserve the founding concept of the Grips Theater, tell strong and relevant narratives as well as ensuring the programme has the fresh impetus it needs through openness towards new forms of storytelling, a contemporary aesthetic and 'young' perspectives on childhood and youth today.