Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Low German Theatre

The Low German Theatre is one of the main pillars of Low German culture. Its peculiar character results from the combination of theatre and the local dialect: Low German exists primarily as a spoken language and is restricted to usage in social units such as families, friends, neighbourhoods and colleagues.

Facts & figures

Crucial date: all season
Inscription: 2014
Domains: oral traditions and expressions; performing arts
Where to find: Lower Saxony, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia


Niederdeutscher Bühnenbund Niedersachsen und Bremen e.V.
Herwig Dust

Niederdeutscher Bühnenbund Schleswig-Holstein e.V.
Rainer Seidel Managing Director

Niederdeutscher Bühnenbund Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Marion Suri (Managing Director)

Plattdeutsche Bühne Haltern/Westfalen
Ulrich Backmann

In combination with the forms of expression to be found in the theatre, this local language is lent an artistic dimension. Theatre in the local language is a theatre of nearness. This is what creates its peculiar charm for actors and audiences alike. Currently, about 4,000 groups of players are upholding the tradition of the Low German Theatre.

The overwhelming majority of them are small municipal companies in the rural areas of North Germany. In addition, there are also two professionally run Low German Theatre Companies in Hamburg and Schwerin. On the one hand the repertoires consist of a whole range of classic pieces, but most of the plays performed by the small companies are written by the ensembles themselves.

In this way they directly reflect the social reality of their municipalities. The Low German Theatre has a central role to play regarding the stabilisation of the Low German language.


Wissen. Können. Weitergeben..
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2019