During the past few decades Luxembourg has witnessed exceptional growth in the theatre and performing arts sector, which nowadays enjoys an excellent international reputation. The expertise and dedication of public and private theatre directors as well as cultural centres, the professionalisation of the arts sector and the support of public decision-makers have all contributed to make the theatre and dance scene as rich and varied as it is today.
The conventional languages for the performing arts scene in Luxembourg are German and French. Moreover, Luxembourgish has been conquering the stage. Despite its standardised orthography (since 1974) and its status as a national language (since 1948) and an administrative language (alongside German and French), Luxembourgish remains a spoken language for the most part, rather than a written one. As some of the Luxembourgish directors, especially those of the younger generation, have completed their studies in English-speaking countries, the number of English productions is increasing both within the theatres of the larger cities (Luxembourg City, Esch-sur-Alzette) and in the regional cultural centres. With 48% of the population being foreigners, the multicultural dimension of Luxembourgish society is also reflected in theatre programmes featuring some plays in Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish and other languages.
Whether you are new to world of theatre and dance or already captivated by it, Luxembourg’s theatres and cultural centres have plenty to offer for everyone. And don’t be fooled by the country’s small size – its theatre and performing arts scene is particularly rich and diverse, with special emphasis being on traditional theatre, classical and contemporary dance, musicals, opera, and plays for young audiences.
Many venues specialise in one particular art form, such as German or French theatre, young audiences or dance. Luxembourg also features an increasing number of independent theatre groups, enriching the cultural landscape with typically interdisciplinary and innovative performances.
There is also no shortage of festivals and literary events, including themed readings and meetings with authors, while some cultural centres welcome audiences to concerts, exhibitions and conferences.
For a relatively small population (635.000 inhabitants) and small size (2586 km2), the Grand Duchy boasts a particularly rich theatre and performing arts scene. The cultural institutions dedicated to theatre and dance form a tight and well-connected professional network. Their activity revolves around an impressive number of productions each year, many of them local productions or co-productions, created in cooperation with international partners, as well as hosting guest performances from abroad.
The regional cultural centres, which are spread across the country, play an important role as partners in national productions. Typically, a theatre or dance performance will make its debut in the capital and then tour the cultural centres in the various regions.
The major theatres in Luxembourg City and Esch-sur-Alzette mostly put on international co-productions and guest performances. Yet they are also theatre and dance producers, making them essential partners for local productions. The cultural landscape would not be complete without the private and usually smaller theatres in the capital, which mainly set up their own productions and co-produce plays by independent Luxembourgish groups.