Platypus Theater was founded in West Berlin in 1985 by the Berlin born Anja Scollin and the Australian born Peter Scollin. Clownesque self-devised plays were performed in German in various spaces in nearly every suburb of West Berlin. The theater was named after the rare Australian animal, the Platypus. In the early years, four plays were written with different casts of actors and the theater quickly became well known to organizers. Platypus produced its first play in English in February 1992, two years after the wall dividing the city of Berlin went down. Due to the overwhelming response, the entire structure of Platypus Theater developed rapidly, the artistic concept, the size of the ensemble, the size of the theaters performed in and the audience profile. Putting on plays in English gave the production team a great amount of freedom, both artistically and in content matter because performing in English was inherently educational. There was no need to base plays on school syllabus themes. The team could devise plays about things which interested them and things they thought would interest the audiences. Through this, several plays were born which were to some extent way ahead of their time. Play to Win (1993) was about addiction to computer games or Dream Beach (2007), which was about current and historic developments in Australia, only to mention two examples. Altogether, Platypus has produced 33 plays since 1985. Twenty one of these plays are in English.
We are an independent Berlin-based theater group, which develops and produces English-language or bilingual plays for children and teenagers. We explore themes which interest us and which tie in with the experiences of our audience.