Trostel Collection of German Theater Scripts, 1793-1930


The German Theater Company of Milwaukee began in 1852. Its home varied over the years, including the Stadttheater and the Nunnenmacher Grand Opera House, before moving to its final home, the Pabst Theater in 1895. German theater was quite popular in Milwaukee during this time, and even English plays were translated into German, such as works by George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde.

At the end of the 1909-1910 season, the gradual decline of German theater in Milwaukee took a sharp downward curve. Between 1914 and 1918 the German Theater Co. experienced serious difficulties in a growing anti-German America. However, productions continued until the United States entered the war in 1917. The stock company temporarily disbanded during this time.

When the theater was reopened it was never the same. By 1928, the Pabst Theater was deteriorating and interest in German theater remained low. Despite the efforts of such notable Milwaukeeans as Henry Harnischfeger, Albert Trostel, A.J. Lindemann and Bruno Fink, the German Theater Co. was no longer profitable. Later attempts to merge the company with the Chicago German Theater failed. In June 1935 the company was officially dissolved.