It was quick. Sonja Anders’ employment at the Hanover Theater as artistic director was extended in July of last year to include the 2028–2029 season. In 2025, she will relocate to the Hamburg Thalia Theater. Joachim Lux, who has successfully led the Thalia Theater since 2009, is succeeded by her. The shift in leadership “does not constitute a radical departure,” according to Anders and Hamburg’s Senator for Culture, Carsten Brosda; rather, it is a “evolutionary progression.”
58-year-old Since the 2019–2020 season, Anders has served as the director of Schauspiel Hannover; this is her first directorship. The pandemic ruined their game plan in the middle of their first season. Despite these challenging beginning circumstances, their theater is a success, attracting outstanding audience numbers, invites to the Berlin Theatertreffen, and prestigious collaboration partners like the Salzburg Festival. It is understandable why Hanover would have preferred to keep them. However, Sonja Anders is well accustomed to her new workplace. She began her career as a dramaturge at the Staatstheater Stuttgart and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. From 2000 until 2009, she served as head dramaturge at the Thalia Theater. She followed Ulrich Khuon, the director of Thalia at the time, to the Deutsches Theater Berlin in 2009, where she worked as principal dramaturge until she relocated to Hanover.
In the future, a female team will oversee Thalia’s aesthetic direction.
Anders has been influenced by Khuon’s unequivocally fair and decent managerial approach. As tools for leadership, she can do without volume and choleric assaults. Her career has been marked by enduring and reliable professional partnerships. With two long-term coworkers at Thalia, she wishes to continue this: Her most significant dramaturgy collaborator will be Nora Khuon, daughter of her previous boss, with Anne Lenk serving as main director. The Thalia Theater will now be run by a female staff for the first time in its 180-year existence.
For a long period, Sonja Anders has worked closely on issues relating to a contemporary management culture. The appointed creative director claims that “the management tools can be upgraded a little bit” at the Thalia Theater as well. This involves the issue of how members of the ensemble and tech can be incorporated into the management of the theater. Gerald Hüther, a brain researcher, is quoted by Anders to explain how she sees herself as a theatrical director: “Man is nothing on his own, he can neither make anything nor learn anything on his own.”