Klaus Dörr resigns from Volksbühne after sexual harassment allegations

Klaus Dörr, artistic director of the Volksbühne in Berlin, has resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. In total, 10 women have accused Dörr of various inappropriate behaviours.

The claims against Dörr include sexist remarks, sending text messages that were inappropriate for the workplace, and staring. Leading female directors, playwrights, authors and actors signed a petition calling for his dismissal, which finally led to his resignation.

Dörr, who has led the theatre since 2018, said he takes “full responsibility” for his actions.

“As the director of the Volksbühne, I take full responsibility for the allegations made against me and give up my position in agreement with the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe,” Dörr said in a statement. “I deeply regret if I have hurt employees with my behaviour, words or gaze.”

Members of the company at Volksbühne – which translates as ‘people’s theatre’ – also released a statement:

“We demand a transparent debate and thorough examination of how the abuse of power, sexual assault and discrimination in our field of work can be prevented in the future. We are deeply shaken and are going through a learning process – this discourse must not end with Klaus Dörr’s resignation.”

Dörr was supposed to reduce the problems at Volksbühne, rather than add to them: he was originally brought in after the previous artistic director sparked a series of strikes and sit-ins by members of the company. He was due to be replaced by René Pollesch later this year, though it is unclear when – or if – that switch will now happen.