Staff figures for the seasons 2000-01 to 2020-21

Figure: Staff figures for the seasons 2000-01 to 2020-21
Non-permanent artistic staff at German theatres was strongly affected by the pandemic. Figures of other staff groups only slightely decreased.

According to the German Theatre and Orchestra Association, publicly financed theatres had 15.300 permanent artistic employees in the 2020-21 season, coveringing singing, dance, choir and orchestra, as well as in artistic management and non-performing areas (actors and actresses not included).

Before the start of the pandemic, the permanent artistic staff showed a small but steady increase. Between 2006-07 and 2019-20, there was a continuous increase in staff from 15,201 to 16,062 (excluding actors and actresses). This was due to the increase in management staff and non-performing artistic staff (summarised under 'other artistic staff'). In contrast, the number of permanent dancers and solo singers decreased in the same period.

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, recently all groups of permanently employed artistic staff at theatres experienced a decrease in numbers, albeit the decrease was comparatively small.

Non-permanent artistic staff, which had more than doubled since the turn of the millennium, were much more affected by the pandemic. In the pre-pandemic seasons, around 22,000 artists with guest contracts were employed at the theatres; their number dropped to 12,600 for the 2020-21 season.

In the 2020-21 season, the number of technical, administrative and maintenance staff was 21,898, a decrease of 867 compared to 2019-20.

Staff at publicly financed music theatres
Table: Staff at publicly financed music theatres


The theatre statistics are based on a written survey of publicly financed theatres and orchestras regarding their business operations (venues, range of events, attendance figures, staff, financing). As a consequence of the COVID‑19 pandemic, the data for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons are not comparable and therefore do not provide any information on the general development of theatre. Instead, the staff figures for these seasons are compared with the development up to 2018-19 in order to illustrate the extent of the pandemic impact. Discrepancies between the annual figures may occur owing to lack of responses to the questionnaire, especially in the earlier years and during the pandemic. All figures were compiled as of 1 January in the season concerned. However, especially with regard to the non-permanent artistic staff that is hired for special theatre productions, theatres may handle their own number structures based on an entire season.


Compiled and calculated by the German Music Information Centre from the various issues of Theaterstatistik, published annually by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein).



  1. The season data illustrate the extent of corona protection measures on concert operations. Since March 2020, these have repeatedly led to restrictions on concert operations or the closure of venues.
  2. Excluding actors and actresses.
  3. Including evening attendance (also in spoken theatre).
  4. Technical equipment, workshops, make-up, costumes (also in spoken theatre), including administration, in-house staff, sales and trainees.
  5. Management staff and non-performing artistic personnel (also in spoken theatre).