The summer theater of Bad Lauchstädt is the only theater which presents itself to us today as it did to Johann Wolfgang Goethe during his 26 years as "Oberdirektor" ("Chief-Director") of the Weimarian Court Comedian Society, which was newly established in 1791. The theater was built in 1802, after the poet's exact guidelines.
After Goethe's theory of colours, the audience was kept yellow, red and grey and is arched over by a tent-like painted canvas screen. The dimensions of the stage were harmonized with those in Weimar, so that their winter repertoire could smoothly be played in Bad Lauchstädt as well. The presentation of known works of world literature together with the literate reputation of the director of the theater leveraged the Lauchstädt house to a famousness far beyond the borders of the small spa Lauchstädt, the so called "saxonian Pyrmont". The visit of a performance, as wrote Joseph von Eichendorff, was literally regarded as a matter of national concern for known poets, professors and philosophers as well as students. However, by the end of the 19th century the glamour was gone. The buildings were rotten, tearing down of adjacent houses lurked. The hallensian Intendant Max Richards was able to prevent this cultural disaster, thanks to his initiative. An extensive restoration and the formation of a theater club allowed for an annual festival and performances for special occasions being conducted again. After World War II the dramatic arts repertoire of the Goethe Theater Bad Lauchstädt was extended by operas, musicals and operettas. However, only the last renovation from 1965 till 1968 distinguished the repertoire of the Goethe Theater in a way that today classical and preclassical works of dramatic art and opera as well as the musical comedy are performed. Through the proximity to George Frederic Handel's town of birth Halle the cultivation of his opera-oeuvre receives some special emphasis in Bad Lauchstädt. Also the opera Halle accounts for the specialness of the historic stage in Bad Lauchstädt with its reconstructed technique, so that productions for this house have a certain character.