Tout Vienna, always keenly interested in its lively theatre scene, made wild guesses who the author of the play "Die Wilddiebe" ("Poachers"), anonymously performed at the prestigious Burgtheater (most famous theater in Vienna) in 1889, could possibly be. Theodor Herzl, not yet interested in Zionist ideas, one of the authors, had plotted the "secret" and followed the wild speculations it aroused and which kept Viennese theatre lovers excited and amused for a season. Herzl and other Jewish playwrights such as Arthur Schnitzler, Felix Salten or Hugo von Hofmansthal wrote in German for a bourgeois audience and their plays were performed in venues dedicated to the German Hochkultur (culture). Jewish actors such as Adolf Baron von Sonnenthal - admired by Emperor Franz Joseph and saved by him when almost arrested by the Tsarist police during an engagement in Riga for failing to get a special permit to stay in Russia which was required of all foreign Jews - and Elisabeth Bergner or Hollywood actress to-be Hedy Lamarr starred in plays and movies which attracted a cultural orientated general public. Jews were ardent visitors of Vienna's theatres. The middle-class Jewish audience loved its Burgtheater and Yiddish speakers enthusiastically frequented more modest and popular theatres and cabarets in the Leopoldstadt district. Religious Jewish authorities did not always favor this passion and occasionally plays with Jewish topics aroused their expressed dislike. Viennese rabbis forbade seeing a Chassidic comedy, directed by Morris Horowitz at the Ringtheater or the plays written by Abraham Goldfaden in the early 1890s. Max Reinhardt, born Max Goldmann in 1873 in Baden, was the founder of the modern "Regietheater". Supported by his brother Edmund, he raised a huge theatre work in Berlin, touring worldwide. In 1920 he founded with Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal the "Salzburger Festspiele" (Salzburg Festival), which attracts a huge audience to this very day. The main focus of his work was theatretraining academies in Berlin, Vienna and later in Hollywood. He appears as a teacher or employer in the biographies of nearly every important German-speaking actor/actress of his time and was extremely influential for a whole generation of theatre people. Yiddish theatre began in Vienna in the late 1880s. In small theatres and cabarets often very mobile and short-lived ensembles brought plots about Viennese and Eastern European Jewish life onto the stage, leaving only very few traces about their actors, plots and visitors. They performed in the banquet halls of hotels and restaurants and only in 1901 the Leopoldstaedter Volksorpheum (the name of a theatre) found a venue in the Rotensterngasse. From 1909, the Juedische Buehne (Jewish Stage), the first local Yiddish-speaking group which lasted longer than other groups, started to perform in the theatre hall of the Hotel Stefanie in the Taborstrasse. The Freie Juedische Volksbuehne (Jewish Communal Stage) specialized in Yiddish literature, adopted a permanent place in the Untere Augartenstrasse in 1920, moved then to Lustspieltheater and eventually to the Rolandbuehne (theater) in the more prestigious Praterstrasse. Often these theatres were despised for not being "cultural" enough: "If we only played serious good plays, we would have an empty house and our children an empty stomach" explained one of their directors. Theatres like the Juedischen Kuenstlerspiele, the Juedische Kuenstlerkabarett (Jewish Cabaret) or visiting groups such as the Hebrew-speaking ensemble Habima (a famous Jewish theatre group) contributed much to an international and modern theatre scene which had developed mostly from the creativity of immigrants. At about the same time the German-speaking Budapester Orpheum (theatre group) was established in Vienna, mainly with Jewish actors who had emigrated from Hungary, and dedicated to Jewish topics, gaining its breakthrough in 1890 with the actor Heinrich Eisenbach performing in the "Klabriaspartie". This one-act play marks also the beginning of Modernism in commercial theatre by using dramatic forms of Naturalism in adopting the length and structure of a coffee house card game (to which the title refers). The play was extremely popular and reached its 1000th performance in 1925, having used Yiddish expressions like "meshugge" or "shickse" for the first time on the German-speaking stage. Critics were divided about the quality of its performances. While Karl Kraus even wanted them to perform at the Burgtheater and tens of thousands of Viennese mourned when Eisenbach died in 1923, the Jewish-national paper "Wiener Morgenzeitung" described his performances as honky-tonk theatre and opined that he, as a gifted actor, could have done much better. "A Jargon theatre whose shameless profession it is to defile the honor of the Jewish people every night and to bring it into discredit with hundreds of disgusting obscenities". Another very popular actress was the legendary Gisela Werbezirk, a big star of Jewish theatre in the interwar period. Many plays with strong roles were written especially for her. She performed sentimental reflections about life in the metropolis, showing the conflicts of an assimilated generation irritated by its own past or of its parents' generation in the Moravian or Hungarian provinces. Werbezirk played the roles of the established Viennese or she chose a role as a mother still living in the provinces and visiting her children in the big city. In "Frau Breier aus Gaya" ("Mrs. Breier from Gaya") she played a sturdy goose seller from South Moravia who traveled to Vienna to help her son who had got into financial trouble in the banking house of her snobbish brother. The production used surprisingly modern means in this play: all the scenes set in Gaya were shown as a film, while the Viennese scenes were acted on stage. Mrs Breier's trip to Vienna by train was also shown as a film and ended at the entrance of the actual theatre. There one heard the real actor live, shouting at the personnel and entering the stage. The cabaret Simpl, founded 1912 as a theatre for easy entertainment and erotic performances and still active today, gained its fame with performers Fritz Gruenbaum and Karl Farkas. Fritz Gruenbaum, who perished in Dachau in 1941, developed with Karl Farkas their famous "Doppelconferences", an exchange of witty points and jokes well loved and applauded by a dedicated audience. After the Second World War, which Farkas survived in the USA, he was joined by Ernst Waldbrunn whose characteristic stuttering made him a favorite of the audience. The married couple Hugo Wiener and Cissy Kraner survived the Second World War in Latin America. After their return to Vienna, they joined the Simpl, where Wiener wrote most of Farkas' and Waldbrunn's double performances and chansons and songs for Cissy Kraner who performed at the Simpl, recorded performances and records and toured widely. The actress, political cabarets and director Stella Kadmon opened in 1931 the first political theatre in Vienna, the Lieber Augustin, in the basement stage of the coffee house Prueckl which she managed with Peter Hammerschlag until 1938. After returning from exile, she founded the Theater der Courage in 1948 which she ran until 1981.