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Built in 1880, the Berliner Ensemble stormed to fame in the 1950's under Bertolt Brecht, the greatest German dramatist of the 20th Century. The theater became known for its brilliantly directed political plays at a time when the city was wallowing in political and economic chaos. Yet in the decades after Brecht's death, the Berliner Ensemble lost direction, trotting out lackluster performances of Brecht plays under a succession of different directors. Things have changed for the better since director Claus Peymann returned, with theater-lovers returning in hoards to watch acclaimed adaptations of classic pieces.