National Contests

Theatertreffen der Jugend 2012

Theater und sich treffen … (Theatre and meeting)

… was printed in white letters on olive-coloured T-shirts. Meeting at the 33rd Theatertreffen der Jugend, which took place for the second time at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, was about watching theatre together, then on the way to the bonfire, enthusing, discussing, sitting in silence, doubting and understanding that how we saw content and form yesterday might well have changed today. Participants met too in various workshops, in the queue for the buffet and at the beer tap, on the dance floor, in the swing hammock and while reading the festival newspaper.

There was talk that the festival was a political one this year, and that it demanded a great deal from the groups that were invited to take part. There were reports of heated discussions that threatened to split groups apart, or that some of the jury’s decisions were more comprehensible once all the plays had been performed. Some talked of what is permissible in theatre and what is not. Some talked about what a week of watching plays does to you. Or how the theatre workshops redrew the borders on your mental map, were too challenging, or gave you the feeling of having made the right decision. Or of how easy it is not to have known anyone one moment to be able to put a name to a face the next.

We can look forward to the next editions of Theatertreffen der Jugend.