Archive 2012

What was the Theatertreffen 2012 like?

The Theatertreffen this year was marked by a phase of new beginnings and departures. In 2012, no fewer than five directors or directorial collectives made their Theatertreffen debuts. The selection was noticeably interdisciplinary, intercultural and international, and the independent theatre scene was just as much represented and appreciated as the municipal theatres.

The selection of ten most outstanding productions impressed the audience and jury with a diverse range of theatre forms – from classics and new drama all the way to re-enactment. ‘Time’ and the work of the ‘collective’ were significant tendencies: there was a five-hour, an eight-and-a-half-hour and a 12-hour marathon performance, and three of the works invited to participate came from theatre collectives. What’s more, there was a wide breadth of thematic and aesthetic positions, and varying styles of performance. The desire for authentication put the actors back on centre stage, over and above their bodies and origins. This was my first year as the Head of Theatertreffen and there are many captivating moments that will remain in my memory. Among them, Sophie Rois, the newly chosen prize-winner of the Berlin Theatre Prize, in a sea of flowers; Fabian Hinrichs whispering and radiant at the Kerr prize-giving ceremony; Sandra Hüller, after the tremendous concentration needed during her Sarah Kane performance, dancing with abandon in the Kassenhalle; the exhausted but rapturous Borkman audience, who held out until three o’clock in the morning; the Spanish Fly ensemble parodying the final applause with Festspiele bags; Herbert Fritsch with his actors Bastian Reiber and Inka Löwendorf improvising at the International Forum; the Stückemarkt performers Markus&Markus on the Side Stage; animated festival guests debating on Heike Schuppelius’ beautiful staircase until late at night; the sauna on wheels in the garden; a man clapping loudly because he wanted to turn off the birdsong installation under the chestnut trees; Sir Henry’s never-ending piano music in the Prater Garten during the Borkman after-show party; the standing ovations for the Burgtheater actors after Alvis Hermanis’ Platonov production – and so on, and so on …

In 2013 the Theatertreffen will be celebrating its 50th birthday! The critics’ jury will be travelling through the country from February onwards. It promises to be an exciting anniversary selection! I wish you too the happiest of memories when looking back on this year!

Yvonne Büdenhölzer
Head of the Theatertreffen