The festival 2017

Creating Spaces for a Diversity of Voices

To create a platform for diverse voices – this was both the aspiration and the quintessence of the 54th Theatertreffen. Seldom have the ten selected productions presented a wider range of aesthetics and topics, reflecting the past theatre season, which was distinguished to a large extent by a mutually enriching juxtaposition of various approaches and formats – and also by heated discussions about equal opportunities and transformations within the theatre system.

And thus, the festival’s multifaceted texture was made up of detailed theatre worlds, nuanced literary adaptations, great dramas, and works that relied upon music for their structure. These impressive theatre pieces came both from the metropoles and the smaller cities. They were joined by independent productions with no ties to specific locations, which also made up a significant part of the wide spectrum of last year’s theatre season.

The Theatertreffen’s programme was complemented by “Shifting Perspectives”, a new platform that created spaces for a great diversity of voices. Between 11 and 14 May, the festival became a collective laboratory for research and experiences, where art, academia and social politics came together and new opportunities for exchange and networking were created. “Shifting Perspectives” included five interdisciplinary projects realized through the newly launched Goethe-Institut Coproduction Fund and presented works from various genres and countries like Kenya, Poland, South Africa, Egypt, France or Cameroon.

In addition, the Stückemarkt presented five texts by international authors as well as one performance project. At the Stückemarkt’s finale, this year’s commission of work assigned by the Federal Agency for Civic Education / bpb, which entailed a world premiere at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, was awarded to the author Bonn Park. Furthermore, Stückemarkt and bpb cohosted a two-day conference entitled “The Art of Democracy”.

The winners of three prizes awarded at this year’s Theatertreffen also show a great heterogeneity of artistic idioms. The Theatre Award Berlin by Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung went to Herbert Fritsch and Frank Castorf held the laudatory speech for his long-time Volksbühne-companion. Imogen Kogge, this year’s juror for the Alfred Kerr Acting Prize, selected Michael Wächter for his role of Theodor in Simon Stone’s production of “Drei Schwestern (Three Sisters)”. The 2017 3sat Award went to the designated artistic director of NT Gent, Milo Rau, whose production “Five Easy Pieces” was shown at the Theatertreffen.

This year’s Theatertreffen presented a wealth of topics, themes, attitudes and discussions. We would like to thank our loyal audience, who venture out into new experiments with us and are always by our side! The preparations for next year’s Theatertreffen are already in full swing, so that we can present another varied and exciting festival next year.