Stückemarkt: General information

Since 1978 the Theatertreffen’s Stückemarkt has been a festival to discover unknown playwrights from all over Europe. As the oldest initiative for promoting contemporary playwriting in the German-speaking theatre, it has been successfully engaged in the long-term development of playwrights for 37 years and is a forum for exchange between international playwrights, theatre-makers, festival curators, publishers and critics.

In 2012, the Stückemarkt began a process of opening itself to a contemporary concept of authorship. Today, the Stückemarkt is looking for new forms of authorship and innovative theatre languages. In a Europe-wide, open competition, authors can submit both theatre texts and theatre projects that focus on the medium of language. A jury of five artists will select five plays from among the submissions. The selected works will be presented in a format that corresponds to their forms – as performances, staged readings, site-specific formats etc.

The Stückemarkt at the Theatertreffen is unique. In 1978 it was founded as the first-ever funding initiative for new drama in German-speaking countries. Before then, little support existed for playwrights, there was no platform for unperformed stage plays and there were certainly no writing schools for emerging dramatists. The Stückemarkt aimed first and foremost to introduce new drama into theatre repertoires.

Since its founding, a total of 203 playwrights have participated in the Stückemarkt. Many of these play a defining role nowadays in the new drama of theatre repertoires, starting with Elfriede Jelinek whose play “Was geschah, nachdem Nora ihren Mann verlassen hatte oder Stützen der Gesellschaft” (What Happened After Nora Left her Husband or Pillars of Society) was invited to the festival in its first year and which had hitherto been an insider’s tip in Austria.

During the first twenty years of the festival, the artistic directors of the Stückemarkt annually selected five plays whose premiere rights were still free to present to a wider audience during the Theatertreffen. At that time, there was no jury: the Stückemarkt director was solely responsible for the programme. In 2003 the Stückemarkt widened its selection to include playwrights from all over Europe, and scripts could be submitted in their original language. A contest for unknown playwrights developed out of the presentation of new drama for theatre-makers. Since then, an expert jury has sifted through hundreds of plays, of which five to seven are presented during the Theatertreffen as staged readings. In the past ten years, the Stückemarkt has provided new impetus for the support of dramatists, placed its focus on new and re-discoveries in stage writing, and on continual support: prizes and commissioned works, as well as cooperation with theatre partners and a radio broadcaster have been introduced, an international network has been set up, plays have been translated into English, master classes and dramatist workshops have been carried out and a one-year mentorship for playwrights has been established. With the TT symposium “Schleudergang Neue Dramatik” (New Drama In A Spin) – the Stückemarkt took further steps in collaborating between dramatists and theatres, such as the expansion of playwrights-in-residence. In 2012 the Stückemarkt broadened its definition of authorship: For the first time, projects by theatre collectives were admissible too. A performer-duo was invited to develop its concept in the newly founded project laboratory and to present the result during the Stückemarkt.

On its 35th anniversary in 2013 the Stückemarkt took stock and looked to the future: 35 playwrights who had already been invited to the Stückemarkt were presented once again with a new work. 30 authors wrote short texts on the theme of “Wohin? Verfall und Untergang der westlichen Zivilisation” (Where to? The Decline and Fall of Western Civilisation), and five deceased Stückemarkt playwrights who had shaped contemporary dramatic writing were presented in an archive of dramatists. The events took place as a site-specific project in the historic Pan Am Lounge. The anniversary edition playwrights included Herbert Achternbusch, John von Düffel, Elfriede Jelinek, Oliver Kluck, Dirk Laucke, Anne Lepper, Philipp Löhle, Wolfram Lotz, Marius von Mayenburg, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Einar Schleef, Werner Schwab and Nis-Momme Stockmann.

In 2014 the festival continued to present new models of authorship that had begun with the project laboratory in 2012 and the festival anniversary in 2013: For the 36th edition of the Stückemarkt, three Theatertreffen mentors went in search of artists developing new forms of theatrical expression. In 2015, the selection process for the Stückemarkt was developed further: A jury of five artists and an open competition were reinstated, and new selection criteria were introduced, applicable to both theatre texts and theatre projects alike. Since 2016, the Stückemarkt has been awarding a commission of work in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Christina Zintl
© Frank Eidel

Christina Zintl

has been a dramaturge at the Theatertreffen and the Head of Theatertreffen’s Stückemarkt since 2012. She was born in Bonn in 1980 and studied Scenic Arts in Hildesheim and Aix-en-Provence. From 2006 to 2008, she was an assistant dramaturg and dramaturg at Munich’s Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel. From 2008 to 2011, she worked as a dramaturg at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. She worked with Stefan Bachmann, Rafael Sanchez, Daniela Löffner and Tina Lehnik and others. She has worked mainly on productions of contemporary drama, such as world premieres of plays by July Zeh, Thomas Jonigk and Juliane Kann. Furthermore, she curated PLAN B, a series of interdisciplinary projects in cooperation with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s independent theatre scene as well as UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD!, a cooperation with the theatre network MITOS 21. She worked as a dramaturge at the Theater am Neumarkt, at Schauspiel Leipzig and at Staatstheater Nürnberg. She is a founding member of the performance group HOTEL EUROPA (which performed at Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater, Hebbel am Ufer and Theaterdiscount and others). She has held lecturing assignments at Freie Universität Berlin and Mozarteum Salzburg.

Tel + 49 30 254 89-200

Maria Nübling
© Christoph Blaas

Maria Nübling

has been a dramaturge at the Theatertreffen and an assistant of Theatertreffen’s Stückemarkt since 2017. She was born in Hildesheim in 1989 and studied Drama Studies and Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. During her studies, she was a dramaturgy intern and assistant at Münchner Kammerspiele and Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and became co-director of the Maxim Gorki Theater’s theatre youth club in 2011. In 2014, she was the dramaturg of David Heilige’s production of “Insomnia” at PATHOS Theater in Munich. Together with Christina Gassen, she initiated and organised the symposium “Theater.Frauen” in 2015, which addressed gender inequality in the theatre. From 2015 to 2017, she was a dramaturgy assistant at Schauspiel Stuttgart, where she initially assisted in productions by Jossi Wieler, Schorsch Kamerun and Sebastian Hartmann, before working as a dramaturg on “Chelsea Hotel” (directed by Sébastien Jacobi), “Der Untergang des Egoisten Johann Fatzer” (directed by Thomas Schmauser) and “Katzelmacher” (directed by Eugene Jebeleanu) and curating a monthly discussion series in cooperation with the initiative “Die Offene Gesellschaft”.

Tel + 49 30 254 89-231

Theatre Library of the Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut has been promoting the dissemination of contemporary German playwriting abroad for many years. In order to improve access to the translations which have been created in many languages during this process, the Goethe-Institut offers the possibility to request translations by email or order them from agencies. The Theatre Library currently contains around 650 titles in 40 languages – simply order them by email, anywhere in the world, free of charge.


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Database 1964-2018

The database with all productions, theatres and directors since 1964 as well as the Stückemarkt authors.