The 56th Theatertreffen ended on 20 May, with Ulrich Rasche’s monumental staging of “Das große Heft” from Staatsschauspiel Dresden


Press release from 20 May 2019

“Burning Issues Meets Theatertreffen”, the conference on gender (in)equality took place on the festival’s final weekend.
The 18-day festival was visited by a total of 18,526 spectators.

14,446 spectators came to see the performances at Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Deutsches Theater Berlin, HAU – Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1), Sophiensæle and Volksbühne Berlin. Most performances were sold out.
Around 4.080 visitors attended the accompanying events with free admission as well as the screenings of Theatertreffen-recordings by our media partner 3sat at the Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz. 450 participants registered for “Burning Issues Meets Theatertreffen”, the conference on gender (in)equality.

The Theatertreffen-jury’s selection of ten productions this year reflected new connections between municipal theatres and independent structures, unusual formats and innovative aesthetics. Five out of ten invited productions were created as co-productions: “Oratorium” (by and with She She Pop), “Girl from the Fog Machine Factory” (directed by Thom Luz), “Unendlicher Spaß” (directed by Thorsten Lensing), “Persona” (directed by Anna Bergmann) and “Hotel Strindberg” (directed by Simon Stone).
Two productions came from Staatsschauspiel Dresden this year: “Erniedrigte und Beleidigte” (directed by Sebastian Hartmann) and “Das große Heft” (directed by Ulrich Rasche).
Theater Basel presented Claudia Bauer’s interpretation of PeterLicht’s text “Tartuffe oder das Schwein der Weisen” at the festival. Christopher Rüping’s nearly 10-hour-long ancient Greek project “Dionysos Stadt” from Münchner Kammerspiele revelled in the theatre as celebration on the mid-festival weekend and was one of this year’s highlights. Unfortunately, the powerful imagery of Ersan Mondtag’s production “Das Internat” from Schauspiel Dortmund could not be presented at the 2019 Theatertreffen.

Three awards were handed out during the Theatertreffen, which is supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation: Performance collective She She Pop received the Theater Prize Berlin of Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung. The 3sat-Prize went to Ersan Mondtag for his production “Das Internat” (Schauspiel Dortmund). On 19 May, this year’s juror for the Alfred-Kerr-Acting Prize, Franz Rogowski, gave the award to Johannes Nussbaum, who acted in “Das große Heft” (Staatsschauspiel Dresden). Director Susanne Kennedy gave a manifesto speech about the transformation of the art of acting in the 21st century. To the video recording

For the first time, Berliner Festspiele’s Stückemarkt presented works from across the globe under the motto of “What Happens after the Protest?”. The Stückemarkt’s commission of work, funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb, was awarded to Manuela Infante on 16 May. It entails the realisation of a new work at Schauspielhaus Bochum. To the laudatory speech

The discourse programme TT Context focused on inequalities in the theatre, discussed the future of the (municipal) theatre and gave a platform to questions and insights in the theatre following German reunification.

Video recordings:
“The Future of the (City) Theatre”
“Theatre of the Republic” (funded by bpb)

Burning Issues Meets Theatertreffen, the conference on gender (in)equality (17 to 19 May), hosted panels, workshops and networking events that explored ways of creating a more gender equal and diverse theatre of the future. National and international artistic directors, artists and academics introduced Best Practice-examples and had lively discussions with the participants. The conference was funded by Prof Monika Grütters MdB, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media/BKM and by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb. BURNING ISSUES was initiated by Nicola Bramkamp and Lisa Jopt and implemented this year by ensemble-netzwerk in cooperation with Theatertreffen and the Berlin University of the Arts.

Recordings 18 May:
Welcome “Burning Issues Meets Theatertreffen”
Project Schooriil
Panel “Somewhere over the Glass Ceiling”

Lila Podcast, LIVE on 18 May at Deutsches Theater:
“Mit Quote und freundlicher Beschämung – Feminismus im Theater”

Recording 19 May:
Conclusion “Burning Issues Meets Theatertreffen”

35 emerging artists from 21 countries were invited to take part in the Theatertreffen’s two-week fellowship programme International Forum. Six young culture-bloggers covered the festival events from a wide range of perspectives for the Theatertreffen-Blog. 150 students from the German-language region and pupils from Berlin schools took part in the Theatertreffen’s Open Campus.

As part of their series “Starke Stücke”, media partner 3sat presented three recordings from the selection of ten remarkable productions invited to the Theatertreffen. From 10 to 12 May, the recordings were shown on the large screen at Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz, once again with free admission. The recordings as well as a programme about the 2019 Theatertreffen are available in the 3sat-Mediathek.

The Theatertreffen-jury and the festival’s director Yvonne Büdenhölzer have decided to implement a female quota for the festival editions of 2020 and 2021: At least 50 percent of the ten remarkable productions will either be directed by a woman or by a theatre collective that consists predominantly of women.
The 2020 Theatertreffen-jury: Margarete Affenzeller, Cornelia Fiedler, Wolfgang Höbel, Georg Kasch, Andreas Klaeui, Shirin Sojitrawalla and Franz Wille.
Berliner Festspiele would like to thank Eva Behrendt, Dorothea Marcus and Christian Rakow, whose membership of the festival’s jury ended with this year’s edition.

The Theatertreffen has been sponsored by the Federal Cultural Foundation since 2004.

Save the date:
From 24 May to 1 June, the 40th Theatertreffen der Jugend will take place at Haus der Berliner Festspiele and present a wide range of works by young theatre companies from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Münster and Solingen.

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