Theatertreffen of Berliner Festspiele: The Selection of 10 Productions


Press release from 28 January 2020

At a press conference at Haus der Berliner Festspiele today, 28 January 2020, the Theatertreffen-jury presented their selection of ten remarkable productions of the season that have been nominated for the 57th Theatertreffen (1 to 17 May 2020).

For the first time, the independent jury has implemented a female quota of 50 percent in the position of director (directing collectives that consist chiefly of women are included in this 50 percent female quota).

Theatre critics Margarete Affenzeller, Cornelia Fiedler, Wolfgang Höbel, Georg Kasch, Andreas Klaeui, Shirin Sojitrawalla and Franz Wille viewed and discussed a total of 432 productions from Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the period between 21 January 2019 and 26 January 2020. The final jury session took place at Haus der Berliner Festspiele last night.

The productions nominated for an invitation to the 57th Theatertreffen of Berliner Festspiele are:

  • “Anatomie eines Suizids (Anatomy of a Suicide)” by Alice Birch
    Director Katie Mitchell | DeutschesSchauSpielHausHamburg
  • “Chinchilla Arschloch, waswas (Chinchilla Arsehole, eyey)” by Rimini Protokoll (Helgard Haug)
    Concept, Text and Direction Helgard Haug
    A Production by Schauspiel Frankfurt, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt) and Rimini Protokoll in Co-Production with Westdeutscher Rundfunk and HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)
  • “Der Mensch erscheint im Holozän (Man in the Holocene)”
    A Visual Poem after Max Frisch
    Director Alexander Giesche | Schauspielhaus Zürich
  • “Der Menschenfeind (The Misanthrope)” by Molière
    Director Anne Lenk | Deutsches Theater Berlin
  • “Die Kränkungen der Menschheit”
    Director Anta Helena Recke
    A Production by Anta Helena Recke with Münchner Kammerspiele in Co-Production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Kampnagel (Hamburg) and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt).
  • “Eine göttliche Komödie. Dante < > Pasolini (A Divine Comedy. Dante < > Pasolini)”
    by Federico Bellini
    Director Antonio Latella | Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel / Residenztheater, München
    (under the Artistic Direction of Martin Kušej)
  • “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare
    With Excerpts from “Die Hamletmaschine” by Heiner Müller
    Director Johan Simons | Schauspielhaus Bochum
  • “Süßer Vogel Jugend (Sweet Bird of Youth)” by Tennessee Williams
    Director Claudia Bauer | Schauspiel Leipzig
  • “TANZ. Eine sylphidische Träumerei in Stunts”
    Concept, Performance and Choreography by Florentina Holzinger'
    A Production by Florentina Holzinger in Co-Production with Spirit and Tanzquartier Wien, SPRING Festival (Utrecht), Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt), Arsenic (Lausanne), Münchner Kammerspiele, Take Me Somewhere Festival (Glasgow), Beursschouwburg (Brüssel), deSingel (Antwerpen), SOPHIENSÆLE (Berlin), Frascati Producties (Amsterdam), Theater im Pumpenhaus (Münster), asphalt Festival (Düsseldorf).
  • “The Vacuum Cleaner” by Toshiki Okada
    Director by Toshiki Okada | Münchner Kammerspiele

Yvonne Büdenhölzer (Director of the Theatertreffen) on this year’s selection:
“With a proportion of 6:4, the quota has been more than fulfilled! This year’s selection, which includes five directors making their Theatertreffen-debut, impresses with strong creations, new plays and interpretations of the classics that deliberately dismantle or reinterpret gender roles. At their centre are social panoramas viewed from unusual perspectives. Physicality as an actionist device is especially noticeable in the devised projects. The power of the ensemble creates an element of communality that becomes evident both onstage and in the working methods of the artists.”

To the jury’s statements
To the list of all productions discussed by the jury
To the rules of procedure
Press release as PDF PDF, 92 KB

Berliner Festspiele’s Theatertreffen has been supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation since 2004. At the festival’s centre are the performances of ten remarkable productions at Haus der Berliner Festspiele and other venues across the city from 1 to 17 May 2020.

A range of other established formats will complete the festival programme. In an open international competition, Stückemarkt (Head of Stückemarkt: Maria Nübling) is looking for new forms of authorship and innovative theatre languages. Every year, a newly constituted jury of artists selects five works to be presented as a guest performance or a staged reading, depending on their form, during the festival. This year’s selection will be announced in February 2020. Since 2016, Stückemarkt in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb awards a commission of work during the festival every year.

During a two-week fellowship programme in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia, the International Forum (Head of Internationales Forum: Necati Öziri) brings together 35 young theatre makers from all over the world to exchange their artistic practice and experiences. The Theatertreffen-Blog (Head of Project: Janis El-Bira), funded by Stiftung Presse-Haus NRZ, promotes emerging journalists and provides critical coverage of the festival’s events. An open call for young arts journalists and authors is still in place until 2 February 2020.

Traditionally, three awards will be handed out at the Theatertreffen: the 3sat-Award, the Alfred-Kerr-Acting-Award and the Berlin Theatre Prize of Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung, which will go to actor Sandra Hüller this year.

3sat has been the Theatertreffen’s continuous media partner since 1996. Apart from bestowing the 3sat-Award for a creatively innovative achievement to one or more artists at the Theatertreffen, the television channel also features its own recordings of three of the productions invited to the Theatertreffen in its programme. During the festival in May, they will be presented in a public viewing event on the big screen at Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz in the open air and with free admission.


With this year’s festival edition, Margarete Affenzeller (Vienna) and Shirin Sojitrawalla (Wiesbaden) will end their jury tenure. Sabine Leucht (Munich) and Petra Paterno (Vienna) have been appointed to take their places. Together with Cornelia Fiedler, Wolfgang Höbel, Georg Kasch, Andreas Klaeui and Franz Wille, they will take up their duties for the 2021 Theatertreffen in February 2020. Berliner Festspiele would like to thank all jury members for their efforts.

Save the Date – Theatertreffen 2020

  • Announcement of the Stückemarkt-selection: Late February 2020
  • Publication of the festival programme and start of accreditation: Friday, 3 April 2020
  • Start of advance ticket sales: Friday, 17 April 2020 at 14:00
  • Press conference on the start of the festival: Wednesday, 29 April 2020

To the Theatertreffen’s history
To the Theatertreffen’s archive

Additional press releases and press photos are available in Berliner Festspiele’s Press Section.

Press Contact: Claudia Nola and Sara Franke

Theatertreffen Online:

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