Theatertreffen Presents the Digital Showcase “Stages Unboxed”


Press release from 27 April 2021

While last year the status quo of digital theatre arts was the topic of several panel talks, this year on 19 and 20 May the festival will present four pieces that have each found their own ways of illustrating the potential of online theatre. “Stages Unboxed” is the new digital showcase of Berliner Festspiele’s Theatertreffen and continues the festival’s cooperation with the Academy for Theatre and Digitality and the Digital Dramaturgy, launched in 2020.

In a live reenactment of his own lecture performance “Es ist zu spät“, Arne Vogelgesang questions the efficacy of theatre in view of the climate catastrophe. Five years of documenting social transformation, five years of distributing information, determining his own position and living at the poverty line. The monologue summarily approaches political failure and relates the political with his theatre work. Theatertreffen presents the interactive live stream version of “Es ist zu spät” by internil (Arne Vogelgesang and Marina Dessau), developed for Impulse Theater Festival and Theaterdiscounter Berlin.

“UNDER PRESSURE” is theatre collective Henrike Iglesias’ response to the pressure to perform that is prevalent in turbo-capitalist societies. In an interactive game show, inspired by popular reality-TV, the performers compete against each other. Via an app, the audience decides who bears up best against the performance categories. The piece scrutinises the dictate of resilience, self-optimisation and stress resistance.

In a Zoom-conference, the company Teatro en Red presents the documentary work “Las Travesías (The Crossings)”. The piece tells the stories of six Venezuelan performers whose lives have been changed by political developments, and explores the phenomenon of the most recent Venezuelan migration by looking at their families’ histories. After countless relocations and constant change, the question remains whether taking on a new identity is even an option.

From the first months of the pandemic, the team of minus.eins, in cooperation with Schauspiel Dortmund and the Academy for Theatre and Digitality, have been researching digital theatre experiences, exploring issues including the questions of how real time dialogue between audiences and artists in the virtual realm works and which theatrical forms of story-telling purely virtual landscape render possible in the theatre. The VR-performance “Das HOUSE – ReInventing the Real” invites viewers to an interactive guided tour through digital cities and theatres, providing a unique glance into intermediate worlds.

“Stages Unboxed” will be complemented by a series of discourse events. On 20 May, Thomas Oberender and Arne Vogelgesang will talk about “Theatricality and Bodies in the Digital Sphere”. Each online performance will be followed by an after-show talk with the artists. The Digital Dramaturgy will accompany the digital showcase with a podcast series.

Tickets and Access
The four productions will be streamed free of charge on Berliner Festspiele’s website in various formats. Because there is a limited capacity of interactive participation in the production “Das HOUSE – ReInventing the REAL” by minus.eins, advance registration is necessary. Further information on the virtual guided tours and on the registration procedure will follow shortly on the website.

Press photos are available for download in Theatertreffen’s press area. The detailed programme schedule of the 58th Theatertreffen is published on