Conclusion of the Digital Theatertreffen 2021


Press release from 25 May 2021

The digital festival edition of the 58th Theatertreffen of Berliner Festspiele ended on Monday, 24 May 2021 with a live stream of the production “SCORES THAT SHAPED OUR FRIENDSHIP” from Munich, a project by Lucy Wilke and Paweł Duduś featuring music by Kim Twiddle, as well as the Theatertreffen-jury’s final discussion and a song by Danger Dan. Over a period of 12 days, the festival presented a comprehensive programme of around 80 hours of events containing 56 streams on its new, experimental venue Berliner Festspiele Digital.

During the festival period of 13 to 24 May 2021, the streaming options, to be experienced for the most part as unique live events, were accessed 47,702 times worldwide. The Virtual Festival Garden drew around 2,550 visitors, while around 1,300 viewers explored the two 3D sets. During many of the performances and talks, the audience made use of the live-chat option to communicate. Furthermore, a total of approximately 65,500 emoticons were posted.

The 2021 Theatertreffen on Demand – What Will Remain, What Will Be New:

The Selection of 10 Productions
The ten “remarkable productions” selected by the jury were presented in the form of live streams or recordings during this festival, which is funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation. The recording of the Munich production “SCORES THAT SHAPED OUR FRIENDSHIP” is available for viewing on demand until 23:59h today. The television recordings that our media partner 3sat produced specifically for the festival and which are part of their series “Starke Stücke”“Automatenbüfett” (Burgtheater Vienna), “Maria Stuart”more (Deutsches Theater Berlin) and “Graf Öderland” (a coproduction of Theater Basel and Residenztheater Munich) – will still be available for viewing in the ZDF/3sat-Mediathek until 11 September 2021. The digitalised and virtually accessible 3D sets for “Einfach das Ende der Welt” and “Graf Öderland” and can be visited until further notice.

Stückemarkt presented scenic readings and performances by six authors from Great Britain, Canada and the US. At its conclusion on Sunday night, 23 May 2021, Stückemarkt and the ensemble of Schauspiel Dortmund awarded this year’s Stückemarkt Commission of Work, which is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb, to the collective Ta-Nia, Talia Paulette Oliveras and Nia Farrell. The commission entails the realisation of a new work by Ta-Nia at Schauspiel Dortmund during the 2022/23 season.

Discourse and Accompanying Programme
This was the third successive year that Theatertreffen focused on issues of gender equality and the abuse of power in the theatre with “Practice What You Preach”. The situation of the performing arts during and in the aftermath of the pandemic was the topic of a series of discussions that Theatertreffen initiated together with the Performing Arts Festival Berlin under the title of “What Are We Waiting For?” These talks can be accessed on Two further talks will take place on 27 and 28 May as part of Performing Arts Festival Berlin and can be viewed live on without prior registration.

The showcase “Stages Unboxed” was conceived together with the Academy for Theatre and Digitality and Digital Dramaturgy, and presented four selected digital theatre formats. The conversation “Theatricality and Body in the Digital Sphere” between Thomas Oberender and Arne Vogelgesang can still be accessed online, as can the four-part podcast series “Perspectives Unboxed”.

On the occasion of Berliner Festspiele’s 70th anniversary, Theatertreffen dedicated a series of focus events to the Living Theatre from New York. The first German translation of Julian Beck’s canonical collection of writings, “Das Theater leben”, is available from the publishing house Theater der Zeit. Accessible until further notice are one reading and two talks about theatre as a medium of political action and the traces of Living Theatre to be detected in contemporary theatre.

Due to the pandemic, the International Forum had to be cancelled once more. The 35 international artists were invited again for the coming year. In the meantime, some of them allowed us an insight into their artistic practice through video messages.

The Theatertreffen-Blog supplied critical coverage on This year’s edition was the final one in the present form. Berliner Festspiele would like to thank Janis El-Bira, who headed the blog for the past six years. Promoting emerging talents is still one of the festival’s important concerns and a follow-up project to continue the Theatertreffen-blog’s discursive quality is currently in its planning stages.

With this year’s festival edition, Cornelia Fiedler, Wolfgang Höbel and Andreas Klaeui have ended their jury membership. Mathias Balzer, Katrin Ullmann and Sascha Westphal were appointed in their place. Together with Georg Kasch, Sabine Leucht, Petra Paterno and Franz Wille, the three critics have already begun their work for the 2022 Theatertreffen. Berliner Festspiele would like to thank all jury members for their commitment and efforts. To the jury

Welcoming words, texts and podcasts on this year’s Theatertreffen can be found here.

»I would like to thank the wonderful actors, artistic teams and theatres who contributed to this festival and all experts who enriched our TT Context-programme as well as our partners who once again set out on digital pathways with us. I would also like to thank my team, all colleagues at Berliner Festspiele, especially the communications and technical departments, the development team of the platform Berliner Festspiele Digital, serve-u technical support and Best Films Forever. Together, they transformed Haus der Berliner Festspiele into a streaming studio in order to carry digital live programme into the world over 12 days.«
‒ Yvonne Büdenhölzer, Director Theatertreffen

Save the Date
The 59th Theatertreffen will take place from 6 to 22 May 2022.

Theatertreffen is funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation. Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Theatertreffen would like to thank its funders, partners, supporters and all participants for their cooperation and its audience for their interest.

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    Impressions of the 58th Festival Edition
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