Welcome to the 2024 Theatertreffen

Nora Hertlein-Hull

The jury went to great lengths for this 2024 Theatertreffen: They viewed the tremendous number of 690 productions before the ten remarkable productions emerged after an eight-hour consultation in late January. For my first edition as director of Theatertreffen, it is hard to imagine a better selection. It shows the extensive range of German-language theatre – from Hamburg to Zurich, from Bochum to Jena, from literary classics to genre-defying formats; as strong aesthetic positings, as works of polished language art, superb performances by individual artists or captivating ensemble work. 

The topics addressed in the selection inspire us to engage with the urgent issues of our times. In newly developed audience discussion formats featuring impulse key notes by experts from various fields and in several discussion events and lectures, we will consider topics like (gender) equality, how to deal with new right-wing tendencies and the relationship of humanity with itself.
Like in a large ensemble, Theatertreffen is a living collaboration. On the inside, the festival is held together by a committed and loyal team and a tireless jury. Stable partnerships with our funding institutions are what make this “magic” possible. Leading the way is the German Federal Cultural Foundation. We are proud to be awarded the title “Cultural Beacon” for another five years. We also thank Goethe-Institut and our longstanding media partner 3sat. Our thanks go to all those committed to Theatertreffen and its excellence and who ensure its smooth realisation!
I invite you, dear audience, to experience, critically reflect and celebrate the richness of contemporary performing art. Enjoy the 2024 Theatertreffen!

Nora Hertlein-Hull
Director Theatertreffen

Concept/Design: 3pc

© Berliner Festspiele

Jury Essay

In Now-Time Mode. Worldliness and the present in this year’s Theatertreffen selection

From a moving musical requiem and contemporary theatre in part against a fairy tale backdrop to memorable interpretations of classical works – the works selected for this year’s edition of the Theatertreffen reflect the diversity and strength of theatre in a present shaken by war. In his essay, jury member Janis El-Bira sheds some light on, amongst other topics, how the current selection juggles worldliness and challenges the limits of the Enlightenment. In different worlds full of scepticism, mourning and surprising humour, theatre charts its true course.


Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and the Media

Current geo- and socio-political developments often leave us speechless and confused. In these times of wars, crises and growing divisions in society, we need a place where we can address and discuss critical issues and achieve some kind of understanding. The Theatertreffen offers us such a place. This festival provides a unique opportunity to experience the full range of outstanding theatre art performed on German-language stages from north to south and from east to west. 


Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska and Kirsten Haß, German Federal Cultural Foundation

“Why do we do this? We cut the answer to this question”, says Fabian Hinrichs in “Kill your Darlings! Streets of Berladelphia”, the production which received René Pollesch’s second invitation to Berlin’s Theatertreffen in 2012. These words became a witticism. While in the context of the play, the exclamation mainly related to capitalism’s self-referential production logics, Pollesch and Hinrichs always also meant the absurd beauty and the potentially cruel self-deception of the theatre’s situation. Berlin’s Theatertreffen celebrates and reflects this beauty in all of its ambivalence. 

At a Glance

About Theatertreffen

Every year, a jury of critics selects 10 remarkable productions from up to 600 productions from the German-language region to be presented in Berlin in May. The 2024 festival edition will feature discussions on aesthetic, social and culture-political issues with and in front of the audience.

More Berliner Festspiele

Gropius Bau |


Nancy Holt: Circles of Light

22 March to 21 July 2024

Over the course of five decades, Nancy Holt explored how we perceive our environment and how we attempt to understand our place on the surface of this planet. From March 2024, the Gropius Bau presents “Circles of Light”, the artist’s most comprehensive survey exhibition in Germany to date. It includes film, video, photography, sound works, concrete poetry, sculptures and expansive installations as well as drawings and documentation from over 25 years.

Gropius Bau |


Pallavi Paul: How Love Moves

22 March to 21 July 2024

With “How Love Moves”, the Gropius Bau presents the first major institutional solo exhibition of Pallavi Paul. As an artist and film scholar, Paul engages the camera as her primary tool to interrogate how regimes of “truth” are produced and sustained in public life. Through her multimedia practice spanning film, installation, performance, drawing, photography and writing, she negotiates the documentary not only conjured as film or image – but as an ecology of materials, networks, global alliances and systems.