Press Release from 18.9.2023

Word mark Theatertreffen

New Director for Berliner Festspiele’s Theatertreffen

Portrait of Nora Hertlein-Hull

Nora Hertlein-Hull

© private

Nora Hertlein-Hull will take on the position of Theatertreffen’s solely responsible director, superseding the current team of directors, Olena Apchel, Carolin Hochleichter and Joanna Nuckowska. The theatre and festival maker will assume her new position on 1 January 2024, her preparatory stage will begin in October 2023. She was appointed by Berliner Festspiele’s director Matthias Pees.

Nora Hertlein-Hull, born in Austria in 1982, is currently in charge of the festival “Lessingtage” at Thalia Theater Hamburg, which she joined in 2018 and where she is also a curator for the international programme. She has been a member of the Board of ITI Germany since 2021. Previously, she worked internationally as a touring director and production manager for the company Nature Theatre of Oklahoma (New York), for Vegard Vinge and Ida Müller (Oslo/Berlin), Salzburger Festspiele as well as Romeo Castellucci and Schaubühne Berlin. Most recently, she also worked at KOSMOS CHEMNITZ as a curator for the performance programme of Chemnitz Capital of Culture 2025, and she was a member of the selection jury of ArtEvolution, a production grant for young artists funded by Goethe-Institut Lebanon. Nora Hertlein-Hull studied theatre, film and media studies as well as Romance philology in Vienna and Bologna. She lived in the US from 2015 to 2018, where she studied “Social and Cultural Analysis” at New York University as a Fulbright Scholar.
Matthias Pees, Director of Berliner Festspiele
“Going forward, Theatertreffen will once again place greater focus on its core identity, and its accompanying programme will be developed in closer context with the ten remarkable productions selected by the jury of critics from the German-speaking region. I am very much looking forward to collaborating and exchanging ideas with Nora Hertlein-Hull, because her long-standing and successful work as director of “Lessingtage” at Thalia Theater and at other city and state theatres of the German-speaking region make her eminently qualified for the directorship of Theatertreffen for this purpose of focussing. Furthermore, she has a great deal of international festival expertise and experience as a project and production manager, curator and communicator on the interfaces of the independent scene and institutionalised theatre work. She thus stands for a highly multifaceted concentration of Theatertreffen on its core programme and for a strengthening of the festival’s international network and appeal. 
I would like to express my thanks to Olena Apchel, Carolin Hochleichter, Joanna Nuckowska and the Theatertreffen-team for their great commitment and the work they dedicated to the 2023 festival edition as well as for the impulses and new perspectives which they introduced. Issues regarding our relationship with our neighbours in Central and Eastern Europe will be artistically addressed by Berliner Festspiele at other occasions.”

In May 2023, Theatertreffen’s 60th edition once more experienced great demand with the audience, drawing more than 19,000 visitors and achieving an overall occupancy rate of 94.2 percent. Once again, a large number of national and international theatre makers, audience members and critics engaged in lively communication over the 18 days of the festival. Theatertreffen has been funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation as a major cultural institution since 2004.
Olena Apchel, Carolin Hochleichter, Joanna Nuckowska
“As a multi-lingual, female team of directors, we were invited to expand and diversify Theatertreffen and to open it to European issues, and we continue to believe in the significance of this mandate. We very much regret that the initiated ideas for this approach will not be able to find continuation within the context of Theatertreffen, and we hope at the same time that Berliner Festspiele will persist with their expansion in this direction. We would like to thank our wonderful team and all partners of the festival for their consistently inspiring and supportive co-operation in the context of the 2023 Theatertreffen, and we would like to wish our successor Nora Hertlein-Hull the best of luck and success for the festival’s future.”
Theatertreffen presents 10 remarkable productions from the German-language region, selected by seven members of a jury of critics. This jury began viewing productions for the next festival edition in late January 2023 and they will continue this process without changes.
The 61st edition of Theatertreffen will take place from 2 to 19 May 2024; the selection will be announced towards the end of January 2024. Open Calls for the International Forum and the Theatertreffen-Blog will be issued in the autumn of this year.
Nora Hertlein-Hull on her appointment
“I am very happy to take charge of Berlin’s Theatertreffen, a festival with a long and rich tradition, as its director. This festival is unique in its form and, with the support of its highly competent and experienced staff, I hope to strengthen its character as the most important presentation platform of German-language theatre. Debate and exchange of ideas about aesthetics, production conditions as well as current discourses will be the focus of the festival’s accompanying programme, along with additional international perspectives, ensuring that Theatertreffen is framed and further developed as an exciting venue for discussing the state of the art of theatre making in the German-language region.”