The Theatertreffen der Jugend
This national contest was founded in 1979 and its scope is youth theatre work in the fullest range: this includes classes and theatre work groups in schools, independent groups, and youth clubs at theatres. Theatre groups are required irrespective of whether they choose theatre texts, or use researched or biographical material as a starting point for their productions, or whether they choose their own themes, or articulate views and develop their own appropriate artistic form for these on stage. Applications must include a recording of a performance or a complete rehearsal run-through.
A jury of 9 members will select the award winners. The expert jury – made up of theatre educators, theatre teachers and two former participants among others – will select around twenty productions from the applications. After visiting performances of the pre-selected plays and talks with the ensembles, eight award-winning productions will be invited to Berlin. The central focus of the jury is on perspectives that pertain specifically to young people, and the appropriate development and realisation of the material by the entire ensemble. Rather than perfect acting skills, the personality and attitude of the performers play a decisive role for an invitation to the Theatertreffen der Jugend.
Every day, one of the eight selected ensembles will perform their productions in front of an audience at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. To set up and rehearse, each ensemble will be allocated one day and the entire technical support of the Berliner Festspiele. All performances will be recorded.
Aside from the public performances, the interaction of groups is equally, if not more, important. The Campus of the Theatertreffen der Jugend offers many opportunities for this via various theatre workshops, performance talks and discussions, and through a mentor principle. The open and inquisitive ambiance created during the festival, especially in our inviting Berliner Festspiele garden, also offers manifold opportunities besides the festival programme to continue discussions on writing, acting and performing in a relaxed atmosphere. The daily festival newspaper will report about events in front of, on and behind the scenes. Former participants of other Berliner Festspiele contests complement the overall programme with readings and music.