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.
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.
At least as important as the public performances is the exchange between the groups. The Campus of the Theatertreffen der Jugend offers many opportunities for this in various theatre workshops, performance talks and discussions as well as in the framework of sponsorships. In the atmosphere of openness and curiosity at the meeting, there are numerous opportunities to continue conversations about writing, playing and directing, even when detached from the fixed programme. The festival newspaper, produced daily, reports on everything that takes place in front of, on and behind the stage. Former participants in the Berliner Festspiele’s other national contests complement the supporting programme with readings and music. The Forum of the Theatertreffen der Jugend has an extensive programme aimed at theatre teachers and theatre educators. It includes various impulse and intensive workshops and discursive formats such as performance talks and discussions on specific topics. The forum focuses on collegial exchange.