A crowd in front of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele

© Berliner Festspiele, photo: Fabian Schellhorn

Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre / Green Ambassadors

The Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre of Theatertreffen was created as a space for theatre makers to educate themselves and develop networks for issues of sustainable cultural production.

The Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre provides stakeholders and institutions within the German-language theatre sector with a space to exchange ideas about sustainable cultural work. Representatives of the theatres and production houses nominated for the festival’s 10 remarkable productions act as Green Ambassadors, taking part in networking events and workshops. They will discuss approaches and challenges of sustainable theatre work together and develop strategies and projects towards ecologically sustainable cultural production.

Within the framework of the 2021 Theatertreffen and in cooperation with the action network “Nachhaltigkeitin Kultur und Medien”, the project Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre took place for the first time. The aim of this series of events is to actively develop a long-term network for issues of sustainability in the theatre and to connect with already existing initiatives. Theatertreffen would like to serve as a dialogue platform.


Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre 2023

Within the framework of the third edition of Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre, organised by Aktionsnetzwerk Nachhaltigkeit in Kultur und Medien and Theatertreffen, the autumn workshop on current issues regarding this topic was held on 6 and 7 October 2023: Eleven representatives of the theatres invited to the 2023 Theatertreffen discussed topics including the 2030 and 2045 climate goals, efficient management and certification systems and viable sustainability concepts towards an ecological transformation and transition.

This year’s guests, Yvonne Büdenhölzer, former director of Theatertreffen and currently director of Suhrkamp Theater Verlag, Christoph Hügelmeyer, technical director and environment management officer of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes (KBB) GmbH, Jana Popihn, assistant to the directors at NDR Kultur, and Catja Schiliing, costume painter at Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg and alumna of the 2021 Forum, gave accounts of their experiences in their respective fields of work. The two-day workshop was an opportunity for the Green Ambassadors to exchange ideas and new concepts with the aim of continuing their work beyond the Forum in accordance with the guiding principle formulated by Jacob Bilabel of the Aktionsnetzwerk Nachhaltigkeit in Kultur und Medien: “More culture with less environmental impact”.


The Green Ambassadors of Theatertreffens 2023:

Nadine Apperle, Finances & Administration/Controlling, TheaterBasel
Andrea Bettini, Actor TheaterBasel
Torsten Bill, Coordinator for Construction Management and Sustainability, DeutschesTheater Berlin
Marius Labonte, Transformation Management, SchauspielhausBochum          
Silke Messemer, Deputy Costume Director,
Katrin Michaels, Dramaturg, ResidenztheaterMunich
Johann Otten, Dramaturg, DeutschesTheater Berlin
Helene Pente, Assistant to Technical Directors, SchauspielhausBochum        
Maik Romberg, Director of Staff Dep.
Digitalisation, MünchnerKammerspiele
Julia Rosenberger, Production Support,
Wolfgang Wiefarn, Lighting, MünchnerKammerspiele

A group portrait of the participants in the autumn workshop "Forum Ecological Sustainability in Theatre" 2023 together with the organisers.

Green Ambassadors 2023

© Stefan Wieland


Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre 2023

On 6 and 7 October 2022, the autumn workshop of the Forum für Ökologische Nachhaltigkeit im Theater (Forum for Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre) took place with the second group of Green Ambassadors. A total of 17 representatives from the theatres and production houses invited to the Theatertreffen discussed urgent issues of ecological transformation and future viability of the theatre amongst each other and with invited guests.

Topics included systems for environmental management and the freedom of art as well as communication strategies and the exchange of existing knowledge and best practices. As invited guests, alumni of the previous forum, Wiebke Leithner (deputy financial director at Vienna’s Burgtheater) and Sophie Gruber (member of the communication team at Berlin’s HAU Hebbel am Ufer), gave insights into their practices and experiences. Furthermore, Charlotte Sieben (managing director of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, KBB) talked about the EMAS-certification process of KBB and the Green Ambassadors met Hortensia Völckers, Artistic Director of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, for a conversation.

The Green Ambassadors of the 2022 Theatertreffen

Ulrich Beck, Head of Artistic Administration SchauspielHannover
Claudia Bestenbostel, Communications ThaliaTheater Hamburg
Katharina Bondzin, Make-up SchauspielhausBochum
Alrun Hofert, Actor SchauspielHannover
Fabian Iberl, Technical Director MünchnerKammerspiele
Peter Keune, Technical Director StaatsschauspielDresden
Kora Kossack, Head of Facility Management DeutschesSchauSpielHaus Hamburg
Hajo Krause, Technical Director DeutschesSchauSpielHaus Hamburg
Stefano Machalek, Technical Department VolkstheaterVienna
Dorothea Neweling, Dramaturg SchauspielhausBochum
Veronika Nickl, Actor SchauspielhausBochum
Jana Popihn, Personal Assistant to the Commercial Director ThaliaTheater Hamburg
Sven Schabram, Assistant to the Artistic Director and Managing Director HAUHebbel am Ufer Berlin
Anna Schelmberger, Assistant to the Head of the Costumes Department VolkstheaterVienna
Louise Stölting, Production Manager “All Right. Good Night.” RiminiProtokoll
Christian Thurm, Head of Carpentry NationaltheaterMannheim
Daniel Veldhoen, Artistic Director MünchnerKammerspiele
Dominik von Stillfried, Stage Management HAUHebbel am Ufer Berlin

A woman in a red T-shirt speaks in front of a group of attentive listeners.

Workshop Green Ambassadors 2022

© Berliner Festspiele, photo: Alex Janetzko


Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre 2021

The first Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre began with a digital launch event on 13 April 2021, attended by delegates from various departments representing eight theatres, production houses and collectives. This was followed by the Forum’s first two-day analogue workshop on 30 September and 1 October 2021 in Berlin: A total of 15 Green Ambassadors exchanged ideas on ecological sustainability in their workplaces and discussed the opportunities and challenges of a theatre made fit for the future.

In conversations and interactive workshop sessions, the participants outlined various options for initiating sustainable transformation processes and developed strategies for implementing sustainability goals for operational structures and theatre productions. They were introduced to the EMAS Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and to the Creative Green Tools Calculator, two tools for sustainability-oriented structuring and accounting for cultural institutions and projects. As guest speakers, Charlotte Sieben, Managing Director of KBB GmbH and Thomas Oberender, Director of Berliner Festspiele, contributed examples and experiences from their own practice.

As a result of their conversations during the workshops, the Green Ambassadors framed a first set of wishes and goals for their own houses and teams, which were further debated, elaborated and discussed at a digital meeting in January 2022. The Green Ambassadors once again got together in person in the context of the 2022 Theatertreffen, where they also met a new generation of Green Ambassadors who attended the 2nd Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre that year.

The Green Ambassadors of the 2021 Theatertreffen

Anne Brammen, Programme and communications BallhausOst Berlin
Leni von Creytz, Trainee event technology specialist ResidenztheaterMunich
Frank Crusius, Technical director Cuvilliéstheater and Marstall of ResidenztheaterMunich
Katinka Deecke, Senior dramaturg SchauspielhausZurich
Katrin Dywicki, Head of operations and facility management / safety engineer DeutschesTheater Berlin
Sophie Gruber, Communications HAUHebbel am Ufer Berlin
Eva Hartmann, Management GobSquad Arts Collective
David Heiligers, Dramaturg DeutschesTheater Berlin
Paul Lehner, Production and workshop manager SchauspielhausZurich
Wiebke Leithner, Deputy commercial director and guest performance manager BurgtheaterVienna
Julia Rosenberger, Production supervisor BurgtheaterVienna
Jule Saworski, Stage and costume designer BallhausOst Berlin
Catja Schilling, Costume designer and compliance representative DeutschesSchauSpielHaus Hamburg
Björn Stegmann, Technical director BallhausOst Berlin
Patrick Tucholski, Deputy technical director HAUHebbel am Ufer Berlin
Anouk Wallerath, Personal assistant to the artistic director DeutschesTheater Berlin

Green Ambassadors 2021

Green Ambassadors 2021

© Berliner Festspiele, photo: Piero Chiussi