The Theatertreffen’s Open Campus is the place where the theatre makers of tomorrow meet and create networks.
The Open Campus provides a place to connect and debate in the context of the festival. Students from universities, art academies and theatre institutes will attend the Theatertreffen’s performances and the discourse programme of the festival to begin an exchange about aesthetic and socio-political issues as well as their own interests. As part of the Exchange Treffen, the 2023 programme will included encounters with the International Forum and there was a further networking opportunity with the Theatertreffen-Blog.
The Open Campus was launched in 2012. As part of this format, emerging actors, directors, dramaturgs, scenographers and theatre scholars from universities, art academies and theatre institutes from the German-language regions attend the Theatertreffen’s performances and discourse programme. Through workshops and discussions with artists and the festival team, students come into contact with different aesthetics and ways of working.
In 2018, the Open Campus opened up to include school students from Berlin as part of a cooperation with LiteraturInitiative Berlin (LIN). During the 2018 and 2019 festivals, they focussed on one or two selected Theatertreffen events. These visits were complemented by talks with participating artists which were moderated by the students themselves to make sure that the young people’s perspective were at the centre of these talks.
In 2020, the Open Campus had to be cancelled at short notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, the Open Campus was hosted online. Apart from Zoom-meetings with participants of the selection of ten invited productions, Stückemarkt-authors and the festival team, various online networking options among the various groups of students were provided. In addition, a one-week analogue workshop on New York’s Living Theatre was hosted in cooperation with the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media as part of the festival’s “Focus Living Theatre”. Under the guidance of actors Marcel Kohler and Nils Strunk and in cooperation with the former Living Theatre Member Thomas Walker, eight acting students developed performative acts and reflected on the Living Theatre from today’s perspective.
Since 2021, a workshop programme in performance analysis has been hosted in cooperation with Freie Universität Berlin for the students of the Berlin cooperation schools of LiteraturInitiative Berlin. Theatre scientist Torsten Jost guides the students in exploring their own perception in the theatre and in finding out about new points of view. The students then note down their own impressions and perspectives in texts that are published on the Theatertreffen-blog.
Since its inception, an annual intake of between 100 and 150 students from schools and universities have taken part in Theatertreffen’s Open Campus-programme. The Open Campus was founded by Yvonne Büdenhölzer. Anneke Wiesner was the project’s director from 2013 to 2022. Laura Hänel has been coordinating the Open Campus since 2023.