The Theatertreffen-Blog is a platform for young arts journalists and has been firmly established as an independent digital brand in the media landscape for over ten years. In this year’s edition – in the midst of a pandemic age with increased digital communication – we are more concerned than ever with the question of whether and if so, what opportunities for cultural journalism lie in so-called social media: Can theatre criticism be practised via Instagram, for example? How much information can be presented in a short TikTok video? And what new audiences can theatre reach through involvement in streaming platforms like Twitch? Does the conscious opening up to new media thus also go hand in hand with an opening up of theatre into the (digital) city?
The Theatertreffen-Blog wants to explore these questions as a testing ground, true to learning by doing. To this end, six bloggers have been invited who bring with them a wealth of experience in cultural journalism, but who have also been actively involved in theatre processes on and off the stage. They therefore know the theatre inside and out. Of course, the focus this year was once again on giving marginalised perspectives and those who like to deal with structural debates the space to express themselves and to discuss, because reflection on structures and opening up to multiperspectivity can only do theatre good.
Of course, the Theatertreffen-Blog would also like to remain true to classical theatre criticism, but at the same time find out how reviews of productions that have already been discussed several times can nevertheless open up new perspectives.
As you can see, dear readers, a vast space of questioning and experimentation is opening up before your eyes – what emerges can be followed on the Theatertreffen-Blog and on the newly established social media platforms.
The Bloggers 2022
Six bloggers are invited to accompany the entire festival through various media and performative formats. The team will report from their editorial office in the Uferstudios from 5 May 2022.
Every end implies a new beginning. The 2021 Theatertreffen-Blog took its leave from the World Wide Web, only to join the 2022 Theatertreffen with a new look and a new orientation, both in the analogue and the digital world. The 2022 Theatertreffen-Blog, the first one conceived and edited by Antigone Akgün and Ozi Ozar, sees itself as a space for experimenting with ways of considering theatre and arts journalism through performative devices. The focus does not necessarily have to lie on the written word. Instead, the aim is to create multi-media coverage with an artistic vision. In this context, the journalistic suitability of social media platforms will be tested in particular. Furthermore, the Theatertreffen-Blog intends to create a closer network with the fellows of the International Forum and the authors and artists involved in the Stückemarkt.
In 2022, six authors and theatre enthusiasts will provide critical on-site coverage of Theatertreffen. The 2022 Theatertreffen-Blog is designed as a safer space and aims to grant access to the world of culture and the media to a broad range of voices from marginalised communities. Qualifications will be honed, journalistic writing skills will be developed and new formats will be invented. Applications for participation in the Theatertreffen-Blog can be submitted in the context of an open call which is usually published towards the end of the previous year.
Relocating the festival newspaper – which was produced from 2005 to 2008 in cooperation with the Berliner Zeitung – to the internet expanded the reach and transparency of the festival’s coverage: discussions on the productions invited to the festival could be followed independently of time or place, and audiences were able to contribute their views via the comments section. The expansion of the call for submissions to include not only German but also English-speakers participants led to a more international tenor in the debates. And not least of all, requiring participants to have their own blog produced a selection of contributors who were already active online.
The Theatertreffen-Blog has developed into its own independent digital brand, and was linked by Guardian Online, nachtkritik.de and the feminist blog maedchenmannschaft.net, among others, as an original source. The Theatertreffen-Blog’s media partners include the Berliner Zeitung, EXBERLINER, 3sat/Kulturzeit, kultiversum.de, Theater der Zeit, ZEIT ONLINE and blogger Mary Sherpe from stilinberlin.de as well as Johanna von Stülpnagel from redenswinger.de/blog. These partners have given staff support to the blog editorial team and its work by releasing journalists from work to act as mentors, media support in terms of linking, and content support through their own reviews and postings.
From 2011 to 2015 the Theatertreffen-Blog was funded by the Rudolf Augstein Foundation. Since 2016 the Theatertreffen-Blog has been funded by Stiftung Presse-Haus NRZ.
The Theatertreffen-Blog was founded in 2009 by Nikola Richter, who was its head until 2013. In 2014 and 2015, Bianca Praetorius took over this position. From 2016 to 2021, Janis El-Bira was head of the Theatertreffen-Blog. In 2022, Antigone Akgün and Ozi Ozar will take over the conception and editing of the project.