In May or June of every year, the Berliner Festspiele organize an international forum of German-language drama under the name of “Theatertreffen”. Selected productions from German-language subsidised theatres as well as independent production houses, produced in the German-language region, are suggested to the artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele for invitation to the Theatertreffen and performance in Berlin. The Theatertreffen’s purpose is to present remarkable productions from German-language theatres in Austria, Switzerland and Germany within a specific time-frame, thus becoming an epicentre for comparison, discussion, communication and orientation for an international audience.
The Berliner Festspiele’s artistic director invites the productions selected by a jury within the limits of an approved budget. The jury is solely responsible for the selections, regardless of the festival directors’ scheduling.
Productions may be considered for selection if their premieres occur between approximately 66 and 14 weeks before the beginning of the Theatertreffen’s events. Exceptions are admissible.
The selection is made by a jury consisting of 7 theatre critics from the German-language region. Jury members are appointed for a period of three seasons by mutual agreement between the artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele, the artistic director of the Theatertreffen and the artistic directors of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
Jury members are paid a fee and receive travel cost compensation according to the German Travel Expenses Act.
Jury sessions are chaired by the Theatertreffen’s director.
The jury’s task is to select ten remarkable productions from German-language theatres and to suggest their invitation to the artistic director.
For the festival’s editions of 2020 and 2021, the Theatertreffen’s jury commits itself to the implementation of a female quota of at least 50 percent regarding the position of directors in the selection of ten remarkable productions. Theatre collectives that consist chiefly of women are factored into the female quota of 50 percent.
This agreement will be implemented again in the festival’s editions of 2022 and 2023.
The jury members inform the Theatertreffen’s directors about productions that should be considered for selection and invitation.
The Theatertreffen’s director keeps jury members informed about all submitted suggestions promptly and at all times, also informing them about performance dates. He or she ensure that a sufficient number of jury members are able to see the named productions in due time.
Each jury member will inform the director immediately after visiting a suggested production (in writing or by telephone) whether they vote “yes” (for an invitation) or “no” (against an invitation).
Productions are considered for selection when at least four jury members have seen them and voted “yes”.
Decisions regarding the selection are made through oral vote, following a discussion among the jury.
The final selection is determined in a final jury session, approximately 12 to 14 weeks before the Theatertreffen.
Only members who have seen a production are eligible to vote on it. The jury can take a majority vote on re-admitting productions to discussion and selection that had already been declined in the preliminary proceedings.
In case of their being prevented from being present, jury members can only deliver written votes for the final session.
In the final session, jury members can decide on a divergent selection procedure for the respective Theatertreffen, i.e. they may allow for individual decisions under specific circumstances. Previous decisions are superseded by this decision.
The Theatertreffen’s director will issue invitations to the jury sessions and keep the minutes. He or she advises jury members in all questions of organisation.
The results of the votes and the jury’s reasons for their selection decisions may be published.
After mutual agreement, the jury members will provide the director with texts commenting the decisions, in time for publication in the Theatertreffen magazine.
Jury members are expected to participate in events of the Theatertreffen and to personally give reasons for the selection if required.
The rules of procedure for the Theatertreffen are issued in mutual agreement by the artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele, the directors of the Theatertreffen and the artistic directors of the Federal German Cultural Foundation.
The jury can submit suggestions for alterations with a simple majority.
This edition of the rules of procedure was passed by the artistic directors of the Berliner Festspiele, the Theatertreffen and the Federal German Cultural Foundation on 29 September 2021.