© Berliner Festspiele, Foto: Fabian Schellhorn

International Forum

The International Forum is a platform for global collaboration, the initial spark for alliances, actions and the search for diverse, local perspectives on a variety of global issues. Artists from all continents will gather in Berlin to think together, make connections and celebrate.

The 2023 International Forum Participants

The Theatertreffen invites 32 exciting artists from all parts of the world to attend and reflect the festival and to exchange ideas and experiences across artistic and national boundaries. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all participants and thank everyone for their applications!
602 artists from 74 countries responded to the Open Call published in the autumn of 2022.

The 2023 participants
All participants 2004 – 2023

A group of people, illuminated by red light, gathers in front of the side stage of the Berliner Festspiele.

© Berliner Festspiele, photo: Piero Chiussi


Coordination: Anna Popova
Tel +49 30 254 89 375

About International Forum

Theatre makers from all over the world will come to Berlin, experience art and join workshops to address a variety of issues concerning the future of the performing arts. Participants are supported by a fellowship programme. At the 2023 Theatertreffen, the artistic positions of the International Forum’s fellows became part of the festival’s programme. Applications are welcome after an open call each autumn.


The International Forum has been running since 1965 (up until 1973 under the title “Begegnung junger Bühnenangehöriger – Meeting of Young Theatre Professionals” then until 2005 under the title “Internationales Forum junger Bühnenangehöriger – International Forum of Young Theatre Professionals”), making it the oldest permanently operating institution of its kind.

While it initially served as an event series providing information and a discussion forum for young professionals from West Germany, the circle of participants expanded in 1970 to include Austria and Switzerland following agreements with these two countries. In 1980, the Goethe-Institut entered into a cooperation that spread the Forum across the whole globe. At the same time, the Forum focus shifted to practical work: after a phase of experimentation until 1975, workshops became an integral part of its programme in 1980. Since 2015, the International Forum has been increasingly open to worldwide social dynamics of development, in order to investigate the role of the theatre as a public political sphere. The Forum’s numerous workshops and discourse events have since then focused on the place of the theatre between the poles of art, politics and society.

From 1965 to 1968 the “Begegnung junger Bühnenangehöriger – Meeting of Young Theatre Professionals” was directed by Joachim Werner Preuß. From 1969 to 2005, it was directed by Manfred Linke. From 2006 to 2014 Uwe Gössel took over the reins, from 2015 to 2017 Daniel Richter, from 2018 to 2022 Necati Öziri. Since 2023, Anna Mariscal (currently on parental leave, parental leave replacement Anna Popova) has been responsible for the coordination of the International Forum.

Among the 2,000 fellows were Aljoscha Begrich, Hermann Beil, Andrea Breth, Amit Epstein, Carl Hegemann, Tarun Kade, Susanne Kennedy, Barrie Kosky, Sybille Meier, Laila Soliman, Prodromos Tsinikoris, Georg Weinand and Jossi Wieler.

The International Forum takes place in cooperation with Goethe-Institut and the Swiss Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia and is supported by the German Stage Association.
Other funding institutions are the Federal Chancellery of Austria, the Ministries of Education and Cultural Affairs of the German Länder, the Cultural Department of the State Capital Munich, the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, the Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony. This initiative is co-funded by tax money based on the budget approved by the State Parliament of Saxony.