Minister of State for Culture and the Media

Current geo- and socio-political developments often leave us speechless and confused. In these times of wars, crises and growing divisions in society, we need a place where we can address and discuss critical issues and achieve some kind of understanding. The Theatertreffen offers us such a place. This festival provides a unique opportunity to experience the full range of outstanding theatre art performed on German-language stages from north to south and from east to west. 

The ten remarkable German-language productions chosen for the festival take on the problems of our time in very different ways, but many of them share the theme of silence and speechlessness. In “Extra Life”, for example, an unspeakable transgression becomes a carefully guarded secret. “The Silence” focuses on the barriers created by the failure to communicate, while “Riesenhaft in Mittelerde”™ takes us to a world where tolerance and respect lead to the discovery of a shared language. These are all examples of the power inherent in theatre to change our perspectives and to present us with different realities which are new to us or which we are not willing to engage with in our daily lives. 

We need the theatre as a place for utopias, a place to make us think and to challenge our preconceptions. Let these works move or convince you, and be open to questioning established positions. Take part in social discourse, both within and beyond the theatre. Don’t let the present challenges discourage you or keep you from taking action! I wish everyone attending the Theatertreffen an intensive theatre experience, inspiring conversations, and the courage to enter into sincere discussions of views and ideas.

Claudia Roth – State Minister for Culture and the Media and Member of the German Bundestag