The pebble wall in the foyer of the Berliner Festspiele is protected by transparent tarpaulins that give the impression of a curtain. In the foreground there are further tarpaulins that look like a kind of sculpture.


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The four directors of the Theatertreffen on scaffolding in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Carolin Hochleichter, Olena Apchel, Joanna Nuckowska, Marta Hewelt
© Jacobia Dahm

Under Construction

In creative processes, we often consider alternative realities and models for the future. And now we are actually facing such an alternative: An equitable, multi-lingual, female team of directors is developing a new texture for the coming editions of Theatertreffen. In 2023, the ten remarkable productions from the German-language region which have been selected by the jury will be presented as usual. A the same time, ten varied, trans-disciplinary formats for encounters, will accentuate the aspect of “Treffen”, i.e. meeting, while a series of events will be conceived to create a clear resonance chamber for the festival with its rich tradition. Already existing formats like the International Forum, the Theatertreffen-Blog or the TT Context programme may be incorporated in this concept just like a series of new events which – all of them based on the various qualities of a ‘meeting’ – will be developed over the coming weeks and months.

Communicating and working in our team is already a kind of meeting in itself, where different cultures, languages, preferences and contexts come together and where we are trying to reach a consensual agreement about how we can enable safe meetings on the uncertain topics facing Europe. In doing this, we accept that the state of being “under construction” is permanent. This may appear unsettling and uncertain at times, but at the same time it can be lively, performative and transitive.

One change will concern the Stückemarkt, which will not be continued but will receive retrospectively a special tribute at this year’s 60th anniversary of the festival.

This year’s Theatertreffen will take place between 10 and 28 May 2023. The selection of ten remarkable productions as well as further details on the coming festival edition will be announced at a press conference on 26 January 2023.

Director team of the Theatertreffen (f.l.t.r. Marta Hewelt, Carolin Hochleichter, Joanna Nuckowska, Olena Apchel)

New Leadership Team

Four theatre practitioners stemming from Poland, Ukraine and Germany will take up the mantle of joint leadership of the Berliner Festspiele’s Theatertreffen in 2023. Since early September, Olena Apchel, Marta Hewelt, Carolin Hochleichter and Joanna Nuckowska have been working on planning and shaping the next festival edition. The new leadership team succeeds the festival’s long-standing director Yvonne Büdenhölzer.

Yvonne Büdenhölzer with the Theatertreffen team on stage in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele at the end of the Theatertreffen 2022

Thank You for 11 Years of Theatertreffen

“During my 11 years as festival director, we watched 690 hours of theatre together in May, saw 110 productions – performed by 1025 actors, staged by 67 directors including collectives – produced by 92  invited theatres and selected by 29 jury members. My thanks go to everyone who made this festival into an inspiring and zealous location for theatre arts: artists, partners, funders, jurors, critics, colleagues and the audience!”

‒ Yvonne Büdenhölzer, Director of Theatertreffen 2012–2022

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A Female Quota of 50 %

With its 2020 festival edition, the Theatertreffen introduced a female quota of at least 50 percent in the direction position for the selection of 10 productions. The jury and the festival’s director Yvonne Büdenhölzer have agreed to extend this rule for another two years, up to and including the 2023 festival.

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