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57th Theatertreffen as a Special Edition: The virtual Theatertreffen from 1 to 9 May 2020 on the online platform ”Berliner Festspiele on Demand”

Due to the corona pandemic, the Theatertreffen will not be able to take place for the first time in its 57-year-long history. As an alternative, Berliner Festspiele will present a nine-day virtual Theatertreffen with on-demand presentations of theatre performances, a discourse programme on the topic of ”Digital Practice in the Theatre” as well as talks and the final jury-session.


Performance Recordings on Demand 

On the online platform Berliner Festspiele on Demand and, the virtual Theatertreffen presents six productions from this year’s selection of 10 which correspond to the digital form of presentation from an artistic perspective and/or with regard to technical requirements.

Following a welcoming address by the festival’s director Yvonne Büdenhölzer (20:00h), the virtual Theatertreffen will open on 1 May with a television recording of ”Hamlet”, directed by Johan Simons, which was realised by 3sat as part of their series ”Starke Stücke”. The recording will also be available online in the 3sat-Mediathek and broadcast on 3sat’s television channel at 20:15h on 2 May, for the first time including an audio description for the blind and visually impaired and with subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

Furthermore, on 2 May, we will present ”Anatomie eines Suizids (Anatomy of a Suicide)”, directed by Katie Mitchell (Deutsches SchauSpielHaus Hamburg), on 3 May ”Die Kränkungen der Menschheit” directed by Anta Helena Recke (a production by Anta Helena Recke with Münchner Kammerspiele in co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Kampnagel, Hamburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt), on 5 May ”Süßer Vogel Jugend (Sweet Bird of Youth)” directed by Claudia Bauer (Schauspiel Leipzig), on 6 May ”Chinchilla Arschloch, waswas (Chinchilla Arshehole eyey)”, directed by Helgard Haug (a production of Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Schauspiel Frankfurt and Rimini Apparat) in co-production with Westdeutscher Rundfunk and HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin) and on 8 May ”The Vacuum Cleaner”, directed by Toshiki Okada (Münchner Kammerspiele).

The recordings will be available for 24 hours from 20:00h of each evening – also on the websites of the producing partner theatres and the online portal Theatertreffen would like to thank the Goethe-Institut for funding the English subtitles of these theatre recordings. These online Theatertreffen-premieres will be complemented by subsequent live talks with artists involved in the productions and members of the Theatertreffen-jury.


”UnBoxing Stages– Digital Practice in the Theatre”

Corresponding with the current situation in many theatres, the virtual Theatertreffen invites artists and audiences to an exchange of ideas about theatre on and for the internet. In cooperation with the Academy for Theatre and Digitality and the Initiative Digital Dramaturgy (Dortmund) and Initiative Digitale Dramaturgie, this special festival edition will present a series of events on the topic of digital practice in the theatre under the title ”UnBoxing Stages”. In three online panel discussions on 2, 3 and 4 May, experienced internet theatre protagonists and other theatre makers will debate issues regarding a sustainable treatment of theatre on the internet and digital technologies, especially with a view beyond the current exceptional state. During a Long Night of Tutorials on 7 May, experts will share their knowledge in hands-on lectures followed by a Q&A session and will grant insights into elements of internet theatre – from setting up a live stream to interactive and participatory formats.

With: Alexander Giesche, Christiane Hütter, Georg Kasch, Janne Nora Kummer, Eve Leigh, Björn Lengers, Anne Lenk, machina eX, Matthias Lilienthal, Marcus Lobbes, Tobi Müller, Christian Römer, Christoper Rüping, Roman Senkl, Lionel Poutiaire Somé, Arne Vogelgesang, Kay Voges, Klaas Werner (Kollektiv Anna Kpok) uvm. The Theatertreffen, which is funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation, would like to thank its partners, the Academy for Theatre and Digitality (Dortmund), the Initiative Digital Dramaturgy and the online portal



To mark the invitation of her production ”TANZ. Eine sylphidische Träumerei in Stunts” to this year’s Theatertreffen, choreographer Florentina Holzinger will join performers Renée Copraij and Beatrice Cordua in a conversation about ”Physical Practice and Digitality” on 5 May. In the final jury discussion, critics Margarete Affenzeller, Cornelia Fiedler, Wolfgang Höbel, Georg Kasch, Andreas Klaeui, Shirin Sojitrawalla and Franz Wille will analyse the selection of 10 productions for 2020 on 9 May.




From 1 to 9 May, the editorial team of the Theatertreffen-Blog will accompany the virtual Theatertreffen in a special edition.


Prospects for the 2021 Theatertreffen

Since neither Stückemarkt nor the International Forum can take place this year, the artists selected for this year will be invited again to the 2021 Theatertreffen. The same goes for this year’s team of editors for the Theatertreffen-blog.

Theatertreffen Awards: The public ceremony to award the Theatre Prize Berlin of Preußische Seehandlung to Sandra Hüller will probably take place as part of the 2021 Theatertreffen. The Alfred-Kerr-Acting-Award (juror: Ursina Lardi) will unfortunately not be bestowed this year. Information on the 3sat-Award will follow soon.

Theatertreffen-jury: With this year’s festival edition, Margarete Affenzeller (Vienna) and Shirin Sojitrawalla (Wiesbaden) will end their jury membership. Sabine Leucht (Munich) and Petra Paterno (Vienna) will join the jury in their place. The 2021 Theatertreffen will once again observe a female quota of at least 50 percent in the position of directors for the selection of 10 productions.

The Theatertreffen would like to thank its juries, all artists, involved theatres and producers as well as above all the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Theatertreffen’s long-standing media partner 3sat, all other funders, partners, supporters and all participants for their cooperation.


Press Contact:

Sara Franke and Anna Lina Hinz,, Presse Section Berliner Festspiele


Theatertreffen online: 


Berliner Festspiele
Schaperstraße 24
10719 Berlin
Tel +49 30 254 89 269




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