“Theatertreffen” to open in Berlin (May 6 – 21, 2017)
Held each year in May, this festival focuses on the German-speaking world. A panel of approximately seven theater critics within the German-speaking world set out to choose “the ten best productions of the year” each year: selections are made from among works presented in the German-speaking countries of Austria, Switzerland and Germany between 66 and 14 weeks prior to the commencement of the festival. The criteria for selection are published later in the Theatertreffen festival magazine. This year, from among the 377 works presented in 63 cities within the German-speaking world, 38 pieces were nominated, and after careful consideration 10 final selections were made.
Final selections of the Theatertreffen included large productions such as Pfusch (premiered at the Volksbuhne Berlin) by regular selectee Herbert Fritsch and The Rider on the White Horse (premiered at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg) by Johan Simon; as well as Five Easy Pieces (premiered at the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Belgium, Sophiensaele in Berlin) by director Milo Rau and Real Magic (premiered at PACT Zollverein in Essen) by Forced Entertainment, based in Sheffield, UK, both more strongly associated with the independent theatrical scene. The inclusion of works by young directors, such as Sad Musician by the Swiss director born in 1982, Thom Luz (premiered at the Staatstheater Mainz) and Three Sisters directed by 1984-born Simon Stone, also from Switzerland, has also been noted.
This theater meeting is held every year in Berlin in May since 1963. From among the roughly 2,000 theater productions performed each year in the German-speaking countries of Austria, Switzerland and Germany, a jury of freelance theater critics select ten outstanding works to be invited to this festival, which has gained a reputation as a proving ground for young theater makers. During the festival period, the organizers of the Theatertreffen, the Berliner Festspiele, cooperates with the Head Office of the Munich Goethe Institute and Switzerland’s Arts Council Pro Helvetia to organize two weeks of workshops known as the International Forum. This forum is attended by theater-makers under the age of 35, not only from the German-speaking countries but also from other countries around the world. With introductions of scripts and discussions, the forum serves as a platform for young theater people. In addition to the introduction of scripts, it also functions to present two weeks of workshops.