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May. 7, 2019
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Berlin’s “Theatertreffen” festival to open (May 3 – 20, 2019)
An annual festival which hosts the 10 most “bemerkenswerten (notable)” theatrical pieces performed in the German-speaking world. This year, from among the 418 works presented in 65 cities, jurors made an initial selection of 39 works, and after careful consideration 10 finalist selections were made.
From the festival’s inclination toward “story theater,” many of its featured pieces are derived from “classical” works in the Western world. Examples include a Deutsches Theater Berlin production of Ingmar Bergman’s play Persona, the premiere performance of which was directed by the emerging director Anna Bergmann; a production in translation of David Foster Wallace’s novel of 1000 pages, Infinite Jest, directed by the mid-career director Thorsten Lensing; and Hotel Strindberg (a work that combines elements from The Ghost Sonata, The Pelican and To Damascus) by the internationally recognized Australian director Simon Stone.
In contrast, original works that were selected by the festival include performance troupe She She Pop’s ORATORIO, premiered at HAU; Girl From the Fog Machine Factory by the 80s-born director Thom Luz’s; Christopher Rüping’s Dionysos Stadt and The Internet by Ersan Mondtag, born in Berlin in 1987, which won him the accolade of Best Young Director with Theater heute magazine in 2016.

Festival Outline
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 at most 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. The festival director since 2003 is Iris Laufenberg.