Curtain Down on the 4th Theatertreffen in China with “Die Odyssee” and “Trommeln in der Nacht” Making a Splash

The jury panel, consisting of five theatre professionals from both China and Germany...

Organized and promoted by Wu Promotion, co-promoted by Berliner Festspiele/Theatertreffen, jointly organized by Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center and Goethe-Institut China, the 4th Theatertreffen in China, with the support of Mr. Chen Ping, former Minister Counselor for Culture Affairs of Chinese Embassy in Germany, Volkswagen Group China, Germany Embassy in China and Great Theatre of China (Shanghai), has completed our programs in June and July 2019. The jury panel, consisting of five theatre professionals from both China and Germany, has handpicked two distinctive dramas for theatre-goers, namely Hamburg Thalia Theater's Die Odyssee – a play adapted from the Homeric Hymns, and Munich Kammerspiele’s production of Brecht's masterpiece Trommeln in der Nacht.

The 6 performances and 19 outdoor outreach programs comprehensively displaying the current state and wide variety of German theatre attracted over 5200 audiences, who made about 1500 critiques and comments altogether. By now over 100 media have reported the event with more than 164 articles published, and the topical discussion on Weibo gained 1.78 million views.

As Beijing Daily commented, “The elements adopted, such as improvisation and happening, undoubtedly help extend the creative possibilities of postmodern theatre. In Odyssee the history and the truth about the past are vitalized through a kind of rephrasing.” Trommeln in der Nacht also drew much attention and aroused discussion, as The Beijing News wrote, “Stay away from and be wary of all choices. It is enough to be just frantic or watch coldly from a subsurface distance or take stock. The endings of the two versions are actually created by the power of choice-making, aren’t they?”

Since it made its first appearance in a blaze of glory in 2016, Theatertreffen in China has been successfully held four times. With its unique front-line view and the supreme artistic quality, it has gradually established a top-notch brand in the realms of theatre in China. As Dr. Thomas Oberender, Managing Director of Berlin Festspiele, once said, “International cooperation and cross-cultural exchange have been more and more important to Berlin Festspiele, and Theatertreffen in China provides an ideal platform for the communication in the process.”