Theatertreffen in China, 2019

Tour Dates: 17th June - 15th July, 2019

Theatertreffen is the most important and the biggest theatre festival within German-speaking countries...

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.”

As one of the most prestigious theatres in Germany, Thalia Theatre from Hamburg brings with Die Odyssee the historical masterpiece of Homer‘s epic to the audience. The director Antú Nunes focused on a drifting journey of the two sons of Odysseus. They are half-brothers and met each other when they were young. Both of them inherited their father's violent tendencies. Their mothers, however, were respectively a loyal wife and a cruel witch… Through imagination and by applying popular culture, Nunes constructed the drama plot of the brothers promoting the sublimation of emotions.

Münchner Kammerspiele is considered as one of the three major Germany theatres. The famous dramatist and scriptwriter Bertold Brecht used to be resident at the Münchner Kammerspiele. Many of his works were premiered by the theatre and performed as long-running residencies. One of Brecht's early magnum opus, Trommeln In Der Nacht, was premiered by the theatre. A hundred years later, based on Brecht’s original work, the in-house director at the Kammerspiele Christopher Rüping staged the story in a contemporary ending. Both endings can be presented on the stage.

© Armin Smailovic

Thalia Theater, 2019

Die Odyssee
Tour Dates: 17th June - 3rd July, 2019

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© Julian Baumann

Münchner Kammerspiele, 2019

Trommeln In Der Nacht
Director: Christopher Rüping
Tour Dates: 7th - 15th July, 2019

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Jury of Theatertreffen in China 2019

Dr. Thomas Oberender
Managing Director of
Berliner Festspiele

Mr. Chen Ping
Former Counselor for Culture Affairs
of China Embassy
in Germany

Dr. Clemens Treter

President of Das Deutsche
Kulturzentrum Peking –
Goethe-Institut (China)

Yvonne Büderhölzer
Director Theatertreffen

Meng Jinghui

Theater director