2020 Series of Programming

The Selection for the Schedule of Programming is Complete

In its fifth year as well, artists and groups, in cooperation with a performance venue within Berlin’s independent performing arts community were able to apply to take part in the Berlin Performing Arts Festival via an open call. For the first time, they were asked to apply with their project to one of six themes defined in advance that their artistic work was most appropriate for.

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The six-person selection committee, together with the festival directors Sarah Israel and Tessa Hartig, chose 40 productions from the numerous submissions. The works selected from the submissions flesh out the thematic fields within the festival’s series of programming.

These series of programming bring together artists works of a wide variety of genres whose thematic content is closely related. They open a dialogue with the audience and provide the contrast of different aesthetic signatures and artistic perspective for the respective theme. The thought behind this arrangement to make the structure of the schedule of programming more explicit as well as to make it clearer and more easily accessible to the audience. The festival thus provides its visitors with a clear orientation.

Limiting the number of contributions to the schedule of programming through a selection process arising from an open call comes from the desire to continue to offer a schedule of programming that is comprehensive yet at the same time easily understandable and which demonstrates the diversity of Berlin's independent performing arts community while supporting clarity and orientation within the structure of the schedule of programming.


The 2020 Selection Committee

This year’s committee was made up of members who were invited based upon their knowledge of Berlin's independent performing arts community and/or their expertise in a specific thematic field.  Depending upon the series of programming and the state of the applications, they supported the festival leadership team with in an evaluatory or advisory function. 

The members of the selection committee for the 2020 edition of the festival were:

  • phil. Stephan Lanz (founding member of metroZones – Center for Urban Affairs and urban researcher at European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder)
  • Fernanda Parente (curator, concept developer, entrepreneur and instructor in the fields of art, culture & technology)
  • Tucké Royale (author, director, musician and performer)Ivana Sajevi (performer and co-founder of LOVE FUCKERS)
  • Lea-Sophie Schiel (member of the performance collective Hysterisches Globusgefühl)
  • Matthias Schmelzer (collaborator on the concept work on new economics and academic associate at the Institute for Sociology of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena).

The festival team thanks all members of the committee for the constructive and inspiring collaboration as well as the intense exchange concerning all of the applications submitted.

Qualification Profile and Selection Criteria


In terms of the genesis and the still-young history of the Berlin Performing Arts Festival, it is important to know that the applications were not only evaluated in accordance with aesthetic or content-based criteria. Efforts were also made to representatively portray the diversity of Berlin’s independent performing arts community, that is, the diversity of the locations, aesthetics and profiles in the shaping of the schedule of programming.

The evaluation of all applications began with the material submitted, i.e. the (video) links of the work provided, the justification for why the work should be included within the respective series of programming as well as additional viewing materials that were provided by the artists or performance venues about the artists and the production. In doing so, special attention was paid to the quality of the content of the material in order to derive information regarding the respective work and the artistic signature of the artist or artists in question. In addition, and at the same time, the question was asked regarding the extent to which the content of the work could be integrated within the theme selected as well as the extent to which the work could enrich the theme. In this regard, attention was paid to conclusive argumentation concerning the connection of the production to the theme as an opportunity for the selection committee to understand the self-image of the work.

Further more, value was placed on the artistic approach to and view of the (political) discourses in the themes and the degree of innovation involved in treating these. The respective artistic signature received special consideration and the selection committee endeavored to recognize an aesthetic position. For each theme, care was taken to ensure a diversity of thematic aspects as well as to cover a variety of genres in order to allow an exciting spectrum of aesthetics and perspectives to come into being.


The 2020 Series of Programming and Contributions from the Community


The six series of programming received different levels of interest in terms of the number of applications submitted. For series with a low number of applications, the decision was made to take the series of programming as the opportunity to address questions of the themed series or specific artistic contributions in the festival in a different way (discussions, short presentations, et cetera).


Selection of the Artistic Works for the 2020 Berlin Performing Arts Festival

The Berlin Performing Arts Festival teams is working on the design of the schedule of programming on the basis of this selection by the accompanying committee. The final schedule of progamming will be announced in April 2020.


Yoriko Maeno (Theater im Delphi), Tanja Krone (Sophiensæle), Daniela Marcozzi / Marcozzi Contemporary Theater (Theatre Expedition Metropolis), internil (Theaterdiscounter), copy & waste (Theaterdiscounter), animi motus (Pfefferberg Theater), Kanaltheater (Stammtisch), Laura Rolim de Carvalho (Site-specific: Campus Rütli  / public space), gamut inc (Theater im Delphi)


Viola Köster & Ren Saibara (Vierte Welt), Holy Conflict / Jahman Davine (Acker Stadt Palast), Anna Nowicka (DOCK11), Schauplatz International (Ballhaus Ost), ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS (Ballhaus Ost)

WE BUILT THIS CITY ON ROCK ‘N’  ROLL - Urban Exodus (or Curse)

ANONYME ANWOHNENDE (Site-specific: Park am Gleisdreieck), Christiane Rösinger / HAU (HAU Hebbel am Ufer), Hannsjana (Sophiensæle), mikala hyldig dal (Site-specific: Kreuzberg Pavillon), bücking&kröger (SOX), Maria Turik & Spree:publik (Dreiländereck / public space)

(FORGET ABOUT THE) PRICE TAG – Powerful Emptiness

Sweet Phoebe Theatre (ACUD Theater), Caroline Creutzburg (Centre Français de Berlin), tutti d*amore (Mensch Meier), Miriam Schmidtke

DONʼT LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD – A Constructive Expansion of Reality

Oliver Zahn (HAU Hebbel am Ufer), Hans Unstern (HAU Hebbel am Ufer), Johannes Müller / Philine Rinnert (Sophiensæle), Theater unterm Dach (Theater unterm Dach), Menade (Berliner Ringtheater), Dirk Cieslak, Gerko Egert, Stefan Hölscher & Netta Weiser (Vierte Welt), Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari (Vierte Welt), Julia Förster & Christian Wehmeier (Polymedialer Ponyhof), Bridge Markland (BrotfabrikBühne), ELEKTRO KAGURA (Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte), Thermoboy FK (Theaterdiscounter), Do-Theatre (ACUD Theater), Catia Gatelli (thauma) & Karina Villavicencio (BcmA)

VIRTUAL INSANITY – A Date-Based Future

Sabrina Strehl (Holzmarkt / public space), Anke Schiemann (Holzmarkt / public space), BORGTHEATER - cyborg performing theater (Kühlhaus Berlin)

Additional contributions to the schedule of programming:

____gemelos2000 & guests (Schwartzsche Villa), Raphael Hillebrand (Ballhaus Naunynstraße)