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The Berliner Festspiele uses a variety of programme series and formats to pursue its objective of providing a platform for emerging artists. This objective is shared by its distinguished sponsors from the world of business. German entrepreneurs Heide and Heinz Dürr have been supporting emerging artists and scientists with their Heinz und Heide Dürr Stiftung for a number of years - including at the Theatertreffen. In 2008 they sponsored the festival newspaper and since 2009 the Stückemarkt has been the recipient of their generous support. Heinz Dürr explains the reasons for their involvement here.

Captivated by theatre

By Heinz Dürr

A significant part of the Berliner Festspiele is the annual Theatertreffen, which invites the ten most notable productions of the previous season to Berlin. And part of the Theatertreffen is the Stückemarkt, is an increasingly important springboard for unknown authors to reach major stages. The Heinz and Heide Dürr Stiftung supports playwrights and has sponsored the Stückemarkt for the last three years.
The Stückemart’s concept suits our objective of making new plays by young authors public. Plays only become theatrical works in front of an audience and here the Stückemarkt embedded in the Theatertreffen offers an ideal forum. For over ten years the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in the Schaperstraße has also offered dialogues around the productions. Among the seats spread around the garden different generations of audiences, actors, artistic directors and directors meet. Though off stage this is also theatre as I understand it, an example of work on society.
Theatre should examine social confrontations and illuminate what happens to the people involved. Text and representation on stage can do this more effectively than electronic virtuality which can be stopped at any time by pushing a button. Theatre is a confrontation and thus it is more work than passive entertainment. Because we, the audience, are interactively part of it, we live, and experience joy and suffering along with the actors, are stimulated by plays and are sometimes “captivated” by theatre. And this often leads to lively discussions.
Good plays provoke and for this we need good playwrights and the Berliner Festspiele’s Stückemarkt.
Alongside theatre and research projects in the area of human genetics, the Heinz and Heide Dürr Stiftung provides special funding for early years education. In 2000 it brought the Early Excellence initiative which had been developed in England to Germany. This initiative is not about promoting an élite but equality of opportunity and individual support for the abilities of every single child. As part of this parents are involved in the process of their children’s education from the very beginning. Especially in socially deprived areas family centres link different participants under the auspices of a day care centre.


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