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“The 44th Berlin Theatertreffen is such a refreshing experience – if it weren’t for the fact that it already existed, then I’d ask someone to invent it” – wrote theatre critic Lorenz Tomerius at the close of this year’s festival. We – the people who planned and organised the Theatertreffen, and its fans – of course agree entirely, and can only be pleased by the renewed success of this festival, which, it seems, is “forever young.”

Under the motto “Among Friends,” the Theatertreffen 2007 was attended by more than 200 participating artists from Basle, Hamburg, Munich, Weimar, Vienna, Zurich and Berlin. After 30 performances of the invited productions and a total of 60 events over 16 days, German-language theatre’s summit meeting came to a close on 20 May. All the performances were completely sold out. Many of them were enthusiastically applauded, others caused controversy and led to debate that went on late into the night. The press response from Germany and abroad was unusually high, and generally very positive.

This year the Stückemarkt broke its previous audience record. Whether for readings in the foyer or events on the side stage – the interest shown by experts and the Berlin audience was remarkable. We are very pleased for the young authors who took part, and especially for the Finnish playwright Maria Kilpi, who received the Prize for Young Dramatists awarded by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education. Her play will be premièred during the present season at Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin. At the meeting of talents at the final festival weekend our three organisations for young talent – the festival newspaper, the International Forum, and the Stückemarkt – all came together with young theatre professionals from Berlin and further afield.

My best wishes for the selection of the ten most remarkable plays of the current season which will be shown in Berlin from 2 to 18 May 2008.
The four new Theatertreffen jurors – Eva BEHRENDT (Theater heute), Jürgen BERGER (freelance journalist for Süddeutsche Zeitung and others), Stefan KEIM (Deutschlandfunk) and Christopher SCHMIDT (Süddeutsche Zeitung) – began work in early February 2007, supporting the other jurors who are staying on – Karin CERNY (Profil, Austria), Hartmut KRUG (DeutschlandRadio Kultur and others) and Peter MÜLLER (Tages-Anzeiger, Zurich).

All the best for a great tt08!

Iris Laufenberg

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