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The International Forum – how it became what it is today

The International Forum has been in existence since 1965, the second year of the Berlin Theatertreffen, which makes it the most longstanding event of its kind. Until 1973 it was entitled the ‘Young Theatremakers’ Meeting’, and from 1973 to 2005 it was called the ‘International Young Theatremakers’ Forum’. Initially a programme of information and discussions for young theatre professionals from West Germany (East Germany did not take part in the Theatertreffen), it was widened in 1970 to include participants from Austria and Switzerland. The co-operation with the Goethe Institut Munich and its branches which began in 1980 extended it to cover the entire world. At the same time the focus of the Forum shifted in the direction of practical work; following an experimental phase from 1975, workshops became an integral part of the Forum programme in 1980.

From 1967 until 2005 the International Forum was directed by Manfred Linke. From 2006 this role has been taken over by the dramaturg Uwe Gössel.

In the year 2000 the International Young Theatremakers’ Forum was awarded the Kortner Prize, funded by Friedrich Stiftung (Velber) and presented by Theater Heute magazine. The German Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI)’s prize for World Theatre Day 2001 was awarded to the International Young Theatremaker’s Forum and its director Manfred Linke.

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