A Berlin institution since the 1960s, Theatertreffen is back at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele for its 60th edition (12–29.05.2023). As always, the program is politically and socially relevant, and this time it’s about transition and political processes, responsibility and change – both in society and in theater itself. What realms of possibility can theater open up? What can it set in motion? How can it inspire, educate, politicize and, in doing so, function as art? Once again, the festival comprises ten productions selected by a jury of German-language theater critics. Picking the best stage productions is no easy task: it’s best, perhaps, just to concentrate on content. How can theater help us remember? That’s the question at the heart of Der Bus nach Dachau. Staged by the collective De Warme Winkel and produced by the Schauspielhaus Bochum, the play is intended as a sort of 21st century memorial. How can we know the horrors of Nazi Germany when no one who experienced it survived? The play centers on the making of a film about the transportation of a concentration camp prisoner. A societal meta-medium piece that negotiates with meta-memories, the piece is clever, risky, moving, hard to stage and yet so successful.

Dramatist Sivan Ben Yishai’s plays are no less clever, risky and moving. With the Münchner Kammerspiele, Yishai is staging a production of Ibsen’s breathtaking thriller Nora alongside Gerhild Steinbuch and Ivna Žic. This story of escape from the prison-like marital home serves horror and violence. Next up, Berlin’s contribution to the festival is provocative, entertaining and extreme: Florentina Holzinger’s celebrated play Ophelia’s Got Talent. This spectacle is in a class of its own: if you’ve never seen a pool on stage, now’s your chance. If you have questions about the play, you can ask them at the audience discussion after the performance (14.05). From contemporary to classical: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staged by Antú Romero Nunes and his ensemble from the Basel Theatre, will be performed at the Hebbel am Ufer with a modern twist: Helena, Puck and Zettel are portrayed by teachers in a school auditorium. This theater stages itself. What could be better suited for this than the forefather of English language theater? If you’re not afraid of fomo, we recommend checking out the full program online. But be quick: tickets sell out rapidly.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Ingo Höhn, Nicole Marianna Wytyczak & Isabel Machado Rios

We’re giving away a pair of tickets for the premiere of Der Bus nach Dachau on 16.05.2023. Write us an email to with your name and contact details.

Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Schaperstr.24, 10719 Berlin–Wilmersdorf; map

Theatertreffen (12–29.05.2023) – for the program and tickets visit the website.