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Theater in Germany

These links offer addresses, news and background information on state and independent theaters, dance and opera for viewers as well as theater professionals.

Hoeneß-Leben als Theaterstoff
© dpa

Association of German Amateur Theaters

Around 2500 theater groups make up the Association of German Amateur Theaters (Bund Deutscher Amateurtheater e.V.) As an umbrella organization, it encourages the funding of German amateur theaters and represents them in dealings with all institutions involved with theater. The BDAT oversees issues of theater studies, acting training and organization in the theaters and runs training courses.

Federal Association of Independent Theatres

About 1,500 free theatres (solo theatres, groups and theatre houses) are active in Germany. The Bundesverband Freier Theater (BuFT) represents their interests at the federal level and advises German politicians specializing in cultural and social policy on all matters relating to the free performing arts. It also collaborates and interacts closely with national and international federations.

German Theater Association

Here you can step out onto “the boards which mean the world“ (Schiller): on its portal, the Federal Association of German Theaters (Bundesverband Deutscher Theater) provides information on theatrical professions, formulates positions on cultural policy, such as noise guidelines for orchestras or collective wage agreements for artists.

Duisburg Accents

Duisburg sets new “accents” annually with music, film and theater. The makers of the festival in North Rhine-Westphalia highlight a different new topic each year. The venues are also very diverse: Since 1977, Duisburg Accents have been enjoyed not only on the stage, but in parks, museums and galleries as well.

German Centre of the International Theatre Institute

In 1946 UNESCO called for the establishment of a world organization of theatre people. The idea behind it was that the theatre enables a culture to express itself artistically in the most direct and comprehensive way and that, consequently, more than any other art form, the theatre can promote and deepen people’s understanding of foreign cultures. The German Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) is based in Berlin and brings together approximately 200 artists, theatre experts and institutions.

The curtain goes up on the next generation. Young people who dream of becoming a director, playwright or actor should take a look at this website. Here the German Children‘s and Youth Theater Center has gathered information and important dates on competitions, festivals and projects.

Ruhr Festival

The Ruhr Festival was held for the first time in the frosty winter of 1946. Miners from Recklinghausen gave theater people from Hamburg coal to heat their stages – and to say thank you, the Hamburg artists put in a special guest appearance in the Ruhr area. Today, the festival presents internationally renowned theater every May and June. The festival is organized by the city of Recklinghausen and the German Confederation of Trade Unions.


Industrial monuments in the Ruhr industrial region, including former coalmines or machine shops, are transformed into venues for the Ruhrtriennale, the international art festival, each year. From midsummer and into the fall, visitors experience a top-class program of events highlighting music, theater, literature and dance. The directors and the topics featured at the Ruhrtriennale change every three years.

Theater of the World

Germany’s largest international theater festival: “Theater der Welt” (Theater of the World) presents current trends in the world of theater. Companies of actors, dance, music and puppet theater have been giving guest performances in different host cities every three years since 1981. The organizer is the German Center of the International Theater Institute, which operates under the auspices of the UNESCO.

Verband Deutscher Freilichtbühnen (Association of German Open-Air Theaters)

Theater in the open air for five months a year: this is provided by the 90 professional open-air theaters which have joined to form the Association of German Open-Air Theaters (Verband Deutscher Freilichtbühnen e.V., VDF). As well as offering amateurs consulting for their productions, the VDF also provides assistance with advertising and organizes work with young people.