Theatertreffen in China, 2017

Tour Dates: 7th June - 8th July, 2017

Theatertreffen is the most important and the biggest theatre festival within German-speaking countries...

To make the 2017 event a resounding success, we have invited six leading experts to the jury: Dr. Thomas Oberender, Director of the Theatertreffen, Chen Ping, Cultural Attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Germany, Dr. Clemens Treter, Director of the Goethe Institute China, Meng Jinghui, a renowned director in China, Daniel Richter, a co-director of the Theatertreffen, and Yu Rongjun, Playwright & Vice President of SMEG Performing Arts Center, bringing several exciting productions to the eager and keen theatre audiences in China.

Highlights For Theatertreffen In China 2017

《der die mann》

Script: Konrad Bayer
Director: Herbert Fritsch
Theater: Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin

“der die mann”, based on texts by Konrad Bayer; directed by Herbert Fritsch, Volksbühne am RosaLuxemburg-Platz

“der die mann” is not a normal theatre play. It has neither plot, nor characters, nor text. Instead, it is an anarchic-poetical collage of unperformable text fragments, neologisms and nonsensical poetry by the Austrian writer and word-acrobat Konrad Bayer. His texts are disruptions of speech patterns, twitching scores and a hotchpotch of floating letters that combine to form a poetical melody. In this production directed by Herbert Fritsch, one of Germany’s most important contemporary theatre directors, words become bodies and bodies become instruments. Fritsch translates the musicality of Konrad Bayer’s artistic works of linguistic art into musical polyphonies of a multiplied ego. Together with his virtuoso stage acrobats and Ingo Günther’s live music, he creates a reality all of its own. The theatre space with its revolving stage, all in glaring red, blue and yellow and equipped with a vastly oversized megaphonefunnel, is turned into a glittering show stage for a terrific language-rock-concert, featuring speaking singers and singing speakers dressed in 1960s Beatles’ outfits. Beyond the façade of this grotesque revue, however, a world of spectacle, of antiseptic superficiality and mindless rituals becomes tangible. It is a world of interrupted communication and ideologically depleted language, in which individuals can only ever encounter their own reflection. What remains of this spectacle – once the stage magic has fizzled out – is a sense of emptiness and depression, like an existential echo of Konrad Bayer’s grey post-war era reaching into our own times.

《Stolpersteine Staatstheater》

Script: Hans-Werner Kroesinger
Director: Hans-Werner Kroesinger
Theater: Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

“Stolpersteine Staatstheater“, Documentary theatre by Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Directed by Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

You can find them everywhere in the public spheres of German cities: the “Stolpersteine” (tripping stones) created by artist Gunter Demnig. They serve as memorials for the victims of the Nazi era. There are two tripping stones in front of the building of Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, too; in memory of singer Lilly Jankelowitz and actor Paul Gemmeke. Reason enough for the Staatstheater to commission a research project by Hans-Werner Kroesinger, the most renowned exponent of contemporary German documentary theatre. In creative collaboration with Regine Dura, he has been developing manyfaceted theatre projects over the years which, on the basis of historical reports, documents, interview and eye-witness accounts, address the genesis of our present times in a review of complex political, economic and historical processes. As part of their extensive research for this project, the artists viewed the theatre’s personnel records as well as newspaper reports, propaganda texts, memoirs, official documents and eye-witness interviews. The show itself echoes this research process by seating four actors as well as the audience around a large table, where they read historical documents together. At intervals, the actors segue into short performed passages. Complex portraits illustrate how in Karlsruhe Jewish actors, a Jewish prompter and the artistic director were dismissed, arrested and driven into exile or to suicide. These portraits are representative for the fates of countless victims of national-socialist crimes. Director Hans-Werner Kroesinger opens up a collective space for memories, lest we forget, an archive of communal remembrance. The production is distinguished by its meticulous research, by the manifold perspectives it presents and by its unsentimental, critically distanced view of the horrors of German history during the Nazi era.

Activities 2017

During 2017 ‘Theatertreffen in China’, workshops as well as pre-show and post-show talks were carried out along with the onstage of ‘der die mann’ and ‘Stolpersteine’. All the well-designed interactive activities, which focused on the selection of the topic, the aesthetic value, the relationship between theatre and society and the relevance between text and art form, helped the audiences to have deeper understanding about these two works.


On 4 June, 2017 ‘Theatertreffen in China’ Press Conference was held at Goethe-Institut China.  Deputy Director of Goethe-Institut Beijing Mr. Rafael Deschka, Embassy of Germany in China Cultural Counsellor Mr. Enrico Brandt, the Dramaturge of the Director of Berliner Festspiele Mr. Jeroen Versteele, Director of Cultural Communication of Volkswagen China Dr.Christoph Ludewig, the representative of Wu Promotion Mrs. Qian Höhne, the music director of 'der die mann' Ingo Günther and the actors of 'der die mann' Florian Anderer and Werner Eng were invited to take part in the conference.


The avant garde theatre ‘der die mann’ was on the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center during 7 to 8 June 2017. The pre and post show talk attracted numerous audiences.


On July 7th and 8th, the actors from Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe presented the documentary theatre Stolpersteine Staatstheater at Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center. The Director of Stolpersteine Staatstheater Hans-Werner Kroesinger with the production team made the post show talk lasting for more than 90 minutes, helped the audiences and fans to better understand the theatrical genre and the creation of this production.


The Director of Stolpersteine Staatstheater Hans-Werner Kroesinger interpreted with fans about the use of historical material. Plenty of real historical profile was displayed on allowing audience to explore themselves.


The famous performing artist Lan Tianye, the renowned playwright Wan Fang and the well-known CCTV host Zhangyue enjoyed the last show of Badisches Staatstheater ‘Stolpersteine’.

Press Reviews 2017

"‘der die mann’ of German director Herbert Fritsch sets off a discussion between ‘theatre’ and ‘text’ in the field of drama. ‘der die mann’ is based on the texts of Bayer, it reconstructs Fritsch’s own set of theatre rules, which states the importance of both text and theatre elements. Fritsch is the ‘King’ of his theatre production."

- Beijing Ribao

"‘der die mann’ uses grotesque to pay tribute to the pop culture existing 50 years ago, but in the Audience’s eyes, it’s more like the pop culture nowadays. Who worries about not being able to construct Bable Tower? Emoji, GIF and short videos have gradually become the substitute for language, ‘Talking’ is no longer necessary for human communication. Maybe that’s why when ‘der die mann’ first appeared at the 2016 ‘Berliner Theatertreffen’ , German media and audience, who were famous for their critical thinking, highly appreciated it.The repetition and variation of colour, sound and body movement composed a continuously refreshing and stimulating score. No need to catch the meaning of this 105-minutes performance, the best way to enjoy this unique ‘carnival show’ is to open your mind and embrace all these sounds and visual experiences."

- Beijing Youth Daily

"‘Tripping Stones State Theatre’ is a documentary theatre covering time period from 1933 to present, it breaks the convention of classical unities or the fourth wall in traditional theatre productions with abundant and fragmented information."

- Southern Weekend

Jury of Theatertreffen in China 2017


Dr. Thomas Oberender
Managing Director of
Berliner Festspiele


Mr. Chen Ping
Counselor for culture affairs
of China Embassy
in Germany


Dr. Clemens Treter

President of Das Deutsche
Kulturzentrum Peking –
Goethe-Institut (China)


Meng Jinghui

Theater director


Daniel Richter

Co-Director of Theatertreffen


Yu Rongjun
Playwright & Vice President of SMEG Performing Arts Center

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