New Ensembles - Independent Groups, Collectives, Companies

Special Event Akademie der Künste (Berlin Academy of Arts)

May 20, 2017, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Akademie der Künste, Plenarsaal, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu.
[A person is a person because of other people]
Zulu saying

We warmly invite you to participate in an afternoon of discourse which focuses on the functions and characteristics of ensembles in new, independent structures.

The term “independent theater" has lost its antagonistic connotation of being "against repertory theaters” in recent years and, increasingly, it is no longer seen as a springboard to or place to wait for a career in state and municipally funded repertory theaters.
Being able to work independently, that is, outside of fixed employment conditions at theatrical institutions, is the modus operandi of numerous successful theater makers and groups. Collective and cooperative working models can offer a minimum of social safeguarding and an economic viability that can compete with some employment conditions at repertory theaters.
This brings a high degree of autonomy with it: the artists can – more or less – decide what they work on, who they work on it with and how they work. These decisions can also be reflected upon and adjusted more quickly based on the needs of and experiences of those involved.
The argument can be made, of course, that the direct dependency upon an artistic director is simply replaced by the dependency upon funding criteria and juries.
However, the transparency of public funding decisions and the high degree of artistic competence that is present in many juries (and which represents a peer-reviewed status) have significant advantages for many participants.

Register by May 20, 2017 by sending an email to:


3:00 pm
Opening greeting
Board Members of LAFT Berlin – Landesverband freie darstellende Künste Berlin e.V.

3:10 pm
Highlights of a Theatergoer from the Work and Aesthetics of Independent Groups (working title)
Eva Behrendt (Theater Heute, jury member of the 2017 Theatertreffen)

3:20 pm
Groups, Collectives, Companies – an Attempt at Taxonomy
Anne Schneider / Stephan Behrmann (BFDK – Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste [German Federal Association of the Independent Performing Arts])

3:30 pm
New Ensembles: Theoretical Approaches and Discourse (working title)
Dr. Stefanie Wenner (HfBK Dresden)

3:45 pm
Moderated by Tobi Müller (culture journalist and moderator)

Lara-Joy Hamann (Markus&Markus)
Lisa Lucassen and/or Ilia Papatheodorou (SheShePop)
Dr. Stefanie Wenner (HfBK Dresden)

5:00 pm
End of the event and drinks/snacks