2020 Series of Programming

In its fifth year, the Berlin Performing Arts Festival is making a change and is inviting theaters and producing entities, performance venues and artists within Berlin’s independent performing arts community to apply with artistic works addressing specific themes. The following themes will make up series of programming in the festival that serve as the basic structure for the 2020 edition of the festival and each will consist of three to seven artistic positions.

The themes were selected by the festival directors in collaboration with an artistic advisory committee. The artistic advisory committee changes every year in order to ensure that a variety of voices from the independent performing arts community are given the opportunity to shape the festival and its areas of focus.

This year, a (song) quote stands as an example for various topics. The subtitles indicate directions in which the series of programming that will result from the submissions for various topics can develop. This means that the artistic positions submitted are what will provide content for the series and give them their substance and contours.

In contrast to previous years, this year there will be a selection committee that will decide which artistic positions will be part of the 2020 series of programming from all of the artistic positions submitted. 

All applications will be informed of the selection by the end of January 2020.


In response to all of the questions that are being sent to us, we would like to ask you to please note the following:

The artistic advisory committee is composed of artists working within Berlin’s independent performing arts community as well as staff members of the four cooperating performance venues of the festival Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensaele and Theaterdiscounter. This has provided the directors of the festival with the opportunity of receiving an overview of current topics and aesthetic developments from a variety of people as well as an insight into the current state of the independent performing arts in Berlin.

The festival directors would like to thank the 2020 artistic advisory committee for the excellent collaboration: Dennis Depta, Magda Korsinsky, Tucké Royale, Ivana Sajevic, Lea Sophie Schiel, Susanne Schuster, Marielle Sterra, Oliver Zahn as well as representatives of the cooperating performance venues Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensæle and Theaterdiscounter.

The themes developed together here are content-based and purposely broadly formulated.  They are explicitly open for contributions from all genres of the performing arts: dance, theater, performance, new circus, children’s and youth theater as well as puppet and object theater.

Why are there series of programming this year as well as a committee that selects from amongst the projects submitted?

The goal of introducing the selection process is to be able to present a schedule of programming in 2020 that, in contrast to previous editions of the festival, is able to offer a sense of orientation to the audience through the series of programming and give them better access to the works included in the festival. The selection committee will be composed of the festival directors, three experts and three artist who, ideally, were already part of the artistic advisory committee. Artists and performance venues who are applying to be part of the Berlin Performing Arts Festival may not be part of the selection committee. Representatives from the four cooperating performance venues of the festival (Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensaele, Theaterdiscounter) are thus also prohibited from being part of the selection committee as these partners will also apply to take part in the festival with contributions to the schedule of programming.

If you still have any questions, please send an email to: programm [at] performingarts-festival.de


Topics of the 2020 Series of Programming

A world under threat has become a part of everyday life! In this topic, all works are invited that turn an alert eye to sociopolitical questions in a world at risk.

DONʼT LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD – A Constructive Expansion of Reality
Within this topic, we are searching for positions that are dedicated to outrageous perspectives and perspectives that have gone unheard that think about the past, present and/or future differently and provide a new narrative, reassess and reinterpret current events as well past ones.

What happens when urban space and society are rethought? Spatial positions belong at the center of this topic.

Alone together. Curse and choice. Suffering that can be sung, danced, written, celebrated, but also actively challenged. This topic is searching for positions.

VIRTUAL INSANITY - Data-Based Future
Artistic positions examining post-humanity, digitalization and the question of how, when and in what way one can communicate with objects and non-human entities have a place here.

(FORGET ABOUT THE) PRICE TAG  - Powerful Emptiness
Swansongs, declarations of war, shattered loyalty – this topic is open to artistic positions that seek to examine the structural power of capital/capitalism.

Here you can find more information about the topics of the 2020 series of programming.



Applications for the series of programming can only be made using the online form. An application is only valid if the form is completed in full and submitted online. The submission deadline for participating in the 2020 Berlin Performing Arts Festival was December 1, 2019.

– Deadline expired –


All productions submitted must have been created by professional members of Berlin’s independent performing arts community. Unfortunately, work created by students cannot be considered for presentation in the festival. We ask artists applying with their first works to please submit their work to the Introducing… format of the festival.

Artists without a performance venue / event location cannot apply unless they are working in public space or with site-specific art. If you are applying with work that takes place in public space or with site-specific art, we ask you to please write to us directly instead of completing the form.

The performance venues and event locations agree to independently ensure their participation in the festival in regard to organizational, financial and technical issues. This also applies to collective artists and groups who want to present site-specific works or productions that take place in public space.

The festival team supports the community in the implementation of the Performing Arts Festival and works toward mutual PR work and the promotion of the festival in a local, nationwide and international context. In addition, it develops series of programs, discursive conversation format as well as parties and additional moments of togetherness.

You can find more information about all of this in the FAQs here. 


If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us by sending an email to:
programm [at] performingarts-festival.de

Phone:  +49 (0)30 49 96 90 75