SPIELART is a festival for contemporary theatre both nationally and internationally. It scrutinises theatre as an art form, exploring and continually reconstituting it from its periphery. SPIELART creates lasting relations with local and international artists while actively advocating for the promotion of new talent as well as for the structural improvement of international theatre production.
SPIELART has, in its 14 editions thus far, presented more than 500 stagings, performances, lectures, and installations – many of those were the German or even overall premieres. Numerous artists and theatre collectives, unknown at the time of their appearances, now populate the stages of important European theatres and festivals. Among them are Stefan Kaegi / Rimini Protokoll, Forced Entertainment, She She Pop, Gob Squad, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Philippe Quesne and Toshiki Okada.
Initiated by Tilmann Broszat and Gottfried Hattinger in 1995, the festival was jointly managed by Tilmann Broszat and Sophie Becker since 2017, while Sophie Becker took over the artistic and festival management duties from the 2021 edition onward.
Every two years, SPIELART transforms the city of Munich into a stage for an intense examination of current socio-political questions. Initially founded as a counter-project opposite the established programmes of municipal and state theatres of the time, the festival has long since been embedded within the city’s cultural life, and it engages in vivid dialogue with its artistic actors and cultural institutions.
Exceptional event formats offer a diverse range of entry points to the festival programme for the Munich audiences: Urban participatory projects such as CITYWORKS (2013) or GLOBAL ANGST (2021) and the festival centre as a space to linger, for rousing parties and concerts invite the public to become part of the SPIELART community.
Under the impression of the 2008 financial crisis, an increasingly political programming realignment took shape, integrating a growing number of discursive series to enable a direct exchange with the audience. The SHOW ME THE WORLD symposium as well as the discourse and performance weekend CROSSING OCEANS (2017) extended the hitherto Eurocentric angle to encompass a more global, postcolonial perspective.
In this context, there has been a growing significance in the collaboration with co-curators who have helped shape SPIELART to this day, providing important impulse:
Chiaki Soma (2017), Kyoko Iwaki (2017), Jay Parther (2017), Boyzie Cekwana (starting in 2019), Laila Soliman (2019), Eva Neklyaeva (starting in 2021), Julian Warner (2021), Mallika Taneja (2021), Ogutu Muraya (2021), and Betty Yi-Chun Chen (2023). The resultant work relationships, especially those towards Africa and Asia, have been intensified through autonomous mentoring projects.