Tabori Prize 2022 - Jury Decision: Meine Damen und Herren

The Fonds Darstellende Künste’s jury of experts has chosen to honor the collective Meine Damen und Herren with the Tabori Prize 2022. The collective was selected from among the artists and groups that the Fonds Darstellende Künste has supported over the past five years.

The theater ensemble Meine Damen und Herren is a permanent group of professional actors with so-called psychological disorders, which was founded in 1996 under the name Station17Theater in Hamburg.

Since their very first production, the collective has been working with various renowned directors, musicians and dancers, thus becoming very open to a variety of genres and approaches to diverse topics at an early stage. Their very first production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" in collaboration with Stefan Kurt (1996) was a great success at Kampnagel and toured immediately. With "Four Seasons" under the direction of Adelheid Müther, the group also turned to classical material and developed from it a fascinating piece of physical theater that neither emphasized nor covered up what is 'strange' about disability, but rather found other perspectives and approaches to it.

Their range expanded quickly. In the meantime, several theater pieces for children and young people have been created, including "Jetzt bestimme ich" (2017), with an artistic setting that allows students to test and question the development of decision-making processes. The theater ensemble turned to American history with "Der Tag, an dem Kennedy ermordet und Mimi Kennedy Präsidentin wurde" (2017), and in 2020 they worked on the development of a musical "10 Meter in den wilden Westen", that the artists themselves describe as a combination of queer pony farm feminism meets David Lynch. The range of topics that Meine Damen und Herren present is unparalleled.

For 26 years now, the ensemble has been developing inclusive works that inspire in a unique way and with which Meine Damen und Herren have made a name for themselves that reaches far beyond Hamburg. The ensemble members have become consultants themselves. They advise the tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf and in 2014 established an inclusive professional training program in cooperation with K3 I Tanzplan Hamburg.

In addition to their curiosity about content and the search for new plays and material, collective work is always an important issue for the ensemble which, for them, only functions through equality and knowledge transfer. They have taken this form of empowerment to a new level with “Die Stadt bin ich”, because in this mini-festival, ensemble members were able to realize and stage their own productions as directors.

The Fonds Darstellende Künste‘s jury of experts is awarding the Tabori Prize 2022, endowed with 25,000 euros, to Meine Damen und Herren. The award honors the artistic path this ensemble has taken so far and the continuous innovation in their work through the unique range of themes and methods they have been able to combine.

© Gianmarco Bresadola

Tabori Prize winners 2022: Meine Damen und Herren