Theaterpreis des Bundes 2023

A celebration of the diversity of the performing arts: With the 5. Theaterpreis des Bundes Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and the Media, honors medium-sized and smaller theaters - and thus the artistic artistic range of the German theater landscape. The this year's winners impress with their artistic diversity, exemplary artistic diversity, exemplary structures, the consistent aesthetic aesthetic development of the performing arts as well as innovative strategies of audience expansion, especially in the time of the pandemic.

"Theater is so much more than rehearsals, premieres, programs. It offers space for reflection, intervention and experimentation. Theater can touch and move, can critically enlighten and entertain. Theaters are places of debate and fruitful argument, places of encounter and dialogue, and thus the foundation of our open democratic society." (Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and Media)

The award ceremony on 11 Ocotber 2023 in retrospect:

Video with audio description in German.

Awardees 2023

This year, the biennial Theaterpreis des Bundes, endowed with 200,000 euros, goes to Ballhaus Naunynstraße in Berlin, which stands for Perspectives of Color like almost no other theater and has established an important space for reflection on postcolonial structures in everyday life and art.

On the recommendation of the interdisciplinary jury, the award in the category "Municipal and state theaters" goes to Theaterhaus Jena, in the category "Independent production houses" to LOFFT - DAS THEATER in Leipzig, and in the category "Private theaters and theaters hosting guest performances" to Chamäleon in Berlin. Each of the awards is endowed with 100,000 euros.

  • Exterior view of the theater building © Zé de Paiva

    Ballhaus Naunynstraße

    Awarded the Theaterpreis des Bundes

    "The theater in Berlin-Kreuzberg stands for artistic perspectives of color and offers numerous people an important space for reflection on postcolonial structures in everyday life and art. Here, post-migrant voices not only became audible for the first time, here the concept of post-migrant theater as such was invented and coined. For 10 years now, the current artistic director Wagner Pereira de Carvalho and his team have been consistently developing this path in the direction of cross-sectional diversity, not only on stage, but also backstage and in front of it."

  • Exterior view of the theater building by night © Joachim Dette

    Theaterhaus Jena

    Awarded in the category Municipal and State Theaters

    "The Theaterhaus Jena in Thuringia is convincing structurally as well as artistically-aesthetically, seeking both contemporary eye level and urban social proximity..."

  • Inner courtyard at night with people © Jana Kiesser

    Theater Chamäleon Berlin

    Awarded in the category Private theaters and theaters hosting guest performances.

    "Like no other house, the Chamäleon in the middle of Berlin stands for the further development of circus via Noveau Cirque to a contemporary circus that..."

  • Exterior view of the theater at dusk © Tom Dachs


    Awarded in the category independent production houses

    "LOFFT stands for aesthetic innovation and artistic inventiveness, for lived cosmopolitanism and inclusion, but also for ..."

#Introducings - The award winners introduce themselves:

  • Ballhaus Naunynstraße

    Video: Johanna Pohland

  • Theaterhaus Jena

    Video: Johanna Pohland

  • Chamäleon Theater

    Video: Johanna Pohland


    Video: Johanna Pohland

To the video with audio description (in German)

The award ceremony

The award ceremony gave this year's winners a stage and focuses on their innovative strength and their commitment to theater as a space for social reflection and aesthetic experience on the pulse of time - framed by live acts, music and show interludes with the band Kara Delik and the playwright Sivan Ben Yishai, among others. The evening was hosted by the journalist and TV presenter Salwa Houmsi, who is also known from ZDF aspekte.

Thanks to the team that made this event possible: Murat Dikenci (program), Florence Schreiber (set), Hannes Grätz (assistant set), Melanie Klimmer + Sabine Seifert (production), Andreas Harder (technical direction, lighting design), Daniela Berner (make-up), Antonia Gersch + Cilia Jonda (helping hands).

Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation – Kooperationen gestalten und verhandeln

In panel discussions, moderated working groups and impulse lectures, the symposium discussed potentials and conflicts of cooperative forms of work in the performing arts - on a national and international level. What are the conditions needed to sustainably anchor cooperations? How can a productive exchange succeed and how can hierarchies in cooperation processes be deconstructed? These questions were discussed and debated from different perspectives, among others with the winners of the 5th German Federal Theatre Award, actors from "Promoting Connections" of the BFDK, Silent University Ruhr, Fundus Theater Hamburg, Staatstheater Augsburg as well as Gitte Zschoch from ifa - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Sophia Stepf from Flinn Works, Akira Takayama and Abhishek Thapar.

The contents of the symposium was also translated into a spatial concept: Set designer Eva Veronica Born designed the Rangfoyer in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele to facilitate cooperative forms of exchange and equal discussion situations.


The 2023 Theaterpreis des Bundes is endowed with €200,000 and recognizes nationally remarkable and exemplary innovative work. This main prize is awarded once in total and across all three application categories. In addition, an award of €100,000 will be presented in each application category.

The overall jury decides on the award of the main prize across all categories. The jury for the individual prizes in the categories is composed as follows:

Category 1: Municipal and state theaters

Category 2: Private theaters and theaters hosting guest performances

Category 3: Independent production houses

The Theaterpreis des Bundes is awarded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The project sponsor is the Zentrum Bundesrepublik Deutschland des Internationalen Theaterinstituts e.V. (ITI) in cooperation with Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V..