Tickets have gone on sale for the 35th annual Berlin "Theatertreffen". This event brings nine of the most important and most talked-about productions of German-language spoken theater to Berlin for three weeks in May.
Two of the productions were directed by Thomas Ostermeier at the Baracke stage of the Deutsches Theater: Messer in Hennen by David Harrower and Shoppen & Ficken (Shopping and Fucking) by Mark Ravenhill. Shopping has enjoyed a great deal of attention from the press, and the German version of the text was published in the March issue of the magazine "Theater Heute". 29-year-old Thomas Ostermeier is one of the founding members of the Baracke, one of the most successful "off" ensembles in Berlin. He recently accepted an offer to assume artistic leadership in 1999 of the Berlin Schaubuhne, one of the largest and most prestigious acting companies in Germany.
Stage director Einar Schleef will also present two current productions: Salome, which he staged at the Dusseldorf Schauspielhaus, and Sportstueck, the five-to-seven-hour spectacular playing at Vienna's Burgtheater.
Vienna will also be represented by Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which George Tabori directed at the Akademietheater.
Other productions selected to be presented are Christof Marthaler's The Unanswered Question by the Theater Basel, Thomas Berhard's Alte Meister (Old Masters) by the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Ibsen's Enemy of the People from the State Theater of Lower Saxony and Elfriede Jelinek's Stecken, Stab und Stangl, from the Schauspiel Leipzig. Ms. Jelinek is also the author of the aforementioned Sportstuck. The "Theatertreffen" begins on May 1 with The Unanswered Question and continues through May 21. Nearly every performance will be videotaped by 3Sat, a German TV network, and will be broadcast during the festival.
For information regarding performance dates, broadcast plans and tickets, call the Berlin Festival at (++49) 30 / 254 890.
--By Scott Lawton