The festival's history until 2010
The Baracke am Deutschen Theater and the »Wochen Neuer Internationaler Dramatik« festival
When Thomas Ostermeier and Jens Hillje took over the artistic directorship of Baracke am Deutschen Theater in Berlin in 1996 they quickly began to introduce new international plays. The smaller-scale festivals, the »New International Weeks of Drama«, introduced new French, British, American and Russian drama in staged readings. Smaller guest productions from countries like England, France and Russia made up the programmes of these festivals. In all, from 1996 to 1999, there were six of these mini-festivals held at the Baracke am Deutschen Theater Baracke. These festivals gave the German-speaking public access to hitherto unknown writers and plays that later found their way into the repertoires of many German and European theatres. They contributed significantly to the newfound prominence given to contemporary international drama.
F.I.N.D. 1 took place in November 2000 and began the Schaubühne«s collaboration with internationally renowned writers and theatre groups who had already begun working at the Baracke am Deutschen Theater. The festival presented discoveries and developments in international contemporary drama in the form of staged readings from plays from countries including France, America and England, and international guest productions by theatre groups, including ZT Hollandia under Johan Simons and the Russian writer and actor Evgeny Griskovets.
For F.I.N.D. 2 (December 2001), contacts that were made in the first year of the festival were strengthened. Directors from Australia, England and Lithuania were invited to lead the Schaubühne ensemble and work on staged reading of new plays from Japan, Finland and America, among other countries. Four actors went to the Krétakör Theatre in Budapest to work with Hungarian actors and the director Arpad Schilling on a Phèdre project. Additionally, productions from Croatia (ITD Theatre/Zagreb) and Spain (La Carnicería Teatro/Madrid, director Rodrigo García) were invited to the Schaubühne to present guest productions.
F.I.N.D. 3 took place in January 2003 and had a four-fold focus: America, Scandinavia, the Dutch/Flemish theatre and the most recent German plays. Staged readings introduced plays from Iceland and Sweden. Guests included theatre groups from Belgium, Holland, Scotland and Spain
F.I.N.D. 4 took place in January 2004 under the motto »Our way of living« and engaged with the phenomena of violence, war, the economy and media-controlled democracy in the present as well as the recent past and the resulting consequences for the individual. We presented new German plays by, among others, Marius von Mayenburg and Franz Xaver Kroetz, new plays from Australia and England and guest productions from Sweden, Spain and Norway.
The focus of F.I.N.D. 5 was contemporary playwrights from Asia. We presented plays, guest productions, playwrights and directors from Japan, China and Singapore. A recurring theme was the tension between the traditional and the modern. Plays and guest productions from Canada, Scotland, England and Argentina enlightened us concerning the living conditions of the modern city from a western perspective
F.I.N.D. 6 took place under the motto »Orient Express« and introduced the young theatre scene from Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia and Istanbul. Alongside staged readings, international authors wrote stories about a fictitious transeuropean train journey for the Schaubühne-conceived project Orient Express. Guest authors also included playwrights from France and England. Falk Richter presented his new play State of Emergency.
The focus of F.I.N.D. 7 was on new plays from Israel. The Israeli-Palestinian region is one of the most pressing crises in world politics, one whose history is closely linked to Germany«s past. This was the starting point for our engagement with new plays from the Middle East. Plays by Ido Bornstein, Hillel Mittelpunkt and Yael Ronen, among others, were presented. Yael Ronen«s play was developed the following year as the German-Israeli-Palestinian work-in-progress production Third Generation.
In November 2008, the eighth F.I.N.D took place with a focus on Palestine, at the centre of which was an engagement with the Palestinian theatre scene. Through the presentations of the plays and theatrical forms from Palestine as well as the extensive collaborative work with Palestinian artists, an attempt was made to confront the highly explosive reality of life there. Despite the difficulties of life for Palestinian artists, alongside the Arab-Hebrew theatre in Israel, an interesting theatrical landscape has also sprung up in the West Bank. Theatre makers have developed very different ways of dealing with the daily political situation, as much with as with the conflicts and ruptures within their own society. Their works move along the tightrope of ideology, culture and religion – tradition and modernity. The »focus on Palestine« festival thus began the highly successful and fruitful presentation of Israeli theatre at the Schaubühne in March 2007.
In March 2009 we presented the »International Author's Festival on Identity and History - Digging deep and getting dirty« .
1919-1929-1939-1949-1989-2009: In a year of anniversaries, six authors from five countries dedicated themselves to the task of using the past to write about the present. Identity - individual and collective, cultural and political, played a central theme in all of the resulting pieces, creating complex performances on many levels. The audience was invited to discover the productions of these new plays during our ten-day authors' festival. Amongst them were »Third Generation« by Yael Ronen & the Company, a co-production between the Schaubühne and the Habima Theatre, Israel. Together with a group of Israeli, Palestinian and German actors, Yael Ronen analyzed the Gordian knot as a means of defining the relations between these three nations. Terms such as memory and guilt, perpetrator and victim, and their meaning for us today, both in their public and private use, were explored. Our director, dramaturg and playwright in residence, Marius von Mayenburg, was represented by two productions. »The Stone« written by von Mayenburg, traces the intertwined fates of the occupants of a house in Dresden between 1935 and 1993. The scenes focus on one German family as they jump boldly between the times and culminate in a very human story of guilt, repression and the reinterpretation of the past. In the context of our overall theme »60 Years of Germany« Marius von Mayenburg also directed »The Pigeons«,by David Gieselmann, which was the winning play in the Schaubühne's comedy competition. »I want to get away« are Robert Bertrand's first words in »The Pigeons«. A short time later, he is gone, literally. And then François Bertrand appears on the scene, Robert's pigeon-breeding, half-brother, who arouses romantic feelings in Robert's wife, Gerlinde, aswell as in the Dutch safecracker, Silja. Also in the programme were »Todo« (World Premiere) and »Buenos Aires« by Rafael Spregelburd, and Mark Ravenhill's »Over There« (World Premiere), Dorota Masłowska's »Wir kommen gut klar mit uns« (»We Get on Alright Together«-World Premiere) and a production by the free-lance company Turbo Pascal entitled »Wir werden wieder wer gewesen sein« (»We Shall Have Been Somebody Again«).
F.I.N.D. 2010 took the »Three Americas« as its overall theme. Inspired by the 200th anniversary of the struggle for independence in the former Spanish-run colonies of the Americas, the festival presented the various English, Spanish and French theatre traditions of this continent. The festival aimed to use this focus on theatre, with its commentary on the social, economic and cultural conflicts in this part of the world, as the basis of an exploratory debate on the future constitution of a globalized world. There were guest performances of work by the Argentine-born theater directors Rodrigo García and Rafael Spregelburd, as well as a production of »Scorched« by the French-Canadian-born Wajdi Mouawad. Staged readings of new plays from Mexico and the United States were presented alongside the particularly successful adaptation of the Chilean epic novel »2666« by Roberto Bolaño, directed by Alex Rígola. Patrick Wengenroth was engaged in a project entitled »The Americas - War of the worlds« which focused particularly on the European perspective. The panel discussion »Streitraum Spezial – Die Amerikas« created a debate between theatre practitioners, theorists and the festival audience.
Until 2010, The Schaubühne yearly held a playwriting competition.
From among the submissions, the jury, consisting of the Schaubühne’s dramaturgy department and its author-in-residence Marius von Mayenburg, selected »kopftot«, the work of 20-year-old Gerhild Steinbuch.
Christoph Nußbaumeder won the second Drama Competition in 2004.
The winner of the third Drama Competition was Johanna Kaptein. The jury selected her work »The History of St. Magda.«
The winner of the 4th Playwrighting Competition is Lorenz Langenegger with his play »Rakows Dom« (»Rakow’s Cathedral«). The play was presented during F.I.N.D.7 – Focus Israel in a staged reading.
Nina Ender won the 5th playwrighting competition with »Those who Know« (»Die Wissenden«). A staged reading of »Those who Know« took place at the Festival of New International Drama F.I.N.D.8 – focus Palestine, in October 2008.
The winner of the Playwrighting Competition was Christian Winkler with »In the Arcades«, which was presented in a staged reading on March, 7th during our festival »F.I.N.D.10 - The Three Americas«.