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Dansöz, Tümay Kılınçel © Flavio Karrer


Funding programme for independent theatre in NRW

The NRW KULTURsekretariat has been involved in the "Favoriten" (Favourites) since the festival was founded and thus promotes the development of sustainable structures for the independent scene in NRW.

As recently as October 2023, the NRWKS facilitated a two-day discourse and information event. With this essential support, the "Favourites", together with the NRW State Office for Independent Performing Arts, were able to invite around 50 actors from the independent performing arts community to "circle training" in the year between the festivals. The focus was on discussing sustainability issues and questions of the circular economy as well as teaching the relevant skills and aesthetic practices in the field of independent performing arts. At the same time, the transfer of knowledge and experience was aimed at productively networking existing initiatives in this field.

In addition, the NRWKS regularly participates in the "Favoriten with its "International Visitors Programme". In addition to attending events, the international guests take part in networking meetings and discussions. 

Founded in 1985 as "Theaterzwang", the oldest festival of independent theatres in Germany is of particular importance for the independent theatre scene in NRW. Every two years in autumn, "Favoriten" in Dortmund presents outstanding productions by independent performing artists from NRW. The festival also offers the regional theatre scene a forum for exchanging ideas about working methods, contemporary aesthetics and political and social issues. At the same time, "Favourites" increasingly sees itself as a supra-regional platform for networking with international artists, groups and collectives. With this in mind, the artistic management team of Anne Mahlow, Margo Zālīte and Sina-Marie Schneller is also developing nationwide perspectives and forging international collaborations in its second edition of "Favourites".

The next festival edition will take place from 5 to 15 September 2024 in Dortmund, but also digitally. Under the motto "(Un)Learning for possible futures", the artistic and discursive examination of the process of (un)learning and growing together between the genders, generations, classes and borders.