Theatre curator Hertlein-Hull: Most recently active in Hamburg
Nora Hertlein-Hull takes over the sole responsibility of the Theatertreffen, replacing the current management team of Olena Apchel, Carolin Hochleichter and Joanna Nuckowska. This was announced by the Berliner Festspiele on Monday morning. The theatre and festival organiser will take up her new position on 1 January 2024, with her preparation period beginning in October 2023.
With this appointment, the artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele, Matthias Pees, has made a U-turn. The three-member, multilingual management collective had only been installed a year ago – Yvonne Büdenhölzer had previously presided over the event, which is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, for ten years.
Every year, an independent jury consisting of seven theatre critics selects ten "remarkable" theatre productions of the season from German-speaking countries and invites them to the Theatertreffen in Berlin. The Theatertreffen will "focus more clearly on its core identity in the future," said Intendant Pees.
In an interview with SPIEGEL a year ago, Pees justified the appointment of a management team by saying that the "previous restriction of the Theatertreffen to German-speaking countries" was "no longer in keeping with the times" for him.
Now Festival Director Pees says he is looking forward to working and exchanging ideas with Nora Hertlein-Hull. It stands "for the most multifaceted concentration of the Theatertreffen on its core programme and for strengthening the international networking and charisma of the festival".
Nora Hertlein-Hull, born in Austria in 1982, is currently responsible for the Lessing Days at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg, where she has been permanently engaged since 2018 and also works as curator of the international program. Previously, she worked internationally as a tour director and production manager. Most recently, she also worked as a curator for the performance program of Chemnitz European Capital of Culture 2025. Hertlein-Hull studied theatre, film and media studies as well as Romance languages and literature in Vienna and Bologna. From 2015 to 2018 she lived in the USA, where she studied »Social and Cultural Analysis« as a Fulbright scholar at New York University.
Replacements express regret
Matthias Pees thanked Olena Apchel, Carolin Hochleichter, Joanna Nuckowska and the Theatertreffen team for their input and new perspectives. "The relevant questions of the relationship with our neighbours in Central and Eastern Europe" would "in future be increasingly taken up elsewhere at the Berliner Festspiele and artistically negotiated."
In its statement, the now replaced management collective expressed regret that its further ideas could no longer be continued: "As a multilingual, female management team, we were invited to expand and diversify the Theatertreffen and open it up to European issues, a mission in whose meaningfulness we still believe." However, the three theatre makers wish their successor "all the best and much success for the future of the festival."
Nora Hertlein-Hull is pleased "to be able to take on the management responsibility for the traditional Berlin Theatertreffen in the future". It wants to strengthen its character "as the most important presentation platform of German-language theatre".
Most recently, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth also announced a move away from a dual leadership in festival management for the Berlinale. The new individual at the helm of the Berlinale is to be presented later this year.