Sophienstrasse 18
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Sommerpause – Sophiensæle | Freies Theater in Berlin

Saison 24/25



End of the 2023/2024 season and outlook for the premieres of the coming season

Last Saturday, the Brazilian collective MEXA ended its brilliant banquet performance The Last Supper in the Festsaal with a nine-metre-long cake - and thus also brought the Sophiensæle 2023/2024 season to a close. It began in December 2023 under the new artistic direction of Andrea Niederbuchner and Jens Hillje. Until June, the Sophiensæle presented a diverse program with numerous premieres, guest performances and new and familiar artists under the motto Trust the Process and with an occupancy rate of around 92%.

The Sophiensæle opened the 2023/2024 season on 07.12.2023 with the motto Trust the Process and an eleven-day opening program. On show were artistic perspectives on the new realities of an insecure world. Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell developed a site-specific installation for the canteen and hosted a fluid program that invited visitors to linger, listen, eat and dance. Stef Van Looveren was also part of the opening. With Radical Hope - Eye to Eye, the Belgian visual artist created an immersive emotional experience in an immersive stage set made of twelve tons of earth. Other works were shown by artists including Coco Fusco, Adam Linder, Enad Marouf, Leyla Yenirce and Hendrik Quast.

With six premieres and 21 sold-out performances, Tanztage Berlin 2024 from 05-20.01.2024 was also a great success. Full waiting lists, positive press coverage and 240 applications received in the run-up to the festival once again highlighted the importance of choreography and dance in society and showed Berlin's creative potential in this field. The call for entries for Tanztage Berlin 2025 is already open. The festival is expected to take place from 09-25.01.2025.

Unauthorized and Unverschämt was the title of the research work by Simone Dede Ayivi & Kompliz*innen, which celebrated its premiere in February. The artists went to the archives in search of the biographies of the children of black US soldiers and white German mothers in the post-war years. The walk-in installation was the beginning of a more comprehensive project that will return to the Sophiensæle in December 2024 with a current stand.

In her premiere Baby, I'm Sick Tonight in April, Olivia Hyunsin Kim/ddanddarakim explored chronic illnesses, stigmatization and body images in the contemporary dance scene with song, music and plenty of humour. In the same month, Xenia Koghilaki presented her latest work KOPANIMA. Over four days, her sweat-inducing study of the forces and dynamics of moshing filled the wedding hall to the last seat. In June, Enad Marouf also presented his premiere in the Festsaal, which was sold out on all evenings. HUNDSTAGE is a reflection on the human condition through the lens of queer memory, grief and loss. Other artists during the season were Alex Baczyński-Jenkins, Henrike Iglesias, Kareth Schaffer // Construction Company, Irena Z. Tomažin & Jule Flierl and Company Christoph Winkler. The Sophiensæle also hosted the BURNING ISSUES × Theatertreffen conference on Performing Arts & Solidarity and the Tanzpol festival. Most recently, the Sophiensæle also hosted the nationwide Forums for Art, Freedom and Democracy in June. Under the motto The Art of Remaining Many, the Fonds Darstellende Künste organized debates, impulses and workshops on art, freedom and democracy. In this context, the Sophiensæle also presented a production by les dramaturx in cooperation with OSTEN-Festival Bitterfeld-Wolfen. The activist research revue Bitter Fields is dedicated to the question of whether there is a connection between the rise of the political right and climate change.

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During the Sophiensæle's summer break, Tanz im August will once again be a guest - as it is every year. The festival runs from August 15-31 and features three productions at the Sophiensæle: Michelle Moura with BOCA COVA, Viktor Szeri's Fatigue and, in the Wedding Hall, Rita Mazza with The Voice.

The Sophiensæle will open the 2024/2025 season in September with several artistic works during Berlin Art Week. Göksu Kunak, who opened last year's Art Week in front of the Neue Nationalgalerie, will show the new performance INNOCENCE. Ewa Dziarnowska presents her revival of This resting, patience, which already delighted visitors at Tanztage Berlin 2024. As part of a collaboration with Haus am Waldsee and the Georg Kolbe Museum, Gisèle Vienne - perhaps Europe's most headstrong director and choreographer - will also be coming to Sophiensæle with two of her most iconic works of recent years: On Sept. 15 with a screening of her film Jerk, based on her cult solo theater piece from 2008, and from Nov. 14-16 with three performances of her internationally acclaimed stage work Crowd.

With Golda Barton's Datscha, Isabelle Redfern / MamaNoSing will be staging a work at the Sophiensæle for the first time in September. Barton's rewriting of Gorky's Summer Guests is all about social advancement, classism and intersectionality - as well as the shift to the right and climate change, clichés and prejudices. There will also be a new performance by Henrike Iglesias and Olivia Hyunsin Kim/ddanddarakim will be exploring the topic of transnational adoption in her new work. Other premieres in October: Hendrik Quast and Turbo Pascal.

We would like to thank all the artists, friends and partners of Sophiensæle for a fantastic season. We look forward to seeing you again in September 2024, when you will be our guests again.

September/October at Sophiensæle
Season 2024/2025


Göksu Kunak, MamaNoSing/Isabelle Redfern, Ewa Dziarnowska, Gisèle Vienne, Henrike Iglesias, Olivia Hyunsin Kim/ddanddarakim, Hendrik Quast, Turbo Pascal a.o.

Presale start: 06.08.2024