"Spiel.Art is the name of a new theatre festival in Munich. It will be organized by Spielmotor in collaboration with the Cultural Office of the City of Munich and will have its initial run from October 4 to 15.
Its name is its program, because Spiel.Art exclusively brings unknown international independent companies to Munich, in order to create a forum for the many facets of contemporary theatre that isn't affiliated with large institutions."
Münchner Merkur. June 1, 1995
"The program for 1995 doesn't feature any spectacular names. The organizers Till Broszat and Gottfried Hattinger looked for laboratory situations and performances that burst out of their categories, and they purposely took the risks associated with 'no-name productions.'"
Abendzeitung. June 1, 1995
"Innovative, unconventional theatre is not easy to find. Even in the area of theatre every form of performance seems to have been wrung dry long ago. The organizers of SPIEL.ART have succeeded in presenting an unusual and exciting program. Independent groups, performers, installation and media artists from Europe, Japan, China, Canada and the U.S. will present their productions at this new Munich theatre festival, which is supposed to take place every two years."
Münchner Stadtmagazin. October 1995
"No one gave the SpielArt theatre festival much of a chance two years ago. Created from the impetus of the box-office success of 'Theater der Welt,' this initiative in Munich didn't have huge funds or big names at its disposal, and yet it established itself as a small but excellent festival filled with discoveries."
Tageszeitung. October 15, 1997
"If you attended the SpielArt 1995 festival, then you are perhaps still intoxicated. There haven't been that many overwhelming theater events in the meantime, but the end of the drought is approaching: The Spiel.Art 1997 theatre festival will take place from October 15 to 25 in Munich. For eleven days, contemporary theatre projects, music performances and scenic installations will show theatre like - unfortunately - you all too rarely see on the big theatre stages."
art ention! - the magazine for art and literature in Munich. September/October 1997
"What do we need another festival for? Anybody who wanted to stage a big production shortly before the end of the millennium must have asked themselves this question when they were confronted with the ever-encroaching cultural sobriety and listlessness in the arts. Admittedly, the mass of people jumping on the bandwagon, who will - without the slightest hesitation - also refer to the 'Japan Week' at the local supermarket or the annual meeting of amateur actors as 'festivals' - have contributed quite a bit to the erosion of this theatrical form of presentation. But does one have to immediately refer to (like recently in the features section of a major daily newspaper in Frankfurt) a 'period of festival epidemics'? [...] However, if you simply flipped around the tired metaphor of an epidemic, then you would realize that the Munich theatre festival Spiel.Art, which is now the second of its kind (the first was in 1995), can at least cause a contagious theatre fever in the susceptible target group of theatre lovers and theatre insiders, although not an epidemic covering large areas."
Theater heute. December 1997
"There were a few tried and true classical festival works in the program: The Latvian director Eimuntas Nekrosius with his production of 'Macbeth;' Acco Theatre Center from Israel with 'The Anthology;' and Wim Vandekeybus' new choreography 'In Spite of Wishing and Wanting.' But the majority of the performances were highlights not because of advance publicity or dazzling effects, but rather because they required audiences to be open to discoveries and to let themselves go. SpielArt teaches audiences to be curious and sharpens their vision. Hopefully this will have an effect on the theatre scene in Munich. We are looking forward to SpielArt 2001."
Abendzeitung. November 20 - 21, 1999
"When even the big municipal and state theatres display a lack of courage, then an independent theatre festival like Spielart, with a mini budget of 1.7 million German marks, has to offer you other opportunities, in terms of aesthetics as well as organization.
For Munich is truly a theatre city only during the Spielart festival. Along with the many wonderful productions, the festival manages to make theatre tangible and to make it immediate. There are many performance venues scattered across the entire city. The Praterinsel is the central meeting point, which doesn't scare visitors away with an imposing facade like big theatres and only lets them inside during the scheduled opening hours. Spielart is open all the time. For everyone."
Süddeutsche Zeitung, November 22, 1999
"The third Spielart since 1995 virtually sells itself and has regular audiences that keep coming back, audiences familiar with its style. [...] The snazzy international mixture of 20 works is enhanced by the symposium 'Actor 2000,' which examines issues concerning the actor's role. In addition to relevant theatre venues such as Muffathalle, Marstall and Neues Theater, there will be performances at special venues like Villa Stuck, in a railroad car at Deutsches Museum, and in a shop window in downtown Munich."
Die Welt. November 15, 1999
"And now? Cold turkey. For seventeen days during the SpielArt festival we enjoyed a hot affair with theatre every evening. With everything involved: rousing passion, enthusiasm, and also the sobering feeling when you realized you picked the wrong lover. And sometimes with the certainty this affair isn't over yet by far. [...] Dialogue and denial, expectation and an insecure feeling (disappointments free-of-charge). SpielArt hit the 'communication nerve' between the stage and audiences. The proof is also in the fact that the theatres sold 90% of their seats for the 60 performances, and the curious members of the audiences were not just theatre insiders. Hopefully this affair will continue in two years - same time, same place."
Abendzeitung. December 3, 2001
"In 1999 the focus was on actors in changing roles, as performers, actors or autonomous authors. This time the two festival organizers Tilmann Broszat and Gottfried Hattinger are concentrating on the complicated affair between theatre and audiences, 'an ancient relationship with many arguments, strife and disagreements, but also with much love, respect and admiration,' which, however, doesn't mean that all of the twenty productions from twelve countries have to be viewed with this motto in mind. In order to lure audiences out of their shells, out of their (usually) self-inflicted 'couch potato' existences, there were several unusual alternatives to choose from."
Theater heute. January 2002
"If there were such a thing as a common thread running through this year's SPIELART festival, then it was the following: The audience dreams along with the performance, performs with the performance or participates in it. Like in the production 'Kanal Kirchner,' for instance, where the audience member is the only performer and receives instructions from a Walkman about where to go, exploring and looking for clues to a crime on foot in the city. The audience is co-organizer of the 'webscene' project by the group 'Gob Squad': four Internet identities leave their traces behind in the World Wide Web. Biography, age, sex, communication habits and life style are the building blocks each of these existences use, while in contact with the Internet surfer, to construct their own beings peu à peu. The 'audience member' can chat with them and participate in this game of identities."
Theater der Zeit. January 2002
"We were absolutely furious on the first evening - the Polish group Teatr Rozmaitosci had performed atavistic hardcore. But we knew it would get better. Now the fifth Spielart festival - the festival presenting international contemporary theatre at many different venues in Munich - is over. And what do we do now? We'll go to a performance of Dürrenmatt in Theater 44 again or go to see another similar box-office success, and we'll close our eyes, plug our ears and pretend that we are still at Spielart. But we don't want to unjustly criticize the Munich independent theatre scene. What's funny is that the exciting Munich theatre groups are also at Spielart. And the others aren't."
Bayerische Staatszeitung, November 14, 2003
"All of the peripheral issues of the Spielart festival are encouragement that political theatre at the beginning of the 21st century is on its way to losing the high flavor of penetrating agitation and social-critical shock poetry and, so to speak, to finding its way back to the stage through the back door. It's an open game once more. Faites vos jeux!"
Theater heute. January 2004
"Kick-boxing rabbits and a terribly sad gorilla, flaming paper boats and rigidly styled Bauhaus images. Searching for what's real and what's fake, the Spielart theatre festival unfolds a cornucopia of theatre forms. The main question is, 'Is it real?' And the answer is usually accompanied with a wink."
Abendzeitung. November 11, 2003
"In regard to theatre, basically every year that the Spielart theatre festival takes place is a good year for theatre in Munich. Although you can't change the appreciation for theatre in an entire city in two weeks, you can at least show what kinds of wonderful performances - or even just the different types - there are in this art form."
Süddeutsche Zeitung. "Culture in Munich" section, December 31, 2005
"Who buried irony, who conjured up emotions and obsession again? SpielArt 2005 in Munich pleads guilty. This year the biennial theatre festival has those three elements as its motto: 'Passion, Obsession, Pathos' - under the heading 'international avant-garde.' And that's how 'P.O.P.' is created!
Friday, December 9, 2005
"When a Polish theatre group performs in a supermarket, and when a Canadian performer darts through the performance space as a modern Little Red Riding Hood, then there is one good reason behind such events: Spielart."
Süddeutsche Zeitung. "Culture in Munich" section, January 21 - 22, 2006