National Selection

After studying German studies, history and philosophy, Carsten Brandau worked as an assistant stage director (including in Heidelberg, Düsseldorf and Dortmund) and realized his first directing projects. He has lived in Hamburg as a playwright and radio play author since 2003. His text, represented by Drei Masken Verlage in Munich, have received multiple awards (e.g.: the 2013 Kaas & Kappes, the Mülheim Children’s Play Prize in 2015 and 2016, the Grimm Brothers Prize of the State of Berlin in 2017 and was nominated for the Heidelberg Author Prize in 2018). Brandau offers writing workshops (including at the Hamburger Schauspielhaus) and has directed the participatory neighborhood performance Altona macht auf! Sehnsuchtsfenster & Balkontheater (Altona Opens Up! Windows of Desire and Balcony Theater), which was nominated for the BKM Cultural Education prize in 2015 and which received the renowned Hamburg Neighborhood Culture prize in 2017.

National Selection

After stuying theater studies, comparative literature and philosophy at Ruhr University Bochum, Bianca Sue Henne served as the director of Junges Theater at Theater Nordhausen for ten years before moving on to the position of director of Junges Theater | BOXX at Theater Heilbronn, where she remained for two years. She has served as the associate artistic director of Junges Staatheater Parchim am Mecklenburgischen Staatstheater since August of 2018.
Bianca Sue Henne works primarily as director and her work has been produced at numerous theaters, including Theater Nordhausen, schwarzweissfigurentheater, Thüringer Schlossfestspiele Sondershausen, ensemble art&fakt, Theater Heilbronn, Mecklenburgisches Staatsheater (Schwerin/Parchim) and Badische Landesbühne Bruchsal.
Alongside her primary professional endeavors, she is engaged in contemporary theater for young audience, whether as a jury member for the first and fourth editions of the WILDWECHSEL festival, for WEGE INS THEATER or as a member of the curatorial team for the 2019 Augenblick mal! festival. She recently became a member of the board of ASSITEJ Deutschland e.V., which is dedicated to providing advocacy for the performing arts for young audiences in rural areas.

National Selection

Ina Karr studied music studies, German studies and school music in Freiburg. She worked as a writer for daily newspapers and specialized journals as well as an academic associate for the Freiburg Chair of Music and Literature before beginning work as a dramaturg for contemporary music theater at Musik der Jahrhunderte Stuttgart e.V. She worked from 2002 to 2005 as a dramaturg at National Theater Mannheim and then served as the director of the opera division at Oldenburgisches Staatstheater. She worked as the chief dramaturg for opera at Staatstheater Mainz during the 2014/2015 season. She worked to realize numerous productions, amongst others, in cooperation with the Schwetzinger Festival and the Munich Biennial. Under her guidance, a special focus was placed on contemporary works for young audiences. In addition, she was the curator for the European Festival and the convention Happy New Ears in Mannheim in 2016, led the international music theater project Tamass, which was founded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and had project phases in Lisbon and served in 2018 as the production dramaturg at the Salzburg Festival for Mozart’s The Magic Flute (directed by Lydia Steier).

National Selection

Eva-Maria Magel was born in 1970 in Marktheidenfeld in Lower Franconia, where she remained until completing secondary school. She saw her first piece of children’s theater around the age of six, The Emperor’s New Clothes, at Stadttheater Würzburg. The first film she saw, also around that time, was The Jungle Book. As a youth, her tastes became a little more wild in terms of theater, literature, film and dance she consumed. She studied German studies and Romance studies in Regensburg and Paris and conducted research in Italy. She spent formative years at the University of Constance, where she completed her studies with a thesis on Madame de Staël. While she actually intended to work as a research, she happily ended up working in the field she started out in at the age of 16 at a regional newspaper: journalism. She completed an internship at Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung in 1999 and has worked as the arts editor for the Rhein-Main edition ever since. She primarily writes about dance, theater and film and has dedicated herself to the performing arts for young audiences. She also discusses children’s books and has published a few essays, primarily on film history.

National Selection

Çığır Özyurt-Güneş  was born in Berlin in 1983. In his youth, he took part in his own music and theater projects and began working with young people when he was still a student himself. After completing his civil service in Turkey, he performed theater and worked as an assistant director at Jugendtheaterwerkstatt Moabit. The successful projects with JTW were followed by the collective founding of JugendtheaterBüro Berlin, today Theater X, where Çığır Özyurt-Güneş directed and also served as musical director for many youth theater productions. Çığır Özyurt-Güneş studied social work and then theater education and has worked on projects at the Maxim Gorki Theater and GRIPS Theater, amongst others. He current works for Lebenswelt gGmbH in Reinickendorf on youth projects and works as an advisor for the German Federal Assocation of Cultural Children and Youth Education.

Iwona Nowacka was born in 1980 and primarily works with Polish and German theaters. She has translated plays by R. W. Fassbinder, F. Richter, R. Pollesch, G. Danckwart, K. Šagor, C. Brandau, Nolte Decar, K. Brunner, B. Park, M. Rau, amongst other playwrights and has received numerous grants for her work: a residency at Villa Decius in Krakow (2012), a grant from the Polish Minister for Culture and a residency at the Baltic Center for Writers and Translators (2013), two different grants from the International Visegrad Fund (2014 in Prague, 2016 in Budapest), the Schritte program at Literary Colloquium Berlin and at Künstlerhaus Lukas in Ahrenshoop (2017). She was a grantee of Kulturkontakt Austria in Vienna in 2018. Since 2014, Iwona Nowacka has curated the German-Polish festival for young drama Z Ogniem w Głowie together with Dorota Kowalkowska at Teatr Dramatyczny in Wałbrzych. In addition, she develops storytelling-video performances as the independent mini-collective Turkowski & Nowacka with Janek Turkowski.

Gyuri Vidovszky is the director of Kolibri Theater, one of the leading children‘s and youth theaters in Hungary. He divides his time between Budapest, where his family lives, and Dublin, where he is working toward his doctorate at Dublin City University. He has been active as a theater and film teacher for nearly two decades, has directed young ensembles in productions for national youth theater festivals and conducted workshops with young actors in Turkey, Israel, Finland, Estonia, Germany and Ireland.
Gyuri has worked as a professional theater director since 2002 and has directed nearly 50 productions, primarily for young adults, in Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Romania and Ireland. These productions have received multiple ASSITEJ awards in Hungary. In 2011, he received the Hungarian critics’ award for both production for young audiences for Cyber Cyrano, the first joint production with István Tasnádi.
Gyuri Vidovszky has been a board member of the Hungarian center of ASSITEJ since 2010.

Olga Zaets was born in Tujmen, Western Siberia and studied international relations at the State University of Tjumen. She used the opportunity to participate in international projects, make presentations at international conferences and to work and travel in a variety of countries as a volunteer. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Erfurt in political science in 2005. She has completed internships at the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in Moscow at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels.
Today, Olga Zaets works as the coordinator for international projects at Rostov Academic Drama Theater, co-curator of the international children's and youth theater festival Minifest and co-curator of the international puppet theater festival Tchir Tchayaan in Abakan in the Republic of Khakassia. Together with Oleg Loyevski, she founded the German-Russian Theater Laboratory, a project that is realized at the Rostov Academic Drama Theater and Theater an der Parkaue in Berlin.


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