Zürcher Theater Spektakel

Zürcher Theater Spektakel
Photo: theaterspektakel.ch
The Zürcher Theater Spektakel (ZTS, Zurich Theater Spectacle) is an annual theater and performing arts festival held in the Swiss city of Zurich. Founded in 1980, the festival has been held each summer ever since. It features about 30 performing arts groups and individual artists from around the world every year.

The Zürcher Theater Spektakel was founded in 1980 as a fairly small international meeting of independent theater groups. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most important contemporary performing arts festivals in Europe as well as one of the major cultural events in Switzerland. According to the organizers, the festival owes its success to a unique atmosphere and consistent and artistically outstanding programming. Every year, the Zürcher Theater Spektakel welcomes both renowned and emerging theater and dance companies from around the world.

The festival is held at the Landiwiese, a park-like site located on the shores of Lake Zurich. The site hosts several indoor venues of different sizes, as well as open-air performances. The Zürcher Theater Spektakel runs over 18 days in late August and early September, attracting cultural aficionados from all over Switzerland and abroad.

The program of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel showcases different kinds and forms of performing arts, including theater, opera, dance, music, multimedia, etc. While making up the program, the organizers put a special focus on experimental and innovative productions that help demonstrate the diversity of contemporary theater. In recent years, the festival program has focused increasingly on young, urban artists from Asia, Africa and Latin America, although the European theater scene is presented as well.

Every year festival directors invite about 40 individual artists and companies whose work is noted for artistic ambition, innovative character and formal independence. The festival presents many premiers and productions by newcomers as well as a number of festival-owned productions and co-productions. Projects that reflect a connection to the Zürcher Theater Spektakel are typically given precedence.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the ZKB Prizes ceremony. The prizes are awarded annually by the Zurich Cantonal Bank (Zürcher Kantonalbank) to recognize young, innovative and hitherto little-known artists and companies. There are several prizes such as the ZKB Patronage Prize, the ZKB Acknowledgment Prize, and the ZKB Audience Prize. The first two are awarded by an independent jury consisting of five experts.

Zürcher Theater Spektakel

Photo: ©ZTS/Christian Altorfer




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