Since 2016, the Berlin Performing Arts Festival (PAF) has presented the diversity of Berlin’s independent performing arts community at numerous theaters and performance venues throughout the entire city. It is organized by LAFT - Landesverband freie darstellende Künste Berlin, Berlin’s state association for the independent arts, and is the successor to the independent performing arts community festival 100° Berlin.
PAF presents the work and artistic positions of Berlin’s performing artists and groups working in all genres on an annual basis. This festival, which takes place simultaneously all over Berlin at a wide variety of performance venues, provides a greater visibility for the artistic positions developed in the independent performing arts community outside of state and municipal theaters and communicates their richness and diversity to a wide audience.
The festival’s schedule of programming is intended both for a Berlin-based audience as well as interested parties and professionals throughout Germany and abroad. The schedule of programming is supplemented by a diverse schedule of ancillary programming as well as special formats and events for German and international professionals.
To be part of the festival, professional artists, groups and performance venues can offer their contributions and artistic works in response to an open call. With programming from the genres performance, dance, music theater, figure and object theater, contemporary circus as well as children’s and youth theater and much, much more, PAF presents the bundled diversity and creative power of Berlin’s independent performing arts community each year.In addition, artistic newcomers have the opportunity to present their work within the curated newcomer’s platform Introducing…. The curatorial selection for this platform from the numerous submissions each year is conducted jointly with the four cooperating performance venues Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensæle and TD Berlin.
Since its founding, the festival has established itself both nationally as well as internationally. An increasing number of meetings of international networks or initiatives are taking place during the festival: in 2018, for example, the European umbrella organization EAIPA - the European Association of Independent Performing Arts was founded during the festival by participants from twelve different European countries. In addition, there is a continuous collaboration with the Association of Regional Festivals of the Independent Performing Arts Community and with festivals in Sofia and Prague. The resonance and public image of the festival has increased greatly, both in terms of the press as well as within the international circle of curators. Another very positive effect is the local placement of the festival in neighborhoods in Berlin for groups of audience members who were previously unfamiliar with the independent performing arts community. The first purely digital edition of the festival was held in 2020 and the first hybrid (digital and analog) edition of the festival took place in 2021. During these editions, in addition to thematic references to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the independent performing arts community, numerous new forms and formats arose over the course of the artistic creative process that will continue to be part of the festival in the future.