Academy for Theatre and Digitality

Four years after its founding in 2019, the Academy has established itself locally, nationally and internationally as a major player in culture, science and business. It is recognised as an advisor to a whole range of national (cultural) polical institutions and cultural-polical project developer and acts as a contact point for specialist knowledge and, above all, as an internationally outstanding artistic research institute and networking hub.  

The core business of the Academy is the artistic-technical and artistic-scientific research work of the international fellowship holders, who spend five months on site working on the development of theatre-related digital tools and methods. 

These fellowships, made possible by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, are complemented by the HIDA Fellowship, which the Academy has launched together with the Helmholtz-Association as a pilot project for an encounter between science and art. 

Beyond its core business, the Academy has become a cultural-political key role: it is a driving force in politics as well as in the theatre scene for the so crucial development of a national digital infrastructure and takes the lead in its concrete implementation, among other things through its activities in the central digitisation infrastructure project of the federal government "Datenraum Kultur" or the development of the (together with the Staatstheater Augsburg). 

In addition, the Academy now plays a central role across Germany, both as an advisor and in the concrete accompaniment of universities in the establishment of new degree programmes on digitality in the performing arts, including participation in appointment procedures for newly established professorships, such as at the HfMT Munich and in Cologne. 

Overall, the Academy is the initiator and part of various cooperations:

  • in the artistic-technical-scientific context (EU project "PlayOn!", consortium around the University of Applied Sciences in Oulu, Finland, for the EU project "ACuTe" or with the European Theatre Convention) 

  • artistic-scientific co-operations (among other things through a multi-year joint research project with the Theater Mülheim an der Ruhr and the University of Düsseldorf on the "Theatre of Extended Realities", funded in the MKW's Neue Wege programme) 

  • regional collaborations (founding of the application-related consortium "Digitales Koproduktionslabor" in the Dortmunder U with the Storylab kiU of the University for Applied Sciences Dortmund) 

  • cultural-political initiatives (Deutscher Bühnenverein on the project "Datenraum Kultur",, Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft) 

  • international cooperations for cultural organisations and initiatives (e.g. the Tbilisi International Theatre Festival or the Goethe Institutes in Georgia, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Santiago de Chile, among others). 

In the three and a half years of its existence, the Academy, with its 10 staff members, has not only provided comprehensive and practical advice to an immense number of actors from the fields of culture, science and (cultural) politics, but has also made technology acessable and available to theatres: With its know-how and staff, the Academy supports numerous independent ensembles and artist groups, theatres in German-speaking countries and many major festivals (Ruhrfestspiele, Berliner Festspiele, Berliner Theatertreffen) as well as local theatres (Theater im Depot, Fletch Bizzel, DOTT-Initiative, etc.) in the development and implementation of their digital activities and accompanies them in their projects. 

Last but not least, it is in constant exchange with a whole range of local companies and is thus preparing for the move to the new Digital Quarter in Dortmund Harbour, a completely new ecosystem of actors from business, science and culture.