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The Ballhaus Naunynstraße re-opened with a flourish in 2008 under the artistic direction of Shermin Langhoff and patronage of Fatih Akin. As a translocal theatre, it rapidly became a magnet for artists from migrant and post-migrant backgrounds in Berlin and beyond. In the beginning the theatre was filled to 90 % capacity and increased up to 100 % in the third season. In the fourth season the house attracted over 100,000 visitors with 40 premieres and world premieres of own and co-productions, guest performances from Hamburg to Munich, Prague to Bozen and Istanbul to New York, plus a wide range of interdisciplinary projects, film series, readings, discussions, concerts and festivals (Almancı!, Diyalog Theaterfestival, Voicing Resistance and others) and local art projects like the Kiez-Monatsschau series produced by the akademie der autodidakten.
The third season catapulted the Ballhaus into the spotlight of national and international attention with Verrücktes Blut by Nurkan Erpulat and Jens Hillje, a co-production with the Ruhr Triennale in 2011, which became a regular feature at top festivals like the Berlin Theatertreffen and the Mühlheimer Theatertage. The Theater Heute Yearbook 2011 named Verrücktes Blut the best new German-language play of the year along with Winterreise by Elfriede Jelinek. In 2012 Verrücktes Blut toured through Germany founded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The play gave a guest performance in Italy and the Czech Republic. In Poland at the KONTAKT theatre festival Torun Verrücktes Blut came second in the category “best play”. In 2011 the Deutsche Bühne magazine critics voted the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse nation’s top off-theatre.
The pioneering work going on in the Kreuzberg’s historic Ballsaal (built in 1863) has become an object of much interest from many fields of research.
A central attraction is the wide-ranging network of artists and curators working at the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, including: Züli Aladağ, Mıraz Bezar, Neco Çelik, Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Nurkan Erpulat, Modjgan Hashemian, Hakan Savaş Mican, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Ricardo de Paula, Michael Ronen, Marianna Salzmann, Idil Üner, Deniz Utlu, Feridun Zaimoğlu and many more.
In its mission to explore new perspectives, widen horizons and investigate the missing pieces and memories history has chosen to forget, the Ballhaus has no fixed ensemble, but a regular body of names, faces and attitudes which have defined the aesthetics of this experimental postmigrant theatre and given it a broad socio-cultural reach. Actors and actresses who regularly featured in Ballhaus productions include Nora Abdel-Maksoud, Sanam Afrashteh, Tamer Arslan, Elmira Bahrami, Peter Becker, Vernesa Berbo, Simon Brusis, Aylin Esener, Melek Erenay, Pınar Erincin, Marleen Lohse, Sema Poyraz, Laurens Walter, Muri Seven, Cem Sultan Ungan, Sesede Terziyan, Michael Wenzlaff and Mehmet Yılmaz.
In the future and under the new artistic direction by Wagner Carvalho and Tunçay Kulaoğlu the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse will continue to uphold their dedication to post-migrant stories. One main focus in the programmatic expansion is the promotion of young people with the aim to create new fields of experimentation for new artistic approaches of young talents.
The Ballhaus Naunynstraße is a cultural institution belonging to the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and is managed by Kultursprünge gemeinnützige GmbH i.G. The Ballhaus is funded by the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery Department of Cultural Affairs and a range of single project funding sources, including the Capital Cultural Fund, the Federal Cultural Foundation, the Federal Foreign Office and many others.