Theatre and Movement

Balanceakt, Foto: Kerstin Maier

Doppelpass – Theatre Cooperation Fund

Cooperation between independent groups and standing performing arts theatres

The German Federal Cultural Foundation established the Doppelpass Fund to support cooperation between independent groups in all artistic areas and established dance companies and theatres for a period of two years. The goal of the funding programme is to encourage the independent scene and theatres in Germany to try out new forms of collaboration and artistic production suited for tour performances, and finance their implementation. The programme wishes to provide artists on both sides the necessary freedom to productively merge their structures and working methods. A total of 59 cooperative projects have received support so far.

New network collaborations

The Federal Cultural Foundation has extended the Doppelpass Fund until 2021 with an additional 5.5 million euros. The current partnerships will be expanded in future to include an additional partner theatre. In these new Doppelpass network collaborations, the productions will be shared and hosted by the participating theatres.

Through their collaboration, all partners will have the chance to gain experience and new perspectives. For example, the theatres can offer the independent groups more performance opportunities and an attractive infrastructure with a high level of organisational and artistic competence. For their part, the theatres will benefit from their collaboration with these independent groups by gaining insight into alternative thematic and organisational approaches. This, in turn, can enrich and encourage reflection on established forms, methods and topics. All partners should be treated equally with the aim of enabling each member to test new formats and guest performance-oriented working methods. Consequently, guest performance-oriented working methods are important as these will help relieve the pressure on theatres in Germany to constantly develop new productions and likewise lengthen the lifespan of productions.

Residency programme

The core feature of the Doppelpass Fund is a two-year residency programme. This measure aims to finance artistic collaborations on equal terms between one independent group and two established theatres/dance companies.

The independent group can be involved in any artistic area or cross-genre field. It should possess relevant experience in working in a stable artistic team, and its activities should be concentrated in Germany. One of the partners should be a city or state theatre located in Germany. The other partner can either be a city/state theatre, or an established dance or theatre company which offers a professional infrastructure for artistic work in the respective areas. This second partner can be situated outside of Germany. Each established theatre/dance company must develop at least one new production with the independent group. Each production should also be shown at the other partner institution.

The partnership should last for a duration of two seasons. The residency of the independent group can be conducted in blocks and does not require year-round presence at the respective fixed venue. During the two-year residency, all partners should retain the possibility of implementing projects of their own. In order to increase the number of performances of jointly developed productions, the Doppelpass Fund can provide funding for guest performances from the currently existing partnerships as well.


The members of the jury are:

Remsi Al Khalisi (Head dramaturg at the ETA Hoffmann Theater Bamberg)
Thomas Frank (Director of the „Residenz“ at the Schauspiel Leipzig)
Karin Kirchhoff (freelance dance curator and lecturer)
Robert Koall (Head dramaturg at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus)
Anne Peter (Theatre critic and Chief editor of

Structural funding since 2005

The Doppelpass Fund is the latest in a series of structural funding programmes, initiated by the Federal Cultural Foundation since 2005, to strengthen the viability of the German theatre landscape. The first programme, the Home Game Fund, encouraged theatres to intensively address the social realities in their home cities and regions. In 2008, the Foundation established the Wanderlust Fund which allowed participating theatres to engage in three-year international theatre partnerships. The Federal Cultural Foundation launched the Doppelpass Fund in 2011 with the explicit goal of promoting Germany’s vibrant independent scene.