Founded in 1980 as an annual international meeting of independent theatre groups, the Zürcher Theater Spektakel quickly evolved into a cultural event of international appeal. Today it ranks among the most important European festivals for the contemporary performing arts. This success story has been based on consistent and artistically outstanding programming, a unique atmosphere, the large number of engaged and open-minded spectators. For over 30 years these ingredients have made the Theater Spektakel a popular venue for both renowned and upcoming theatre and dance companies from all over the world.
The festival is spread over 18 days in late August at the «Landiwiese». This superb, park-like site, located directly on the shores of Lake Zurich, hosts various different sized venues. These include a covered lakeside open-air stage and a shipyard offering undreamt-of spatial possibilities. Onsite restaurants and bars, performances under the open sky and various ad hoc events, together with the appealing programme, attract cultural aficionados and night owls from far beyond the borders of Zurich. It is an annual event that is ablaze with life as we celebrate the last days of summer and the open-air season.
Each year the festival directors invite from around the world 35 to 40 individuals and companies whose creations are marked by formal independence, innovative character and artistic ambition. Part of the budget is reserved for festival-owned productions or co-productions. Precedence is given to projects that reflect a connection to the festival.