About the International Production Houses Alliance

The Bündnis internationaler Produktionshäuser (International Production Houses Alliance) is among the foremost associations within Germany. FFT Düsseldorf, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (Dresden), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt am Main), PACT Zollverein (Essen) and tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf) all channel their abilities and experiences as central stakeholders in culture and sociopolitics, bringing international perspectives into a continuous, open and diverse exchange with local artists, local groups of audiences, as well as with diverse urban societies. The Office of the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media has been supporting the Bündnis internationaler Produktionshäuser with a sum of 12 million since the 2016/17 season, for a total duration of three years.

This support enables the production venues to realise special artistic endeavours together as well as on their respective sites, sometimes spanning several years, and going beyond their customary programmes and practices.

They deal with the economic, social, cultural and ecological urban and global changes in the 21st century, playfully exploring the future of society, theatre, dance and art, exemplarily trying out scenarios of communal living. Furthermore, the venues connect their competency in the ongoing development of advanced means of production in the field of performative art and their far-reaching local and international networks more closely than before.


Tried practices can be further developed and expanded, with an eye towards the future, in this decentralised co-operational model; among them, for example, the possibility of artistic residencies, commissioned works, co-productions and site-specific project development as well as the consolidation, the artistic agency for and strengthening of artistic positions on a trans-regional and international scale and for local contexts. So, the Bündnis has set up, among other things, an Academy for Performing Arts Producers, an Academy for Theatre Journalism and an Academy for Arts and Encounters and it is accordingly significantly involved in occupational areas that are gaining in importance. 


Supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.



The seven performing-arts institutions that make up the Alliance of International Production Houses are sites of wide-ranging international cooperation. Artists from all over the world gather at our venues to collaborate and present their work to diverse audiences. Our institutions are open to all people, regardless of origin, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, religion, culture, residence status, age, class, appearance or any other affiliation or attribute. In the spirit of our audiences and the entire visual- and performing-arts community, we see it as our fundamental social responsibility to develop and manage our institutions in a manner that is as environmentally sustainable as possible.

Regular travel is one of the key activities involved in fulfilling the objectives and responsibilities of our work. This is why, when it comes to travel, we are fully committed to fostering a culture of environmental conservation and the minimum possible use of valuable resources among all our employees, partners and artistic, technical and administrative production teams.

The following guidelines[1] represent our voluntary commitment to keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum; they apply to all travel organised by our staff. These guidelines are also meant to address each one of our partners – without exception. We hope our commitment will serve as a role model for how to integrate low-emission mobility into everyday operations. More specifically, our guidelines seek to ensure that travel is coordinated in a sustainable manner, which means organising, implementing and invoicing all trips in the most efficient and energy-conserving way.

Responsibility for making sure these guidelines are carried out at each individual venue lies in the hands of the production houses themselves.


Catalogue of travel-related guidelines
Basic principles

Before any travel takes place, we will determine whether the trip is even necessary and also clarify all goals relating to the trip. Our approach will be as follows:

  • We will select the mode of transport based on expected CO2 emission levels, whereby our first priority will be to avoid emissions altogether, our second will be to reduce emissions and our third will be to compensate for them.
  • Wherever possible, we will engage in telephone and/or video conferences instead of travel; we will also continue to make full use of the ever-increasing opportunities offered by digital platforms.
  • We will plan all travel well in advance, or at least as early as possible, and all travel itineraries will be optimised by combining multiple destinations, events and travellers with one another.
  • We will cover only the costs of climate-friendly and environmentally-compatible travel and transport, both for in- and outbound trips as well as for any travel that takes place on-site at the destination. Factors such as time constraints, the quality of travel connections, safety/security and distance will be given consideration within reasonable parameters.
  • We will take all factors relating to access, low-threshold accessibility and safety/security into account.

1. Means of transportation for travel to and from a destination

Travel by bus and train

Travel by train will always be the preferred mode of transport. Travel by bus or train to Germany from another country will also be acceptable, but only if the travel time does not exceed 8 hours.

Travel by plane

In general, flights within Germany will be avoided entirely and, for environmental reasons, the cost of such flights will not be reimbursed. The same applies to air travel to and from neighbouring European countries, especially those major cities that already have good existing connections. Exceptions will be made, however, for travellers with special needs relating to access and safety/security. It might also be possible to make an exception in the case of last-minute changes to the cast of a production, say, due to illness, to ensure that the production can go ahead. All exceptions must be authorised in advance by the relevant body; in this case, the body responsible for determining whether an exception is permitted, as well as for deciding how to proceed in the event of non-compliance, is whichever production house is responsible for the event.

In general, the following applies to all travel:
In the case of each trip, there must be a reasonable relationship between the length of stay, the overall travel time and the distance travelled. In keeping with this guideline, the following will apply:

  • Flights covering a distance of less than 800 km will only be permitted if the time it takes to cover the same distance by bus or by train is over 8 hours.
  • Flights covering 800 km to 3,800 km must involve a trip lasting at least 5 days.
  • Flights covering over 3,800 km must involve a trip lasting at least 10 days.

The length of each trip includes all inbound and outbound travel. Direct flights will be preferred over flights that involve stopovers and/or transfers. All kilometres travelled by air will be recorded and offset. In those cases where our funding partners do not yet involve environmental offset payments in their budgets, we will work towards achieving that involvement whenever entering into contracts with those partners.

Travel by car

In general, before travelling by car, we will determine whether the trip is even necessary in the first place and/or whether there might be a more ecological alternative. To the extent that travel by car is necessary for transport reasons or any of the abovementioned reasons, such as safety, security and/or accessibility, we will make every effort to take advantage of carpooling opportunities and electromobility. With regard to transporting items, we will endeavour to use alternatives such as cargo bikes and bicycle courier services, that is, when the size and weight of the items allows it. In each case, internal transport and delivery by means of low-emission vehicles will be preferred over any kind of external transport and/or delivery resulting in high CO2 emissions. We will consider any ensuing additional costs in terms of time and labour as being acceptable when attempting to avoid unnecessary emissions.
The vehicles and technical infrastructure belonging to the production houses will be reduced and/or redesigned to comply with these guidelines. This might involve such things as replacing gasoline cars with electric vehicles and purchasing cargo bikes.

2. Local transport

When travelling within cities and urban areas, we will primarily use public transport and/or bicycles. Modes of transport such as eBikes and eScooters will be seen as secondary alternatives. We will also consider purchasing bikes that then could be used by guests, artists and staff.

In our capacity as hosts and organisers, each production house will be responsible for arranging any transfers from airports and train stations to hotels, as well as between hotels and rehearsal spaces or venues, if possible, in full compliance with the guidelines and principles mentioned in this travel policy. We will reimburse travel by car within the city during the length of stay only in cases when an exception has been explained and authorised in advance. This might be the case, for example, in the event of a trip at night, in the case of illness, disability, heavy luggage or for safety/security reasons. If it is necessary for a person to travel by car, preference will always be given to electric vehicles.

3. Accommodation

The choice of accommodation for guests, artists and staff is a determining factor in calculating the environmental impact of a business trip. For this reason, in the case of overnight stays, we will endeavour to choose hotels that operate in an environmentally friendly manner. We understand the term “environmentally friendly” here as involving, among other things, the conscious use of water and energy, the purchasing of resource-saving products and sustainable waste management.

We will select accommodations based on the following considerations:

  • All of the hotels we book will be located in areas that make it possible for travellers to reach all relevant destinations by foot, by bike or by means of public transport.
  • When booking a hotel, we will determine in advance whether it has been officially certified as environmentally friendly. We will also look into the hotel’s strategy with regard to sustainability, so that we can show that any environmental measures are actually being carried out. It is often the case that only large hotels have such certifications, whereas smaller hotels and those without any fancy extras (such as a swimming pool) often have a smaller CO2 footprint per guest.
  • If possible, we will consider the opportunity to arrange for overnight stays in the home of private individuals and the use of sharing services as climate-friendly alternatives.

4. Recommendation

When drafting all contracts in the future, we will take into account the additional effort required to fulfil the guidelines of this travel policy. In the same vein, each of the production houses in the alliance acknowledges and accepts the fact that this will likely involve additional expenditures in terms of time and money when it comes to travel.

5. Outlook

The Alliance of International Production Houses is an association of seven of the most prominent institutions active in the contemporary performing arts in Germany. This travel policy is designed to reflect the major step the Alliance is taking towards the climate-friendly production and presentation of the arts. The ecological transformation and the mitigation of man-made climate change are an important focus of the Alliance. By setting out this travel policy, the Alliance seeks to ensure that the subject of climate change is reflected in the structures and processes of its member institutions. This policy is also designed to lead to important, concrete and measurable changes. As such, the policy presents both an opportunity and a major challenge to all processes currently in place at the production houses. Questions will no doubt be raised as to how the catalogue of guidelines can be implemented as smoothly as possible. What kinds of incentives can we create for our employees that might help support and simplify changes to processes? This travel policy marks a concrete step, functioning as a starting point for further necessary changes to the work being done at the production houses beyond the areas of travel and touring.

Berlin, December 2023

[1] The guidelines listed here outline our objectives as well as the current framework in which we carry out our activities. In those areas where our associated legal entities and donors do not permit the implementation of these guidelines for legal, funding-related or any other reasons, we will nevertheless advocate for their application and, at the same time, look for alternatives that allow us to fulfil these guidelines to the best of our ability.

Mehrere Kleidungsstücke
Dorothea Tuch

Academy for Theatre Journalism

Journalistic coverage of the heterogeneous landscape of independent productions, working methods, organisational structures, protagonists and aesthetics is an essential part of theatre, plus it is also a demanding profession. The Alliance of International Production Houses now offers a framework in which to discuss the role played by journalism and criticism in the independent theatre scene. Journalists make joint trips to the different production houses, where they gain deeper insights into the working structures of the independent scene, as well as their varying profiles and programmes. In direct conversations with artists, journalists are invited to learn more about working methods, issues and structures and also to engage in group discussions revolving around how artistic works can be transferred into language and text. 

At the same time, discussions also centre on the role played by theatre criticism and journalism in the public discourse today, as well as which developments will be conceivable and desirable in the future. Above all, however, the academy is designed to serve as a site for reflection and the training of journalistic practices. Different forms of writing about concrete contemporary performing arts projects that are as heterogeneous as possible create the foundation for mutual exchange, reflection and a mutual critique of criticism.

The Theatre Journalism format launched in autumn 2019 in three modules. The concept for this academy was developed by Esther Boldt (author & theatre critic for nachtkritik.de, Theater heute, Zeit online, tanz Zeitschrift and die taz) and Dr. Philipp Schulte (dramaturge and author, managing director of the Hessische Theaterakademie, lecturer at the Norwegian Theatre Academy).

Academy#1: The first edition of the Academy for Contemporary Theatre Journalism took place from November 2019 to March 2020. In Essen, Dresden and Hamburg, 20 critics from all over Germany dealt with the possibilities and requirements of journalism that does justice to the diverse productions and production methods of contemporary theatre forms.

Academy#2: For the second time, the Alliance of International Production Houses is offering a programme for journalists in 2021, which is intended as further training in the extensive field of reporting on decidedly experimental practices in theatre and dance as well as contemporary performance art.

Academy #3: In autumn 2022, the third edition took place in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Düsseldorf and offered participants time and space to engage with current theatre forms together with invited experts, to reflect on their own journalistic practice and to try out new text forms and ways of writing.

Academy #4: The fourth edition will take place between November 2023 and February 2024 in three modules of 4 days each in Frankfurt, Essen and Hamburg.

Academy for Performing Arts Producer

The Alliance of International Production Houses offered this training programme for producers for the first time in 2018. In so doing, it sought to display its commitment to a professional field that is becoming increasingly important in the independent scene. The Academy for Performing Arts Producers is devoted to training individuals in the realm of production expertise in the German and international context of the performing arts. It also seeks to highlight the role of independent producers in the triangle of partners made up by producers, artists and production houses.

In workshop formats held under the guidance of experts from Germany and abroad, individuals are taught the legal and administrative basics as well as specific methods and tools for producing. Instructors present networks and platforms and also work to develop strategies and models of producing arts on the independent scene.

To date, the Bündnis internationaler Produktionshäuser (Alliance of International Production Houses) has held three academies for experienced producers, one special alumni academy (digital edition) and one academy for producers at the very beginning of their career. In 2023, the alliance will offer its next academy, this time for a mixed group of both rookie producers and those with extensive professional experience.


  • MODULE I: 19 – 22 January 2023, Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main
  • MODULE II: 16 – 19 March 2023, PACT Zollverein Essen
  • MODULE III: 27 – 30 April 2023, HELLERAU Dresden

Submission deadline
31 October 2022

Further information:

Publication: Corona Iconics as part of Claiming Common Spaces III

Cover of publication

For the purpose of creating an archive of images the Bündnis collected private photos that provide evidence of the many exceptional situations that arose in the realm of public life during the over one-year-long pandemic. How was public space overwritten? What objects and spaces did people use in new and different ways? What disappeared? What was displaced?

An anthology of photographs was published with images that document these and other exceptional situations associated with the pandemic.

The publication ›Corona Iconics‹ collects snapshots and individual observations of the collective state of emergency until June 2021. The images were selected from all the submissions by photo artist Julia Steinigeweg and put into magazine form by graphic designer Hanna Osen.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Order here


Within the framework of the NEUSTART KULTUR rescue and future support package launched by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and the #TakeThat funding programmes launched by the Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. (Performing Arts Fund), PACT, as a member of the Alliance of International Production Houses, supports these programmes by awarding and implementing #TakeCareResidencies.

The #TakeCareResidencies programme aims to support and strengthen selected independent artists and groups, for a period of at least two months, who have been affected by the restrictions imposed on the cultural sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. is responsible for implementing the programme in cooperation with the Alliance of International Production Houses.

Funded by Bündnis internationaler Produktionshäuser e.V. as part of Neustart Kultur: #TakeThat program supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. and funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.