German Children's Theatre Prize and German Young People's Theatre Prize

The German Children’s Theatre Prize and the German Young People’s Theatre Prize were awarded for the first time by the Federal Ministry for the Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Young People (BMFSFJ) at the 8th Frankfurt Authors Forum for Children’s and Young People’s Theatre in December 1996. Since then authors and their outstanding plays for children and young people have been receiving state prizes for young people’s dramatic literature every two years. The prizes are intended to promote the development of dramatic literature for children and young people and set standards for literary and dramaturgical quality in plays for contemporary theatre for children and young people.

The overall concept for the awards has continually changed in order to match the practical demands. In the first three years the award winners had been already announced prior to the prize-giving ceremony: since 2004 they have been selected from three nominations in each section and only announced during the prize-winning ceremony. This has made the official event more exciting, and the nominations have given us the opportunity to pay tribute to a greater number of authors and their high-quality and prize-winning plays.

In the first few years, in addition to the authors’ awards, up to 6 theatres were awarded extra money to present the premieres of the prize-winning plays. Since 2004 these extra grants were made available for an educational concept or a concept for developing a play to its premiere. Between 2008 and 2012 the awards were then transformed into three grants related to the German Children’s Theatre Prize, in order to promote the writing of good new plays for children’s theatre. With regard to the next award ceremony in 2016 the BMFSFJ is now for the first time promoting a playwriting competition for students of scenic writing. This is to encourage the students to become more closely acquainted with the opportunities and possibilities of writing for young audiences during their college training; and to make them more aware of the special challenges and demands made on authors for children and young people’s theatre.

The current chronicle of the German Children’s Theatre Prize and the German Young People’s Theatre Prize provides an opportunity to retrace the developments of the awards and, above all, the lines of development for dramatic plays written for children and young people since 1996. Therefore one can fetch information over the past and current entry conditions, read brief appreciations of every award year, and receive an overview on all the prize-winners and nominations to date. (gt)