With the beginning of the 2022/23 season, Berliner Ensemble will launch a supporting programme for young theatre makers: Under the title of WORX, two female directors will find a creative home at Berliner Ensemble for one year, starting in August. They are invited to turn the Werkraum-venue into a lab for new material and innovative formats, and to create their own repertoire together with the theatre’s acting company.


WORX is made possible by private funding from Nikolaus and Martina Hensel.




The first year: Uršule Barto and Fritzi Wartenberg  

Since 2022, Berliner Ensemble has been running a programme for promoting young artists under the title of WORX. It offers one year’s fixed employment to young international directors as well as the opportunity to realise two productions each. The first two directors to take part in this residency programme are Uršulė Barto from Lithuania and Fritzi Wartenberg from Austria. They were selected by an independent jury from among more than 120 applicants. They are united by a clear feminist view of the structures and mechanisms of the world and the theatre. Through the selection of the texts and topics that they will stage, they intend to turn the Werkraum into an inspiring venue for research and experimentation on these issues. Both of them have already directed their first productions here.


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© Moritz Haase

For the launch of WORX, Uršulė Barto staged "Opheliamaschine". In Magda Romanska’s post-dramatic response to Heiner Müller, Ophelia takes Hamlet’s place. As the author of her own fragmented story, as a lover and a lunatic, she tries to take control of the narrative on a mountain of rubble that used to be Western values and goods.  


On 19 November, Fritzi Wartenberg presented her production of "The Writer", featuring Pauline Knof, Max Gindorff, Theresa Gmachl and Jonathan Kempf. In her play, which is based on her own experiences, author Ella Hickson portrays a writer who challenges the status quo of how theatres operate. "Director Fritzi Wartenberg (…) has turned the play into an entertaining show that is well worth seeing, and the audience at Werkraum is justifiably enthusiastic at the end." (Berliner Morgenpost)  



© Moritz Haase


The second half of the season 

Before the end of the season, there will be one more production staged by each of the directors as well as a showcase of work. Fritzi Wartenberg will direct the new play "Alias Anastasius" by the authors’ duo Matter*Verse, the story of a colourful and historic genderqueer personality (world premiere: 10 March). The fourth and final premiere of the first year of WORX will be staged by Uršulė Barto. With "[BLANK]" by Alice Birch, she will present a play that is experimental in form and can yet be seen in the tradition of British social drama. Its characters are trying to break out of the eternal cycle of individual and structural experiences of violence (premiere 5 May).




By Magda Romanska
Directing: Uršulė Barto
Premiere: 30. September 2022

"The Writer"
By Ella Hickson
Directing: Fritzi  Wartenberg
Premiere: 19. November 2022


"Alias Anastasius
By Selma Matter und Marie Lucienne Verse
Directing: Fritzi Wartenberg
Premiere: 10. März 2023


By Alice Birch
Directin: Uršulė Barto
Premiere: 5. Mai 2023


Leitung: Clara Topic-Matutin, Karolin Trachte 
Mitarbeit Produktion: Kathinka Schroeder 


3D design © Lucas Gutierrez

WORX powered by Nikolaus und Martina Hensel