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Exit the room

Young Artists & Young Audience exploring new ways of creating theatre and art exchange

Festival exchange

WESTWIND festival is a partner in the project EXIT THE ROOM, funded by the EU programme ERASMUS+, which will run from 2022 to 2027.

The programme includes residencies of YOUNG ARTISTS (between 18 and 25 years of age) and their performative try-outs at the participating festivals as well as expert lectures by festival-makers and networking opportunities between the partner institutions. Participants develop new forms of dialogue, reflection and interaction with young people through theatre performances and exploration. With a series of workshops, panels and discussion events, the focus is on establishing and maintaining close ties between budding artists and experienced theatre-makers. And, ultimately, the aim is to create a vast network of Next Generation projects and festivals in European children’s and youth theatre by 2027.

In 2022, WESTWIND will participate in this exchange platform for festival-makers – in 2023, WESTWIND itself host a network convention for theatre-makers in Bonn.

What are the themes and artistic styles of the NEXT GENERATION and what methods and platforms do they need to develop their art?

How can we get children and teens, i.e. the plays’ direct target audience, interactively involved in festival events?

What can we do to establish a better connection between theatre and its environment?

How do the artists interact with the respective cities?

How can cultural criticism and cultural policy engage with theatre for young audiences on a theoretical, professional level?

At the end of their project, the participants of NEXT GENERATION will pass on their insights and knowledge to a new project group, and the project cycle can begin each year anew with a new generation of young artists between the ages of 18 and 24.

With the first project cycle EXIT THE ROOM – NEXT GENERATION, the following theatres and festivals will be on the lookout for the kind of exciting formats which, in addition to performances, make theatre festivals an extraordinary event:

  • Agora Theater, St. Vith, Belgium
  • Bravo! Festival, Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland
  • Junges Theater Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • Jugend Theater Werkstatt Spandau, Berlin, Germany
  • Kliker Festival, Varaždin, Croatia
  • spleen*graz Festival, Graz, Austria
  • Starke Stücke, Festival Frankfurt and Rhine-Main region, Germany
  • TaO!, Graz, Austria (accredited institution and head organization)
  • WESTWIND Festival, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


The aim is to continuously expand this network.