Skip to main content



40. Theatre Meeting
for young audience
01.–08. June 2O24

Maschinenhaus Essen

10.200 minutes of time for WESTWIND!

WESTWIND is one of the most renowned theatre festivals for young audiences in Germany.
In cooperation with PACT Zollverein and Schauspiel Essen, WESTWIND will present the ten NRW productions currently most worth seeing.

From October 2023 to February 2024, the jury (Mansur Ajang, Dr Tülay Altun and Till Beckmann) reviewed a total of 49 performative children's and youth theatre formats throughout NRW and selected ten productions as particularly noteworthy in terms of their social relevance, their positioning in current discourse and their artistic quality. In addition, international guest performances set genre-specific impulses and the TOBOSO Theatre presents the performative democracy play "Konferenz der kommenden Entscheidungen".
In addition to the Arbeitskreis Theatre for Young Audiences NRW, WESTWIND is expecting representatives of the children's and youth theatre scene from all over Germany for a meeting of the German ASSITEJ Arbeitskreis speakers. International guests also will join the festival via the EXIT THE ROOM network of Erasmus plus (which brings together European organisers and festival makers). Next Generation Forum: Accompanied by performer Zeynep Topal, the nationwide Next Generation Forum (consisting of 10 selected young professionals and students from relevant disciplines) will help shape the festival, analyse existing structures and narratives in theatre for young audiences and actively think about its future.

With many communal cultural experience and exchange formats beyond the stage, the Maschinenhaus Essen is particularly keen to show what makes theatre for young audiences particularly valuable beyond attending a performance.
After each performance, resonance spaces invite the audience to exchange ideas and reflect on what they just have experienced: Individually prepared for each performance, this reflection format invites everybody to experiment practically or deepen the thoughts together.
In order to make constructive use of the diversity of perspectives and skills of all the professionals and specialists present during the festival week, an extensive workshop programme (yoga, stage combat, event technology, rap, singing, dance, speaking, ...) invites colleagues and young audiences to get involved with each other.
Interested members of the public are also invited to take part in the talent exchange according to the "search/offer" principle in spontaneously organised pop-up workshops.
Under the label “School On Stage” school bands and theatre courses from Essen can introduce themselves and their talent to the festival community and the city.
The WESTWIND accompanying programme is meant to turn the festival into a common celebration!

In the tent city around the Maschinenhaus Essen, there will be many opportunities to spend 10,200 minutes in an atmospheric setting: at the WESTWIND dinner table, around the campfire, in the circus tent, in front of the open-air stages, in the Chill Out Lounge, with concerts, parties or just to round off the day at the Late Night Kiosk.
Vegetarian and vegan food is served on the grounds every day. In addition, the café and kiosk always offer snacks and drinks.
On the last day of the festival, Saturday 8 June, this festival swoosh will culminate in a big children's party, which will take place in and around the Maschinenhaus Essen, on the site of the former Zeche Carl. The festival will conclude with the award ceremony and the handover of the baton to WESTWIND 2025 in Düsseldorf!

Photo of the press conference for the programme presentation

Dr. Stefanie Jenkner (Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft NRW), Olivia Marschalek und Alia Diab (Team Maschinenhaus Essen), Jennifer Ewert (Leitungsteam Maschinenhaus Essen), Stefan Hilterhaus (Künstlerischer Leiter PACT Zollverein), Selen Kara (Co-Intendantin Schauspiel Essen), Fabian Sattler (Leitungsteam Maschinenhaus Essen), Christiane Müller-Rosen (Arbeitskreis Theater für Junges Publikum NRW), Till Beckmann (Westwind-Jury), Annette Pfisterer (Leitungsteam Maschinenhaus), Maximilian Löwenstein (Dramaturg Schauspiel Essen)

Photo: Young-Soo Chang

Schools and kindergartens at WESTWIND

We look forward to welcoming children and adolescents to our festival!

Children and adolescents pay 5 euros per ticket, two accompanying persons per class/group have free admission.

Please send enquiries for group reservations for schools and kindergartens by email to



our archive offers a comprehensive overview and nostalgic review of past Westwind festivals

to the archive ->