Today is the beginning of ARD’s Hörspieltage 15. If you’re not a German speaker it probably means little to you, but for the past twelve years ARD’s Hörspieltage has been the largest radio play festival in Germany and the Germans treat it with great respect.
For four days, Der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (ARD) broadcasts not just the twelve radio plays nominated for awards, but also live video streams, concerts, and other reports. And they don’t just broadcast. The entire glass building of the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe lights up with video projections of each radio play under consideration, as well as partitioning off spaces for visitors to produce their own radio plays on the site. Many well-known producers show up in the ARD-Hörspiel-Box with surprise guests.
As the ARD-Hörspiel-Box might suggest, the entire event prides itself on interactivity. Audiences and radio play fans across the country are encouraged to listen in and vote for their favorite play–the glass Hörspiel-Box offers a helpful checklist.. And it’s not just for adults. On Sunday the day is given over to Kinderhörspiel, or radio plays specifically for children. This year’s theme is “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” which should be great fun.
Here’s your list of nominees for the 2,500€ top prize, including for the first time entries from ORF in Austria and SRF in Switzerland, listed by author, radio station and title:
Andreas Ammer, Micha Acher, Markus Acher | BR
The King is Gone
Michel Decar | DRadio
Oliver Sturm | HR
King of Kings
Sibylle Berg | MDR
Und jetzt: Die Welt!
Ingrid Marschang | NDR
Geschichten aus der großdeutschen Metropulle
Elisa Minth | ORF
Charlotte Drews-Bernstein | RB
Die Geschichte meines Lebens. Die Tagebücher des Ferdinand Benekes
Ulrike Müller | RBB
Das Projekt bin ich!
Liquid Penguin Ensemble | SR
Michael Fehr | SRF
Babel und die Studentin und ein Rebhuhn auseinandernehmen
Wolfram Lotz | SWR
Die lächerliche Finsternis
andcompany&Co. | WDR
Orpheus in der Oberwelt. Eine Schlepperoper
I’ve heard most of the entries, but this is as good a time as any to listen again. It’s an exciting festival lineup this year, and proof that in Germany at least radio drama is alive and well.