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Published:  17 May 2023

The 2023 European Theatre Forum hit high spot and devised new grounds for the sector

The forum gathered 200 European theatre experts for 3 days at the J.K. Opole Theatre in Poland who formulated recommendations around 3 main subjects: democracy, sustainability and digital readiness.

Leading voices of the European theatre sector amongst them emerging artists, dramaturges and members of the European institutions joined in Opole, Poland in an intense three-day long consultative exercise.

Three years after its first inaugural online edition in 2020, the European Theatre Forum offers a space for the whole sector to find a path forward for the industry amidst current challenges.

The forum resolved around a series of engaging formats, presentations, workshops, roundtable discussions and artistic performances at the J.K. Opole Theatre.

The Opole recommendations

The outcomes of these exchanges will directly complement and feed into the “Opole Recommendations” that will based on the analyses the European theatre Convention conducted.

The European Commission will publish these recommendations in June 2023 and they will serve as a guide for their future collaboration with the European public sector.

The Opole Recommendations were framed around the identified three main "century challenges" for European theatre:

  1. democracy, international collaboration, and the power of theatre
  2. sustainability and green transitions
  3. digital readiness

In pursuit of these overarching goals, attendees of the forum advocated to focus on the following key policy priorities:


Reacting to the new normal. As noted in the European Commission Work Programme 2023, current crises only underline the need for Europe to continue to accelerate the radical transformations that are now underway across many sectors.

Mental health and social inclusion

As mental health is closely related to social inclusion, theatre needs to unleash its full potential to empower people with a participatory approach that includes professionals and amateurs. This way, theatre can contribute to building healthy democracies with healthy citizens.

EU green deal and #NewEuropeanBauhaus

Theatre can show leadership by bringing sustainable thinking into the mainstream and transforming theatre productions, operations, and buildings.

#Mobility and emerging artists

The theatre sector needs to become more diverse and inclusive. This means that it needs to promote mobility in multiple directions: European theatres need to expand touring routes beyond Europe in a sustainable way while also developing multiple pathways to bring artists to Europe.  

#FreetoCreate: artistic freedom and experiments

Creating the conditions for artists to express themselves and connect with others outside of restrictive nationalistic policies.

Working conditions of theatre professionals

The pandemic took an enormous toll on the theatre sector. An already precarious sector needs new business models to cushion the financial effects of inflation and the ongoing crises described above.

The Opole Recommendation document will be released mid-June by the European Commission.

Published:  17 May 2023