History of the Institute of Theatre Studies

Beginning in the 1920s, the Swiss Society for Theatre Culture launched several initiatives to institutionalise theatre studies. The ITW at the University of Bern was finally founded in 1992 and remains the only tertiary theatre studies institute in Switzerland. Its founding director Andreas Kotte led the ITW until his retirement in 2020. The major project “Theatre Encyclopaedia of Switzerland” was completed in 2005 and has been available online since 2012.

Gerald Siegmund was Assistant Professor for contemporary theatre at the ITW from 2005 to 2008. In 2007, the ITW established a Professorship in dance studies, which has since been held by Christina Thurner. Peter W. Marx was Professor at the ITW from 2009 to 2012. In 2013, Beate Hochholdinger-Reiterer was appointed to a Professorship with a focus on contemporary theatre. Since 2020 her focus has been on theatre history. Contemporary theatre is now represented by Assistant Professor Alexandra Portmann.