ETC activities are organised by a core team of staff based in our offices in Berlin. The work is directed and supported by a Board of Directors from leading theatres across Europe.
Heidi Wiley has been Executive Director of the European Theatre Convention (ETC) since 2009. Under her leadership, ETC has become an established European cultural network with an international programme of artistic collaboration, professional development and advocacy for Europe’s public theatres, spanning over 30 countries. She led ETC to become a strategic partner of the European Commission and the recipient of several prestigious prizes, including the 2022 Art Explora – Académie des Beaux-Arts European Award for innovation in access to culture; and European prizes for outstanding achievement in the fields of audience development and cultural heritage. Heidi is a sought after moderator and speaker at European events and conferences. In 2022, Speaker at the 8th Culture & RTBF Meeting; 2021, Consultant for European cultural policy agencies KEA (Brussels) and PPMI (Vilnius); 2020, Co-initiator of the 1st European Theatre Forum of the European Commission and the German EU Council Presidency; 2019, Author for the European Expert Network on Culture and Audiovisual (EENCA). Heidi started her career as international producer and touring manager for artists Victoria Chaplin and the Tiger Lillies, touring around Europe and Asia at major festivals and theatre venues. A studied cultural manager with degrees from La Sorbonne and Leuphana University, she lived and worked over the last 25 years in the UK, US, France and Germany.
Project & Network Manager
Hélène Gauthier studied Political Sciences and International Cultural Management in France and India. She started her professional life at the French Embassy in Berlin as a Cultural Officer in 2011. She moved back to France in 2013 to work at ARTE, the European cultural TV channel, as an Advisor to the Presidents, where she contributed to securing EU funding for the channel's project "ARTE Europe", of subtitling French-German audio-visual content in four further European languages (English, Spanish, Polish and Italian). After four years at ARTE, she moved back to Berlin and first worked with the Daniel Barenboim Foundation and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra before joining the ETC team.
(photo by Cornelia Gloth)
Tel.: +49 30 284 41 402
Mobile: +49 172 357 32 45
Teresa Pfaud studied Cultural Sciences and French Philology at the University of Potsdam and General Management at Nordakademie Graduate School in Hamburg. After internships at the Ministry of Culture and Youth in Costa Rica and Museo del Baile Flamenco in Sevilla (Spain), she worked in Berlin for the PR agency ARTEFAKT Kulturkonzepte and for the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, where she conducted workshops and co-founded the project “Opernshots”. She joined ETC in 2015 as Project Coordinator of the artistic collaboration projects.
(photo by Cornelia Gloth)
Tel.: +49 30 284 41 207
Mobile: +49 172 356 74 63
Christy studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. After internships at political consultancy firms and national newspapers, he spent four years as a journalist at the arts policy magazine ArtsProfessional, then contributed articles as a freelance writer to The Guardian, The Independent, El País and City Lab. He joined ETC in October 2020.
(photo by Irene Arroyo)
Tel.: +49 30 284 41 460
Mobile: +49 17 235 720 92
Digital Communication Officer
Özgül Demiralp studied International Relations at the University of Geneva and Journalism and Communication at the Freie Universität Berlin. She started her career as a news reporter at a Swiss television channel, and has since then worked as a journalist and editor for various print, online and broadcast media, including an international video news agency. She has an established track record of covering local and international current affairs, as well as topics related to culture and sustainability. She joined ETC in February 2023.
(photo by Ines Grabner)
Tel.: +49 30 28 441 460
Mobile: +49 152 0995 1087
Project Management Intern
Žad studied German Language, Comparative Literature with a minor in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow with an exchange year at FU Berlin. She is currently undertaking an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree in European Societies, Politics and Culture in Global Context (Euroculture) at University of Göttingen and University of Groningen. Simultaneously with her studies, for the last 7 years, Žad has also worked as a project-basis assistant director at Croatian National Theatre Zagreb, Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM), Gavella Theatre Zagreb, Zagreb Puppet Theatre and Tron Theatre Glasgow; and has done two Regiehospitanzen at Schaubühne Berlin and Deutsches Theater Göttingen. During summers, she often takes on different roles with the Edinburgh Fringe Society. She joined ETC in September 2023 as a Project Management intern.
Tel.: +49 30 284 41 207
ETC Board of Directors
ETC President, General Manager & Artistic Director of Théâtre de Liège/Belgium
Serge Rangoni studied at the Conservatoire of Brussels. After working in various theatre institutions and at the Ministry of Culture, he was designated in 2004 as General Manager of Théâtre de Liège. Under his leadership, the theatre received the titles of “European center of theatrical creation and choreography” and “Centres for Drama” in the French-speaking area of Belgium, affirming its role in theatrical and dance productions and their dissemination to local and international audiences. Since his arrival at its head, the institution has developed considerably, with now an audience of 65,000 and more than 180 performances a season. Théâtre de Liège is today the leading stage in Wallonia.
ETC Vice-President, General Manager & Artistic Director, Schauspielhaus Graz, Graz/Austria
Iris Laufenberg studied "Drama, Theatre and Media" in Giessen (Germany) until 1991. After working in Bonn and Bremen, she worked as a dramaturgue and artistic director of the international Bonn Biennale Festival, focusing on contemporary European drama. She was the director of the internationally reputable festival Theatertreffen in Berlin from 2002 to 2011, where she again focused on the promotion of current European drama at the Stückemarkt. As the director of drama at the Konzert Theater Bern (Switzerland) from 2012 to 2015 she emphasized the importance of international productions and began her work with interdisciplinary and site-specific projects. Since the 2015/16 season, Iris Laufenberg has worked as the managing director of the Schauspielhaus Graz (Austria). Among sharpening the profile of contemporary authors by founding the "Dramatiker|innenfestival" of Graz, she goes on pursuing the development of the city theatre concept beyond content genres and geographical boundaries.
ETC Vice-President, Head Dramaturge at De Toneelmakerij, Amsterdam/The Netherlands
Paulien Geerlings (Amsterdam,1970) is a Dutch dramaturge with an Indo-European background and vice president of the European Theatre Convention (ETC). After her high school education, she studied Philosophy and Theatre studies at the University of Amsterdam, gaining her MSc in 1997. In 2004 she received her MA at DasArts (currently DAS Theatre), a master’s programme for artistic practices in the field of theatre at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. For the past twelve years she has been the head dramaturg of De Toneelmakerij, the Amsterdam theatre company for young audiences. She is also leading the international collaboration projects of the company (Theatre Café/European Writers Lab, Young Europe 2) and is the artistic driving force behind ETC ‘s collaboration projects Nadia, Young Europe 3 and currently Young Europe 4. Alongside this, she translated several plays from German and English into Dutch, made theatre adaptations, taught at the Amsterdam University of the Arts and was a founding board member of Assitej NL. As a dramaturge, she has a strong focus on the development of new repertoire and the coaching of playwrights. She is committed to diversity issues, non-dominant voices in society and stories that haven’t been told (enough). Besides her work at De Toneelmakerij, she is co-founder of Toneelschrijfhuis, an artistic collective of playwrights and dramaturges, connected to Bellevue Theatre in Amsterdam.
ETC Treasurer, Artistic Advisor at Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon/Portugal
Cláudia Belchior was the President of the Executive Board of the D. Maria II National Theatre in Lisbon, Portugal, a position she has held from July 2015 - June 2022. Cláudia has been involved with the performing arts for all of her career, at the foremost cultural institutions in Portugal, having served as Director, Coordinator for the Performing Arts, and Deputy Director for Planning and Budget at the Belém Cultural Centre and as Director of Production at the Gulbenkian Foundation. She has taught courses in Production Management, Stage Management, and Technical Direction in several institutions.
ETC Secretary, General Director & Artistic Director of Staatstschauspiel Dresden, Germany
Joachim Klement studied in Cologne and Munich (Germany). Later he had various engagements as a dramaturge, among others in Wilhelmshaven, at the theatre in Graz (Austria) and at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. From 1996, he was Senior Drama Dramatist at the National Theatre Mannheim for three years. Subsequent to this in 2004, he became Chief Dramaturge and deputy to the General Intendent at Bremen Theatre. In 2006/2007, he moved to Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus in the same capacity. Joachim Klement was then General Director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig before becoming General Director of the Staatsschauspiel Dresden.
ETC Board Member, Artistic Director of SNG Nova Gorica/Slovenia
Marko Bratuš studied dramaturgy and radio directing at the Academy for Theatre Radio Film and Television at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He worked both as theatre and film director, as well as dramaturge, musician, theatre pedagogue, new format developer and screenwriter for television, film, radio and theatre. He was artistic director at Gledališče Glej - NGO experimental theatre in Ljubljana between 2013 and 2016. Marko Bratuš works since 2016 as artistic director at the Slovenian national theatre Nova Gorica.
ETC Board Member, Head of Artistic, Planning and Development Department at Fondazione del Teatro Stabile di Torino - Teatro Nazionale/Italy
Graduated in classical literature, with a cross-curricular thesis on history of the theatre and classical greek literature in Milan, I have obtained a Master's Degree on Organisation and distribution of theatre productions at the Piccolo Teatro/Teatro d’Europa directed by Giorgio Strehler, where I started my career that proceded in other theatres in Milan. In 2002 I begun to work for the TST/NT first at the Regional circuit of Piedmont (40 theatres) and then I became the Head of artistic, planning and development department under the directions of Mario Martone and now Valerio Binasco.
ETC Board Member, Administrative Director & Deputy General Director of Theater Magdeburg/Germany
Bettina Pesch studied Media, Ethnology, Industrial, Commercial and Social Law before she graduated in Industrial and Media Law in 1985. She dedicated a part of her career to the opera field and worked with various houses such as Deutsche Oper am Rhein or Oper Leipzig. She has always developed European and international projects to promote cooperations for opera and musicals. Bettina Pesch also committed herself in both economic leadership and legal structure of the organisations she worked with. From 2001 to 2006, Bettina Pesch worked as General Director of Rundfunkorchester & Chöre GmbH Berlin. She then became the General and Executive Director of Theater Dortmund until 2017, when she joined Theater Magdeburg as Administrative Director & Deputy General Director.
ETC Board Member, Former General Manager & Artistic Director of Croatian National Theatre Zagreb/Croatia
Dubravka Vrgoč started her career as a theatre critic and journalist, and soon afterwards contributed as author and scriptwriter to various TV and radio programmes. She completed her studies as dramaturge at the University of Zagreb (Croatia). Throughout the last 20 years, she acted as jury or board member of diverse Croatian cultural activities with an international profile such as the “International Puppet Festival”, the Croatian centre of ITI-Unesco, or the “Croatian Drama Festival”. Dubravka Vrgoč worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Croatian government and as international relations advisor for the cultural department of the City of Zagreb. She conducted research projects on “Theatre for the 21st century” in London and in New York, has been invited to numerous meetings and conferences as Croatian cultural expert organised by the Council of Europe or UNESCO and has ever since strongly supported and engaged in youth work, both on a political and artistic level.