European Theatre Academy 2024

Date: 28 June - 02 July 2024

The 10th edition of the annual ETC European Theatre Academy takes place during the Festival d’Avignon in France, from Friday 28 June to Tuesday 02 July 2024. 

Read the full programme
Discover the mentors and speakers
Photo gallery from the 2024 edition

The Academy offers masterclasses and the opportunity to work on own projects with mentors, focusing on the different aspects of curating and managing international theatre collaborations, as well as networking opportunities with other young theatre professionals.

It provides an overview of different international collaboration forms and theatre systems, dealing with artistic as well as administrative, financial and legal questions in the European context. Participants will benefit from expert lectures on funding and support, production and curating, sustainability in theatre, touring and accessing foreign theatre markets. Several group work sessions with selected mentors will enable the participants to work on their own projects and delve into practical issues and considerations. 

Leading professionals of the international theatre scene will guide the participants and accompany them throughout the Academy which will become a working space of reflection, promotion of good practices and international networking.  

The programme will be further enriched by performances of the Festival d’Avignon and daily discussions on the performances seen together.

See the European Theatre Ácademy in the Maison des Professionels - Festival d'Avignon 2024 programme:

Find out more




19:00-21:00 Welcome Dinner at Restaurant Numéro 75



09:30 -10:00 Registration

10:00-10:15 Welcome: Introduction European Theatre Convention & European Theatre Academy

with Heidi Wiley, European Theatre Convention

10:15-10:45 Speed meeting exercise

with Laura Gardes, European Theatre Convention

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 Master Class (1): European Theatre Systems: Producing & Promoting

with Cláudia Belchior (Centro Cultural de Belém), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg), Serge Rangoni (Théâtre de Liège), and Dubravka Vrgoč (Zagreb)

12:30-14:15 Individual Lunches                         

14:15-15:45 Mentoring (1): Presentation, Feedback and Challenges in three small groups

Facilitated by Mentors Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Dubravka Vrgoč (Zagreb)

15:45-16:00 Coffee Break                    

16:00-17:00 Master Class (2): Working as a Theatre Director in Europe – The Role of Theatre in Society

András Dömötor, Stage Director (Budapest-Berlin)

17:00-18:00 Mentoring (2): Peer-to-Peer Work in three small groups

Facilitated by Mentors Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Dubravka Vrgoč (Zagreb)                    

22:00-00:00 Performance: Dämon, El funeral de Bergmann by Angélica Liddell, Cour d’Honneur du Palais des Papes




10:00-10:30 Exchange about the performances     

Facilitated by Mentors Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Dubravka Vrgoc (Zagreb)

10:30-11:30 Master Class (3): Digital and sustainable theatre practices Paulien Geerlings, De Toneelmakerij (NL)

11:30-12:30 Mentoring (3) With Mentor & Peer-to-Peer Work in small groups

Facilitated by Mentors Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Dubravka Vrgoc (Zagreb)

12:30-14:30 Individual Lunches  

14:30-16:30 MasterClass (4) Legal Aspects of International Theatre Collaborations

Herman Croux, Lawyer - In collaboration with PEARLE* TBC

16:30-17:00 Coffee Break                    

17:00-18:00 Mentoring (4) With Mentor & Peer-to-Peer Work in small groups

Facilitated by Mentors Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Dubravka Vrgoč (Zagreb)        

19:15 Transfer to performance venue: Navette to Carrière de Boulbon

22:00-23:50 Performance: Hécube, pas Hécube by Tiago Rodrigues, Carrière de Boulbon



10:00-10:30 Performance Feedback session

10:30-12:00 Mentoring (4) Finalisation and Feedback

Facilitated by Mentors Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Tom Leick-Burns (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Dubravka Vrgoc (Zagreb)

12:00-12:30 Conclusion & Evaluation        

13:00-14:00 ETC Networking Lunch Reception: International networking with theatre professionals, representatives of ETC Member theatres, international partners and Academy participants

Cloitre St. Louis, Festival d’Avignon

14:30-16:30 European Theatre Talks: Where theatre meets policy.
This edition of the European Theatre Talks explores themes at the intersection of sustainability, new technologies, cultural policy and freedom of expression, at the heart of the Festival d'Avignon, to officially launch the ETC Theatre Green Book, the one reference tool for all theatres to become green across all their work, whether digital, large-scale, on their building, or in their logistics.

Part I - Ecological Sustainability – Towards the Green Deal
Part II – Digital Transition in a Sustainable Way
Part III – Democracy, International Collaboration and the Power the Theatre

Moderated by Emily Gonneau, Causa,

with Paddy Dillon, Lisa Burger (Renew Culture), Georg Häusler (European Commission), Claudía Belchior (CCB, ETC), András Dömötör, Paulien Geerlings (De Toneelmakerij), Heidi Wiley (ETC), Emmanuelle Lejeune (STAGES), Jonathan Thonon (Théâtre de Liège),  and others


17:00-19:45 Performance: LACRIMA by Caroline Guila Nguyen, Gymnase du Lycée Aubanel




until 11:00 Check-Out and Individual Departure

Speakers & Mentors


Cláudia Belchior

ETC Board President and Executive General Coordinator at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon (Portugal)

Cláudia Belchior was the President of the Executive Board of the D. Maria II National Theatre in Lisbon, Portugal, a position she held from July 2015 to 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. In November 2024, she was elected President of the Board of ETC.


Herman Croux


Herman Croux has been active for more than 20 years in the field of creative industries, media, arts, entertainment, and web-driven industries. He was chair of the Copyright and Entertainment Law Committee of the International Bar Association and is a regular speaker at international conferences and recommended by the Legal 500. He was also chair of the board of directors of the Flemish Theatre Institute. Herman obtained his law degree and philosophy degree at Leuven University. Personal interests include photography and architecture.


András Dömötör

Director, Hungary

András Dömötör, born in Hungary in 1978, lives and works as a freelance director in Budapest and Berlin. He graduated from the SZFE (University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest) first with a degree in acting (2003) and then with a degree in directing (2007). He subsequently held a chair in acting at the SZFE. From 2003-2010 he was part of the ensemble at the Örkény Theatre in Budapest. He has been a freelance theatre director since 2011 and has been working mainly in German-speaking countries since 2014 (Deutsches Theater Berlin, Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Residenztheater Munich, Schauspiel Hannover, Schauspielhaus Graz, Burgtheater Vienna, Theater Basel). He primarily works with contemporary drama and directs world premieres, often in close collaboration with authors such as Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Sivan Ben Yishai, Thomas Perle, Ferdinand Schmalz and Lukas Bärfuss.

As an author, he has written and directed his own works such as Mephistoland at the Maxim Gorki Theatre and Solaris, Die Pest at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. He regularly directs new drama for the Berlin Autor:innenTheaterTage. In 2023, his first opera production Figaro3 premiered at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest.

András Dömötör has received numerous awards in Hungary: For his production of Káli holtak (Katona József Theatre Budapest), he received the Best Director of the Season, Best Performance and Best New Stage Text awards in the annual critics' poll. He has previously been honoured as a young talent of the theatre. Dömötör is the winner of the Hevesi Sándor Prize and the Contemporary Hungarian Drama Prize.


Laura Gardes

ETC Project & Network Manager

Laura is a cultural project manager, specialising in initiatives funded by Creative Europe. With a strong track record, she has successfully managed Voices of Culture - the structured Dialogue between the European Commission and the Cultural Sector as part of the Goethe-Institut Brussels team. She has provided crucial support to the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance in implementing their international cultural programme. Notably, Laura has led JUMP, a groundbreaking music market accelerator initiated by MaMA Festival and Convention Paris, where she empowered music business professionals to cultivate and execute innovative ideas. Drawing on her rich multicultural background developed through studies and work experiences in Germany, France, Belgium and Sweden, Laura holds a Masters in Euroculture.


Paulien Geerlings

Artistic Lead of Young Europe IV, Head Dramaturge at De Toneelmakerij (The Netherlands), ETC Board Member

Paulien Geerlings is a dramaturge, translator and yogi. After her high school education, she studied Philosophy and Theatre studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 2004 she graduated from DasArts, an international, multidisciplinary Master of Theatre, based in Amsterdam and founded by Ritsaert ten Cate. Between 2004 and 2006, she has been working with Theatre Company Dood Paard. In 2006 she became dramaturge of Ad de Bont, playwright and artistic director of the youth theatre company Wederzijds. This company merged with Liesbeth Coltof’s Huis aan de Amstel in 2009 and became De Toneelmakerij, the Amsterdam theatre company for young audiences.

Since its establishment, Paulien Geerlings has been the in-house dramaturge of De Toneelmakerij. As dramaturge, she has a strong focus on new writing, coaching of playwrights and supporting writers initiatives. She translated several plays for De Toneelmakerij. Her latest work entitled "2022 Witnessing U: Testimonials from the Frontline" was created together with Bogdana Orleanova and Iana Gudzenko based on testimonials from the war.


Tom Leick-Burns

Artistic Director and General Manager of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (Luxembourg), ETC Board Secretary

Tom Leick-Burns was born in Luxembourg and initially trained as an actor at the Drama Centre, London. Since then, he has appeared in over 20 professional theatre productions, starred in numerous films and was awarded the prestigious Studio Hamburg Shooting Star Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004. His career took a different turn when he was approached to work as a freelance production manager for the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg. Using his knowledge of British theatre and excellent language skills, he was hired to facilitate and look after international projects. Since then, he has been able to work on an eclectic range of theatre, dance and opera productions, using his organisational skills and gaining invaluable experience in project management. With his hands-on approach and indomitable spirit, Tom quickly adjusted to his new role while at the same time taking on new challenges. In 2008, he facilitated the first professional English-language production in Luxembourg and programmed parts of the Grand Théâtre English-language season.


Serge Rangoni

General Manager & Artistic Director of Théâtre de Liège and ETC Treasurer

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.


Dubravka Vrgoč

Former General Manager and Artistic Director of Croatian National Theatre Zagreb/Croatia

Dubravka Vrgoč has a M.A. in Comparative Literature, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, 1996 and a B.A. in Dramaturgy and World Literature, Academy of Theatre, Film and TV, Zagreb and Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, 1984. She worked as Artistic Director and General Manager of the Zagreb Youth Theatre (2004-2014) and Artistic Director of World Theatre Festival (since 2003). From 2014 to 2022, she was the General Manager and Artistic Director of Croatian National Theatre Zagreb. From 2011 till 2017, she was the President of European Theatre Convention. She has a large professional experience, worked as theatre critic and later she was working as general editor in daily newspaper Vjesnik. She won two scholarships: Fulbright scholarship - Research in American Theatre and Culture, New York, 1995 and British Council scholarship – participation in the project Theatre for the 21st century, London, 1997. She has lots of international theatre experiences in many national and international co-productions and collaboration with different cultural partners.


Heidi Wiley

ETC Executive Director

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 an 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.

Photo gallery

European Theatre Academy 2024 at Festival d'Avignon © European Theatre Convention


For further inquiries or additional information, please contact the ETC Office: 

Laura Gardes – Project & Network Manager:

The European Theatre Academy is organised in collaboration with PEARLE* and is part of the project "TRANSFORMATIONS - Recharging European Theatres and Audiences in a Post-Covid World " which is co-funded by the European Union.

Cloître Saint-Louis © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon

Why Join ETC?

  • Meet and network with colleagues from other European theatres
  • Create international artistic collaborations
  • Get inspired by new ideas and shared best practices
  • Be represented at European and international level
  • Discover new contexts, cities and perspectives
Be part of the community: join Europe's network for public theatres!

Discover all your benefits as a member