Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss theatre, with a focus on diversity as well as on national and international appeal. It supports the creation of theatre productions, the dissemination of Swiss theatre abroad, cultural exchange within Switzerland and audience outreach of theatre. As a national institution, Pro Helvetia supplements the promotional activities of Swiss cantons and municipalities and supports only projects that are cross-nationally or internationally recognised.
To qualify for support from Pro Helvetia, a project must
- be clearly connected to Switzerland;
- be of nationwide importance;
- be publicly accessible;
- be adequately co-financed by other public or private sponsors (incl. publishers / event organisers).
Criteria fulfilled? Below you will find an overview of what our Theatre division promotes.
What we support: Scope of promotion
Pro Helvetia supports the creation of new theatre and music theatre productions with contributions to:
- productions by independent theatre groups from Switzerland and co-productions by Swiss and foreign theatre groups. A production is eligible for support only if at least ten performance dates have been confirmed at two different transregionally renowned venues in Switzerland. Revivals of productions are eligible for support if the production involved is particularly significant, if at least ten performances have been confirmed, and at least four years have passed since the same production was last staged.
- productions by independent music theatre ensembles from Switzerland and co-productions by Swiss and foreign ensembles. A condition for support is that several performance dates at at least two transregionally recognised venues have been confirmed, and that at least one of these venues is in Switzerland.
Pro Helvetia supports writers of plays via work grants provided by the Literature division (cf. Guidelines Literature) or in connection with author promotion programmes. The latter are advertised on the Pro Helvetia website and in the specialist media.
Guest performances in Switzerland
Pro Helvetia supports guest performances by independent theatre groups and by theatre institutions at nationally recognised venues and festivals in a linguistic region of Switzerland other than the group’s or institution’s own.
The Artists – Theatre – Organisers Association of Switzerland (ktv) provides support for domestic tours in the area of cabaret and variety shows (Kleinkunst) on behalf of Pro Helvetia: www.ktv.ch.
Guest performances abroad
Pro Helvetia supports guest performances by independent theatre groups and by theatre institutions at internationally recognised venues and festivals providing appropriate financial conditions. Tours comprising several performances and cities are prioritised. As a rule, the amount of support provided is measured against the travel and transport expenses involved. To raise the international competitiveness of independent dance and theatre groups, Pro Helvetia can grant an additional contribution for diffusion work in connection with tours in Europe.
In the case of productions performed by theatre groups with a transregional impact at a renowned venue, festival or platform abroad or in a linguistic region in Switzerland other than its own, Pro Helvetia can support also the surtitling.
Pro Helvetia assumes the hotel expenses of programme and event organisers coming from other linguistic regions in Switzerland or from abroad to view productions by independent Swiss theatre groups.
Pro Helvetia supports touring managers of independent dance and theatre groups in their international networking at important festivals and other relevant events outside Switzerland by means of travel grants. To be eligible for such grants, the groups represented must receive regular support from Pro Helvetia. Touring managers of groups with a Cooperative funding agreement are not eligible. The amount of support provided is measured against the travel and accommodation costs.
Pro Helvetia supports folk theatre projects in Switzerland which stand out through a high relevance of content and artistic realisation and which address a cross-regional audience.
Arts and audience projects
Pro Helvetia supports arts and audience projects in Switzerland that engage audiences in personal encounters with professional artistic creation and thereby heighten their awareness of artistic works and presentations. Projects can be considered for promotion if they contain an innovative approach to outreach and education in practice and therefore are of nationwide exemplary nature or if they focus on more than one linguistic region in Switzerland.
Pro Helvetia fosters the international exchange of knowledge. Eligible for support are specialists who contribute to the content of public events outside of Switzerland on topics connected with Swiss theatre. As a rule, the amount of support is measured against the travel expenses. The application is to be submitted by the event organiser.
Pro Helvetia supports publications that deal with topics of Swiss dance from a contemporary perspective (cf. Guidelines Culture and Society).
Promotion of aspiring artists
Pro Helvetia supports aspiring artists primarily in collaboration with recognised institutions in Switzerland and abroad (production sites, festivals, art colleges, etc.). The promotion is aimed at theatre artists of outstanding talent with prospects of a national or an international career. Aspiring theatre artists are supported during the first five years of their professional artistic career either after they have obtained their artistic degree or following the first public presentation of their work. The upper age limit for support is 35. Only projects that are conducive to establishing the artist in a professional environment at national and international level are eligible for support.