Swiss Theatre Award 2018
Enabler and networker
Gabi Bernetta was born in 1961 in Chur, where she also grew up, and has lived and worked in Zurich since 1985. After a commercial education she trained as an advertising assistant and opened her production office in Zurich in the mid-90s. She completed her master’s degree in culture management at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur in 2004. Over the years she has served as a production director and culture manager for various institutions: she was general manager of the Theater Chur from 2006 to 2008 and has also worked for the Junges Theater Zürich, forum:claque in Baden and the Kunstexpander performance festival in Aarau. In 2016 she initiated the national “jungspund Theatre Festival for Young Audiences St. Gallen”, which opened its doors on 21 February 2018 with a first edition devoted entirely to the Swiss scene.
Gabi Bernetta’s intuitive grasp of networks and the precision born of her commercial training have benefited numerous theatre productions. This award is intended to recognise her work which, while invisible to the audience, is invaluable to the theatre scene. Thom Luz, Jürg Kienberger, Ensemble Fiorenza, theater konstellationen and the group Plasma are just some of the many whose development Gabi Bernetta has pushed and promoted. She also co-founded and supported the Triad theatre company in Zurich and Manfred Ferrari’s “ressort k” in Chur. Over the years, theatre for children and young people has become an important part of her work. Since the last edition of SPOT in 2012 and the realignment of the “blickfelder” festival in Zurich, Switzerland has lacked a platform for this area of theatre. Bernetta is now filling the gap by establishing the “jungspund” festival.
“Gabi Bernetta is an enabler. As a production director with an acute sense of what ‘her’ directors, actors and musicians need, she works with them to create the environment in which art can flourish. She knows better than anyone that art production requires specific conditions: after all, she has been accompanying theatre practitioners on their journey from initial idea to completed project for more than 20 years. She is also a networker with a determination to shape cultural policy. She is the co-initiator and artistic director of the new ‘jungspund’ festival of theatre for children and young people, which was held for the first time in February 2018.”
Markus Joss, Jurymitglied