Held each year in July and August, the Tirol Regional Theater Festival Telfs is a major contribution to the vibrant social and cultural life of Tirol. In 2019, the festival stage will move outdoors.
Established in 1981, the Telfs Theater Festival is an annual event that brings together artists, theater-makers and audiences from Tirol and around the world. The critically acclaimed festival provides a platform to showcase the best of Tirolean theater by presenting contemporary drama by local theater artists alongside work by exciting, emerging theater-makers.
80 years ago, the so-called “South Tyrol Option Agreement” between Mussolini and Hitler gave the native German speaking people in South Tyrol the option of either emigrating to neighboring Nazi Germany (of which Austria was a part after the 1938 Anschluss) or remaining in Fascist Italy and being forcibly integrated into the mainstream Italian culture, losing their language and cultural heritage. With a heavy heart, approximately 74,500 South Tyrolese left their homes and moved north across Brenner Pass. The resettlement of the South Tyrolean population resulted in the construction of many “Südtiroler Siedlungen” (‘South Tyrolean housing developments’) across Tirol. These buildings symbolised the antagonism between the South Tyroleans and the population of Tirol. Contemporary author Felix Mitterer, a Tirol native, has grown steadily in both critical and popular acclaim, emerging as one of the most popular playwrights in German-speaking Europe today. He has written a play about "The Option" and its results, named “Sold Homeland. The Memory of the Buildings”. The play deals with issues that are still alive today, like “How does it feel leaving your homeland? Being a stranger? How do native people deal with strangers?” The play is performed outdoors with the Telfs “Südtirol Siedlung” as backdrop.