What is the best underrated musical

Reinhard Simon

1. Chairman

Reinhard Simon initially studied acting himself, but became interested in directing at an early age. After a few years as a freelance actor and director - including at the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz, at the Eduard-von-Winterstein Theater in Annaberg Buchholz and the Landesbühne Dresden - he was director of the Uckermärkische Bühnen Schwedt from 1990 to 2019. Reinhard Simon has been a holder of the Brandenburg Order of Merit since 2011 for his long-standing commitment to the “Theater Grenzenlos” project. In addition, from 1990 to 2013 he was a member of the executive board of the East Regional Association of the German Stage Association.


© Subart.de / Udo Krause

Marco Jung

2nd chairman

Marco Jung is one of the very few German lawyers who direct his legal advisory activities entirely towards the theater - with a special focus on his passion for musical theater. In his daily practice at the Munich media law firm Lausen Rechtsanwälte, he advises large and small theater producers, publishers, artists and rights holders of all kinds. He regularly returns to the place of his master's degree in New York, where he teaches at Columbia University School of the Arts “Law & Theater ”and“ Creative Producing ”. Marco is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute and lectures at the Academy of German Media.


Christoph Drewitz

Board member, artistic director

Christoph staged the musicals “The fabulous world of Amélie” and “Fack Ju Göhte” in the Werk 7 Theater in Munich, which was awarded the German Musical Theater Prize 2018 as “Best Musical”. Christoph worked for many years as a casting director, artistic director and associate director for Stage Entertainment. He was a. Initiator and director of the world premiere of the musical “Lotte” at the Wetzlar Festival, which was nominated several times for the German Musical Theater Prize. He is also a member of the Wetzlar New Cellar Theater e. V., where he works as an actor and director.


© Franziska Hain Photography

Bettina Meske

Board member

Since her training at the Tanz-Gesang-Studio Theater an der Wien, Bettina Meske has played numerous leading roles in musicals, has given concerts with the Bielefelder Philharmoniker, with the Staatskapelle Weimar and worked with Oscar winner Stephen Schwartz for his concert in Berlin. She was Miss Jones in "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at the Hanover State Opera, she played Madame Thénardier in "Les Misérables" at the Tecklenburg Festival and was most recently as Joanne in Stephen Sondheim's "Company" at the TfN Theater in Hildesheim. In the 2015/16 season she was seen in the musical “Der Tunnel” at the Stadttheater Fürth and was awarded the German Musical Theater Prize. She is currently playing one of the leading roles in the new musical premiere "Swing Street" in Fürth.
Bettina Meske is a prize winner in the national singing competition and is one of the founding members of the German Musical Academy. So far she has released two solo albums with her own songs with her label BMRecords.


© BMRecords

Birgit Simmler

Board member

Birgit Simmler is the artistic theater director of the Luisenburg Festival in Wunsiedel, one of the largest and most traditional open-air theaters in the republic.
After her apprenticeship on New York's Broadway with producer Manny Azenberg, Birgit went to Vienna as Resident Director for “Tanz der Vampire”. Since then she has directed her career towards the realization of commissioned works for a large audience. As a producer, project manager, director and author, she has worked through all forms of theater organization for two decades. In 2006-09 Birgit completed her practical experience with the diploma "Executive Master in Arts Administration" at the University of Zurich.
In 2013 she is the founding director of the “Biedenkopfer Schlossfestspiele” and thus a regional cult success that is based entirely on her own regional musicals. In 2018, she was the first landlady to move to the gigantic rock stage in Wunsiedel with all the children in 130 years.


© Luisenburg Festival / Florian Miedl

Tom van Hasselt

Board member, musical director

Tom van Hasselt first appeared in 1997 with a full-length chanson program from his own pen. Since then he has been present with a total of seven productions from solo to band programs throughout the German-speaking area, as well as on television and radio, and has received various cabaret prizes. In addition to studying music and philosophy in Cologne and Berlin, his training facilities include the text seminar of the GEMA Foundation, the pop course in Hamburg, the school for poetry and music SAGO, as well as acting workshops with Phillippe Gaulier and vocal masterclasses with Norma Enns and Sam Thiel. His stylistic trademarks are the virtuoso play with language and music and the linking of seemingly incompatible content. He is a partner in the stem cell formation


Leonie Webb

Board member

Leonie Webb is a freelance cultural manager (production manager / producer / tour manager) with a focus on musical theater. She first gained experience on Broadway and in the West End for and with musical icons such as Bernadette Peters, Imelda Staunten and Sonia Friedman. Leonie has lived in Berlin since 2018 and has since worked for the Maxim Gorki Theater, "Flashdance - Das Musical" or the Berlin creative agency battleROYAL, for example. Leonie is a graduate of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


© Virginia Pech Photography

Norbert Hunecke

Honorary Chairman

is a founding member of the German Musical Academy and has been on the board since then.
After studying musicals, Norbert Hunecke went to the training center “Dance and Singing Studio, Theater a. d. Wien ”initially as an actor on stage, then after ten years slipped into the organization team during a tour production, became company manager at“ Buddy ”, later theater director at“ Phantom of the Opera ”,“ MOZART! ”And the“ Hunchback of Notre - lady ”. As soon as he had started his own business as an agent, he was appointed to the ZAV, where he has been responsible for musicals as an employment agent since 2004.
In addition to his work as an employment agency, he is repeatedly invited as a jury member in various competitions. For example at Jugend Kulturell at Hypo Vereinsbank, at the national singing competition, and at MusicalStarT in Speyer.


© Jens Ochmann

Eva Theresa Beck

Archiving, website

Eva Theresa Beck completed her B.A. "Music Theater Studies" and M.A. "Music and Performance" at the University of Bayreuth, where she also works as an external lecturer with a focus on musicals. After working for several years as a music dramaturge at Gallissas Theaterverlag, she is now working in the project management department at Preissler Music, one of the largest instrument rental companies in Europe with a focus on German and EU tours for foreign classical orchestras. In addition, Eva is currently working on her dissertation “Re-Writing American History and Mythology. The role of genre conventions in American musicals with decidedly socio-political-critical references ”.


Julia Hoppe

Contact person for the German Musical Theater Prize

Julia Hoppe studied theater studies with a special focus on music theater at the University of Bayreuth. During her studies she already gained first theater experience, e.g. at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. Her first engagement took her to the National Theater and Staatskapelle Weimar, where she worked as an assistant director in the 2010/11 - 2015/16 seasons. She then switched to the Berliner Ensemble, where she worked in the dramaturgy for two seasons. After a short stop at the Schwerin State Theater, where she worked as a drama dramaturge, Julia Hoppe has been employed as a musical dramaturge at the Theater für Niedersachsen since the 2018/19 season.


Daniel Lagerpusch

Jury support for the German Musical Theater Prize

Daniel Lagerpusch was born in Essen, is a lawyer and artist manager who has dedicated himself to the entertainment industry, especially musicals and live entertainment, for 20 years.
After studying law with a focus on copyright and media law, he gained experience as a lawyer at one of the largest independent TV producers in Germany and a film funding agency.
For many years, Daniel Lagerpusch looked after some of the most successful fashion and lifestyle bloggers as well as entertainers from a wide variety of fields as part of the artist management, before the management was completely focused on the areas of musicals, theater and shows.


Azizeh Nami

Press officer

The trained publicist has worked in communications and journalism and has worked in public relations for film, television and the stage for many years. In her agency Highlight Film & TV, she has been responsible for PR, advertising and marketing for various film, TV and stage productions as well as personality PR for numerous artists in this area for 20 years.
Azizeh Nami has been responsible for press and public relations as spokesperson for the academy since 2016, as well as for individual events and the German Musical Theater Prize. In addition, she supports the academy in setting up an industry-relevant network and establishing connections to cooperation partners.


Ute Schäfer


Ute Schäfer was born on November 19th, 1965, has been married since 1986 and has two adult children. After leaving school, she first learned the trade of industrial clerk, then studied economics. At the turn of the century, she also graduated as an accountant. In 2000 she also passed the tax advisor examination, has been self-employed since then and employs 10 people. Her office is in the beautiful and by far underrated Uckermark.
Even at school she was drawn to the stage - initially with poetry, later also in the areas of cabaret and carnival. A provisional high point of her stage experience came in 2011 with a guest appearance "In the white horse" in the Uckermärkische Bühnen. In the association of friends and sponsors of those same Uckermärkische Bühnen Schwedt she has been involved in the board for many years to preserve them.