The LOFFT has been a producer and venue for performing arts projects in Leipzig since 1997. After five theatre associations merged to form the head association called "Verein zur Förderung des Leipziger Off-Theaters e.V." (Association for the promotion of Leipzig Off-Theatre), the Ernst-Beyer-Haus (formerly the Poetisches Theater) in Leipzig city centre began to be shared under the name LOFFT.
From 1999 onwards, the association operated the "independent groups" section in the theatre at Lindenauer Markt in Leipzig - still under the name LOFFT. Since 1999, the association has been institutionally funded by the City of Leipzig; since 2005 also by the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism (previously: Saxon State Ministry of Science and Art) and Art.
From 1999 to 2001, the artistic offerings of the members of the association formed a basis for the programme. This was then supplemented by a successful series of guest performances in the field of dance and performing arts. There was also cooperation with other regional partners who used the home of the association for their performances. The guest performance series in particular brought the house significant national attention and a reputation, as well as international recognition.
In the course of this development the production profile of the theatre was also refined . This happened against the background of fundamental structural changes in independent theatre in Germany: since the end of the 1990s it had become increasingly clear that any successful development of independent theatre projects would in future rely on a well-developed national network. Consequently, every year the theatre's owners and management decided to put out to tender the production spaces for the projects to be realised in the following year.
This has been practised with growing success since 2002. Since then, the artistic productions have consistently achieved high quality.
In January 2019 the association moved the venue and offices to Hall 7 at the Leipziger Spinnerei, beginning public operations from there in March 2019.
Verein zur Förderung des Leipziger Off-Theaters e.V.
Spinnereistraße 7, Halle 7
Amtsgericht Leipzig: VR 1057/94
Board members: Knut Geißler, Josephine Hage and Anne-Cathrin Lessel
After more than twenty years an essential step in the development of the LOFFT was taken with the decision in 2019 by the Association for the promotion of the Leipzig Off-Theatre (as the previous ownerof the venue LOFFT), to continue the theatre operations in Hall 7 as a non-profit limited company. This decision particularly took into account the need to find an economically and structurally sustainable legal form for the association's special-purpose operation.
Since 2019, the association Verein zur Förderung des Leipziger Off Theaters e.V. has functioned as a 100% shareholder of LOFFT Theaterbetriebe gGmbH. The objective of the LOFFT remains to advocate for the activities of the independent performing arts in Leipzig, to network members, to advise, and to implement smaller projects. In doing so the LOFFT will continue to organically develop and refine its profile in national and international contexts, but also in relation to the cultural institutions of Leipzig and Saxony.