Puppet theatre productions from 25 countries had been invited to explore the theme of feelings and sensations at the Munich festival. Most theatre pieces rely wholly on sight and hearing, but in these plays, other senses, such as smelling and feeling, played central roles as well. Unique theatrical effects are created when certain sensory impressions suddenly vanish or are isolated. And this festival presented productions which did exactly that. For example, a puppet theatre performance depicting a puppet’s “execution” aimed to evoke sympathy and possibly incite the viewers to intervene in the action. The British Hijinx Theatre worked with actors with learning disabilities, while the Sandglass Theater from Vermont presented a play based on their work with patients suffering from dementia. And Ari Teperberg and his “Golden Delicious Ensemble” from Jerusalem have staged a performance about the blind and deaf activist Helen Keller.
The Munich Stadtmuseum houses the largest puppet theatre collection in the world. The puppeteer and puppet designer Frank Soehnle had been invited to explore the festival’s theme in an entirely different form. Soehnle has staged an exhibition using objects from the Stadtmuseum collection combined with his own creations. As a puppeteer, he is known for pushing the boundaries of puppet theatre with forays into the fields of music, performance and the fine arts. The festival programme also included audience discussions, workshops and presentations about the festival theme with separate events oriented to adults and to children.
Artistic directors: Mascha Erbelding, Evelyn James
Artists: Frank Soehnle, Pojūčiųteatras / Theatre of Senses (LT), Hijinx Theater (GB), Sandglass Theater (US), Ari Teperberg (IL), Theater Junge Generation Dresden / Ariel Doron (IL), Ulrike Quade Company (NL), Trickster-p (CH)