TheatreFragile, Mask Theatre in public spaces
Berlin · Köln · Detmold
TheatreFragile is researching new theatrical forms. The company's productions intertwine dramatic and fine arts with documentary theatre through a combination of mask performance, walk-through art installations, documentary research and fictional narrative.
The Berlin-based company seeks a new vocabulary that can unite the magic of mask play with the direct audience contact of street theatre. They are fascinated by the various levels of play between distance and proximity, everyday life and the poetic universe of theatre.
A playfulness with the audience and an invitation to come closer to see and listen to the installation give the performers opportunities to share and interact with individuals as well as the group at large. The audience goes from being passive onlookers to active visitors and even participants in the installation. The shows are adapted in each city where they are played according to a research and rehearsal period in that area.
TheatreFragile creates its art of mask theatre through keen observation – listening with an agile alertness and reacting with moments of suspension and empathy. The audience is thus witness to an inner and outer examination of the inevitable, the human.
Bringing theatre directly to people instead of waiting for the public to come to the theatre is the common goal of the artists of TheatreFragile.
Luzie Ackers, born 1978 in Darmstadt, grew up in the environment of puppeteers and urban planners. As a child and teenager, she learned forms of classical pantomime in school and private contexts, specialised in the visual arts and developed a particular fascination for public space. In 1998 she moved to Berlin. After two years of studying cultural studies as well as Spanish and Italian philology at the Humboldt University in Berlin, she followed her passion and switched to studying mime at the Etage -Schule der Darstellenden Künste Berlin.
After graduating there, she founded the company TheatreFragile with Marianne Cornil in 2007, where she is still co-artistic director of the ensemble. Ackers and Cornil share an interest in public space as a place where social developments are negotiated. In their artistic practice, TheatreFragile combine documentary elements with the art of masquerade. The productions have a strong socio-spatial reference and the company performs exclusively outdoors.
In the intensive study of non-verbal communication in the theatre context, Ackers developed the need to deal with the "speaking body" in an expanded form. This is how the studio "HANDS ON - Studio für Körper.Bewusst.Sein." came into being in 2015, where she practices according to the Grinberg Method and the Pantarei Approach.
Luzie Ackers creates contemporary masks that sensitively convey the artistic message of the productions. Since 2007, she has created over 100 masks that have been used in projects by TheatreFragile and other companies.
From the very beginning, Ackers has made it a point to share her knowledge of mask making and mask acting and regularly offers workshops in an international context for different target groups.
Most recently, in 2021, she led a workshop entitled "poetic mask in public space" for professional performers in the field of theatre in public space within the "Street Performing Arts Summer Programme (S.P.A.S.A)" in Tarrega (Catalonia, ES). Other trainers were Cia Kamchatka (ES), Cie Willi Dorner (AU) and Giro Osojnik (SI).
Ackers is also involved in the field of cultural education with TheatreFragile and develops child- and youth-friendly workshop formats that introduce participants to mask making and mask play.
She also works as a mentor for students of Gestural Theatre (Estudis interpretacio gestual) at the Institut de Theatre Ramon Llull in Barcelona.
Due to her many years of artistic expertise, Luzie Ackers will be part of the jury for the project funding of the Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste NRW and the Fonds Darstellende Künste in 2021/ 2022/ 2023.
She lives in Berlin with her two sons.
Artistic director of TheatreFragile, performer, interview and sound collage. She studies German language and culture at the Sorbonne in Paris. In addition to her mime degree at the Etage Berlin, she plays "Ristorante Immortale" of Familie Flöz, tours worldwide until 2007 and works as a freelance theater actor in Berlin. She performs with her accordion & chanson program. In 2013 Marianne Cornil deepens her occupation with artistic research and scientific research, respectively with the question of the artist's engagement in society through the Master "experimentation politic & art" (SPEAP) under the direction of Bruno Latour at the Hochschule Sciences Po in Paris. Since 2007 she has regularly practiced bodywork according to the Talmi method in her studio in Berlin Kreuzberg and at the Hochschule Ernst Busch. In street theatre she finds what is most dear to her heart in her art: an intensive and sensitive human exchange.
Actress. Born in 1975 in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. She graduated from the Berlin School of Acting, (Berliner Schule für Schauspiel). Dana has toured the world as a Mask Performer in four different Familie Flöz productions: “Ristorante Immortale”, “Teatro Delusio”, “Hotel Paradiso” and “Infinita”. She was also the Production Assistant and Mask Building Assistant for “Teatro Delusio” and “Infinita”. Dana performs in Theater Strahl's “Klasse Klasse” and “Klasse Tour” directed by Michael Vogel, and she teaches Movement and Mask Play at the Berlin School of Acting. She has furthered her own training in Clown with Paco Gonzales, Viewpoints with Ilka Metzner, Suzuki with Martin Gruber and Mask Building with Frans Krom. With TheatreFragile Dana plays in SKY IN SIGHT, HOME and OUT OF BOUNDS and did the mask coaching in WE MEET IN PARADISE.
Actress. Feels at home not only on stage but also behind the scenes. Lisette studied Acting at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. During this time, she participateddd in such productions as “Death of a Salesman” directed by Dimiter Gotscheff at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. She has also studied mask making at various workshops with mask theatre companies such as Familie Flöz. During her studies in Set Design at the Berlin-Weißensee School of Fine Arts, she worked as Scenery and Costume Design Assistant at Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Staatsschauspiel Dresden Theater. Lisette has worked as Set Designer and Puppet Maker for Theater des Lachens in Frankfurt (Oder), TPT Thüringen, Bat Berlin, Semperoper Dresden and Theater Mücke. She co-created “Ahoi!” with TheatreFragile and performs in “Ahoi!” and “Sky in Sight”.
Composer. Was born in Linz, Austria. From 1997-2002, Janko studied Jazz Bass at the KonservatoriumWien University in Vienna. He has since performed countless concerts in Germany, Austria,Italy, Poland and Switzerland, playing predominantly contemporary jazz music and freeimprovisation. In 2002, he co-founded Duo Merzouga with computer musician Eva Pöpplein.Eva and Janko compose electroacoustic music and sound art for Deutschlandradio Kultur,Radio_Copernicus, Akademie Musiktheater, as well as for Deutschlandfunk, Hebbel amUfer Theater Berlin, Schauspielfrankfurt, Münchner Volkstheater, Staatstheater Kassel andSchauspielhaus Graz. Janko lives in Cologne, Germany.
Filmmaker. Was born in Rothenburg o.d.T., Germany. Since 2008 she produces documentaries, image spots and trailer as independent filmmaker and leads the film workshops, which are held in the "Kulturfabrik Hangar 21" in Detmold. During her instantaneous master studies in media production at the university of applied science Ostwestfalen-Lippe, she shot the documentary about the process of development during the current production of Theatre Fragile named "Out of Bounds". Her passion about working with youths and culture came by working at culture&art initiative Detmold, where she was coorganising the Short Film Festival Detmold and its youth exchanges with Turkey and Spain. Afterwards she realised cultural projects in cooperation with the KulturTeam of the city of Detmold and with independent artists. With inmates of the jail in Herford she produces music clips and short films since 2008.
Actress. was born in 1985 in Vancouver/Canada. After receiving her bachelor degree in Devised theatre and directing in Toronto, 2009 Nicole furthered her training in Paris at Le École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. In 2010 she studied mask making and sculptor under the tutelage of renowned mask sculptor Donato Satori at The Center of Mask and Gestural Sculptures and the International Mask Museum in Italy, modern Commedia dell’Arte with Teatro Punto in Amsterdam and Clown with Philippe Gaulier. As an actor, clown, improvisor and director and mask maker she has worked on productions across Canada and throughout Europe.
Since 2016 season she plays with TheatreFragile in the production of WE MEET IN PARADISE.
Actor. Was born in 1985 in Bečej/Serbia. After graduation in 2004 he moved to Germany. Alongside his language courses he participated in several youth theaters. In 2007 he received a scholarship to study at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. Upon his graduation in 2011 he performed as a guest artist at different theatres before becoming a member of Konstanz Theater ensemble for three years. Besides his love for the stage he has taken part in several short films. In 2015 he moved to Berlin and started working in the independent theatre scene. He learn about TheatreFragile and joint for the production of WE MEET IN PARADISE.
Dancer & Actress. Works as a freelance dancer. She studied dance and movement in her home city Brussels. She learned physical theater at the school “Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Lassaad”, and pursued a contemporary dance training at „The Etage" Berlin. Since 2006, she works with many different choreographers around Europe, continually collaborating with the german choreographer Anna Konjetzky in Munich. With her, she created many dance pieces. She is also developing her own research, creating alternative formats for researches and encounters with other artists. In 2016 she started a long term performance project in private appartments called "Dance Kitchen“. (www.dancekitchen.org)
Performer & Singer. Works as a freelance musician and songwriter in Berlin, teaches movement and dance at HMT Rostock. She studied music and movement at the university of arts Berlin „UdK Berlin“, somatic research and participatory arts at „Moving On Center“ in Oakland, California, and choreography at „SNDO Amsterdam“. Since 2018 she is touring in different band formations with her own songs on guitar and piano and was invited to play as support act for Agnes Obel and Gisbert zu Knyphausen. In 2021 she worked as a composer for the „Mittelmeer Monologe“ at Heimathafen Berlin and graduated as Fluentbody© teacher at the Fluentbody Academy Berlin under Florencia Lamarca. Her debut album will be released under her new name PAULA PAULA in 2023. www.marlenecolle.com
Actress. Born 1987 in Berlin, studied contemporary puppetry at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" and as a guest student at the Inter-University Centre for Dance. Artistically, she is enthusiastic about the in-between and its emergence. She is constantly searching for and finding her own interdisciplinary language, nourished by expressive worlds of dance, drama, object/material theatre and voice as a phenomenon. In 2018 she played for the production SUPERQUADRA by f.wiesel and showed the third part of her performance series FOLIFOLI at Ballhaus Ost. In 2019 she experimented with voice and objects with the dancer and choreographer Annelie Andre for her dance performance META, followed by her first projects as an artistic collaborator and choreographer for puppetry at Theater Paderborn DER AUFTRAG, directed by Alice Buddeberg, and at Mousonturm Frankfurt BERMUDA by f.wiesel.
The Berlin-based chanson writer, composer and interpreter has been giving concerts, producing CDs since 1997. Now she is writing lyrics and conducting workshops (poetry & language melody) for TheatreFragile. The former architect also makes art installations ("Gedankenlabyrinthe"). Since 2005, she has also been working as a remembrance artist of the Second World War in various artistic forms: a musical theatre piece about the history of her father, who was a French forced labourer in Saxony (1943-45); chanson projects with European young people, based on interviews with contemporary witnesses; and also as artistic director of the chanson festival "Brassens in Basdorf".
Florian Mönks was born in Aachen in 1976. He graduated in Latin American Studies in 2007. Since 1999 he is working as a designer, composer and producer of music and sound mostly related to motion picture.
In the latest production of Theatre Fragile - Home - he was in charge of the audio installations as well as the processing of the audio material.
What he enjoys most about the work in streettheater is the need to improvisation due to the character of the open space as a stage and also the closeness to the audience.
Art Director, Illustrator and Beekeeper living in Berlin. Born in the Taubertal, Germany, she lives and works as an Illustrator and Graphic Designer in Berlin. She creates at the point of intersection between the performing arts and her visual communication during a show's devising process from video to set design. For TheatreFragile, she has undertaken the graphic media, some installations and workshops since the production HOME 2012.
She graduated in Design from the Univeristy of the Arts Berlin and the Willem de Kooning Akademie Rotterdam with her thesis project “Night Collages”, has created the visual identity of the theatre company Familie Flöz 2006-2016 and created visuals and videos for “Infinita” and “Garage d'Or”and "Haydi!". She illustrates and designes exhibition projects for Triad Berlin, creates visual media for Futurzwei and other contexts of art, culture and bee society. www.salzundhonig.de
Production, organization and logistics for TheatreFragile. Born in 1982 in Wernigerode, Germany. After her studies in Cultural science, she moved to Naples where she worked in an administrational roll for the theatre Le Nuvole. Upon her return to Germany she worked in the production office for the opera festival Rossini in Wildbad, and in Berlin for different theatre projects among them Hebbel am Ufer and Theater an der Parkaue.
Composer, sound designer and webmaster. Was born in Düsseldorf. Dirk studied piano with Peter Ablinger and saxophone with Johannes Barthelmes and took classes at the School of Audio Engineering in Berlin. He toured Europe, the US and Japan as a saxophonist, and in the years between 1991 and 1996, he was the musical director of the Tempodrom’s Children Circus. In 1992, he owned a sound studio in Berlin. Dirk composes, arranges and creates sound designs for films, TV, radio, theater and media installations such as the Expo 02 Arteplage Biel Pavillon „Grenzen (er)leben“, „Der Selbstmörderwettbewerb“, „Das Wintermärchen“ of the Shakespeare Company Bremen and the TV-serial „Tatort“. He composes the music and develops the sound design of the productions for Familie Flöz. For TheatreFragile, Dirk designed and created the Apps for HOME and OUT OF BOUNDS and the sound design for ANTON, LUKA & BENJAMIN.
AND ALSO THESE PEOPLE
have helped co-create and foster what TheatreFragile has become since its founding in 2006.
Max Andrzejewski, Laurence Barbasetti, Justin Beard, Marie-Constance Descout, Lilli Döscher, Catalina Inés Florit, Louise Hochet, Lynn Helen Kuhfuss, Melle Hug, Nadine Becker, Kristi Hughes, Julia Jakobeit, Nicole Kehrberger, Michael Osterhoff, Fanny Perrier, Mathilde Salaün, Janna Schaar, Johannes Stubenvoll, Alexander Szallies, Katja Tannert & Werner Wallner.