New Performance Dates in Autumn - Theatre in Times of Corona

Currently we are plannig the new season. In autumn, the focus will be on performances for families. We hope to reach as many children and young people as possible while schools and kindergartens will need some time before they come to the theatre again. For the performances we have developed a concept to keep the risk of infections as low as possible. First shows for kindergartens and schools will take place in November. All performance dates can be found here.

We are looking forward to welcoming the audience and performing again from September on!

Online performance film by the europefiction group

The online performance film "Shared Distance" celebrated its online premiere. It was created in the weekly video rehearsals of the europefiction group Hamm. In April, a one week intensive exchange with the partner group from Budapest took place. The groups collected video material in the common rehearsals. The europefiction group Hamm put the material together to a partly fictional, partly documentary relection on the life during lockdown and on the common topic of SHARING.

The film is available on youtube until Sunday, June 28th:

More information about the project can be found here.

hellwach: international theatre festival cancelled in 2020

hellwach, the international theatre festival for young audiences, unfortunately had to be cancelled in 2020. The ninth edition of the festival was planned for November 14th to 22nd.

Due to the Corona crisis, intercontinental travels are currently not possible. Also, the festival addresses children and young people who usually come to see the international performances with their schools or kindergartens in the morning. It is not clear if and how this will be possible in autumn. After consideration with the cooperating towns of the Hellweg region and the funders, the decision is made: The festival is cancelled for November 2020.

Currently, the plan is to hold hellwach in June 2021. Hopefully, it will be possible to realise the festival without major constraints in the programme then - and for the children and young people of the region, to experience the performances by the international artists.

"The Elephant in the Dark House" for everybody 6+

The latest production celebrated its premiere in the beginning of March: In The Elephant in the Dark House, the performers Bahar Sadafi and Mamadoo Mehrnejad created a sensuous adaption of the old Persian tale using light and shadow together with director Barbara Kölling. More information about the play can be found here.

New production for young people: Between the Chairs

This is my place. This place is occupied. I have occupied this place. I have taken place here. This place is mine. This place is my property. I own it. Now, I own three. I need more space than others. 

The HELIOS Theater has produced a new play: With  „Between the Chairs“, the ensemble addresses young people 13+. Directed by Barbara Kölling and with text by Steffen Moor, the performers Marko Werner and Mamadoo Mehrnejad deal with topics like freedom, equality, invitation and arrival. In a stage with lots of chairs these topics become abstract and concrete at the same time.

"CIRCLES" invited to five festivals!

The latest production for everybody 2+, CIRCLES, was invited to five international festivals this year: It was presented at "Imaginale", an international festival for animated theatre forms, in South Germany. Also, it should be presented at "Premières Rencontres" festival in France and "Kuckuck" festival in Munich in March and at "Montagne Magique" festival in Brussels and "Pépites" festival in Charleroi in May. These festivals were cancelled or postponed due to the Corona crisis.

Michael Lurse and Marko Werner have developed the performance together. On stage, they create circles as a movement in the space and as traces on the floor. They invite their audience to muse on the origin of the world, the beginning of life."CIRCLES" is a theatre meditation on the big questions for 60 spectators, two performers, a stone, a bucket of sand and puppets with music by Jan Leschinski.

More information about the production can be found here.

30 years of HELIOS Theater

The HELIOS Theater – founded in Cologne in 1989.

As an independent theatre company, it creates special artistic and aesthetic work for young audiences. The starting points are topics, stories, materials, narrations. Barbara Kölling as director Michael Lurse as performer have co-founded the company and continuously and consistently elaborated ever since, artistically and structurally. With an own, open perspective on the world, questioning, researching, seeking – and from there on, forming.

In December 2019, we celebrated 30 years of HELIOS Theater with a big - well, celebration. 30 years are a long time…!

Together with beloved companions, we shared views on the past and enjoyed the moment, which will be followed by the future.

Theatre Award of the Federal Republic of Germany for HELIOS Theater!

HELIOS Theater has received the Theatre Award of the Federal Republic of Germany! The news got to us while WOODBEAT was on tour in Denmark and the europefiction group Hamm was visiting its partner group in Hungary.

The jury installed by the federal cultural minister Monika Grütters pays tribute to eleven small and medium-sized theatres throughout Germany for outstanding activities, both in their artistic programme and in their local, regional and international cultural projects. The award ceremony took place in Gera on May 27th. We are very proud and happy about this important award!

International Exchange

A big research project has started!

Since 2006, HELIOS Theater has been an active partner in the EU-funded „small size“ projects. The projects were dedicated to the international exchange about and development of performing art for audiences aged 0 to 6.Now, the projects are finished.

In August, the European Union has accepted a new project: 19 theatres and festivals from 17 different countries are part of "MAPPING" (2018-2022). The focus is set on artistic exchange and scientific research about several theatrical means of expression in the theatre for the very young. We are thrilled to be a part of this project! You can find more information about "MAPPING" and our work for the very young here.

Intensive exchange with artists in India, Nigeria and South Africa

The special approach in the theatre for the very young that director Barbara Kölling and puppeteer Michael Lurse have developed since 2005 has received a lot of interest around the world. In 2015, Barbara Kölling started giving international mentoring workshops for professional artists about the theatre for the very young with materials.

Theatre makers from India, South Africa and Nigeria have initiated intensive mentoring programmes, such as Magnet Theatre (Cape Town) and Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust (India). From these programmes, about 20 theatre pieces for children aged 2+ have evolved. They are artistically dealing with materials like paper, clay, wool, stones, wood and plastic in a wide variety of ways. The performances are playing in their respective cities, are invited to festivals and tour internationally. For the HELIOS Theater, these workshops mean an intensive and fruitful exchange with theatre artists from India and African countries and their artistic approaches. You can read more about the mentoring projects here.


Book: "About the Work of HELIOS Theater"

To the 25th anniversary of the founding of HELIOS Theaters, a book on the history and work of the company was published in 2014. The book is a collection of thoughts by current and former members of the ensemble photos and interviews, thoughts on the concept, detailed examinations of the productions for the Very Young. Publisher is "Kunststiftung NRW", an important foundation for the arts in Northrhine Westfalia, which celebtrated its 25th anniversary in the same year. The book can be ordered in the theatre office of HELIOS Theater.


Film: „Woolgathering“

The short documentary follows the ensemble of HELIOS Theater in its research on the material wool. It develops its own, videographic view on the material. The focus is not on the making of the production, but rather on the relation between material, artists and audience. In the making of the production "Follow the Yarn" for everybody 2+, the HELIOS ensemble was accompanied by two young film makers of Ruhruniversität Bochum: Stoyan Radoslavov and Damian W. Gorczany.

You can order the film in the theatre office.