Premiere: Talking About Silence

A co-production with the Ishyo Arts Center, Kigali / Rwanda

6 persons on stage, 6 stories about silence.

There is a story about an aunt who talks just a little, about the grandpa who keeps his secrets, about the sister who wishes that finally everybody would talk to each other.

It is about stories about families in Rwanda, in Germany, and in Korea, funny, unexpected, sad stories, unknown stories and those which seem to be familiar. Let's talk about silence!
The performance is in english.
For people from 14 years.

The premiere was on the 22th October 2023, more information here.

Premiere: Zaki, a donkey

another international co-operation

for everyone aged 8+

Zaki is a donkey. He is clever and hard-working, he can do heavy work and much more. Zaki is often mocked, beaten and not seen as a loyal and hard-working friend of humans. The performer Isra el Ghazali brings Zaki's inner life to life and gives us an insight into the world of a donkey in Cairo. A sensual, poetic piece of shadow theatre about human interaction with animals.

In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, Isra el Ghazali (Cairo) and Michael Lurse (Hamm) began working on this project. In many correspondence and conversations, they developed the idea of dealing with the lives and the fate of animals that work for humans. Zaki is such an animal, a hard-working donkey in Cairo who, badly treated by his owner, nevertheless finds a way to the freedom he deserves.

Isra Ghazali is an Egyptian artist with a bachelor's degree in fine arts with a specialisation in scenography. She started working in theatre in 2011 with her school's theatregroup and in 2017 joined the Hakawy International Arts Festival/Cairo in children's theatre. Her work includes the exploration of different disciplines and sensory elements in performances. She is constantly learning and tries out new approaches all the time. Since 2019 contact with the HELIOS theatre, which has now led to this international cooperation.

Performances in English with German translation.

"Zaki, a donkey" has on
Sunday, 17 February at 16:00 premiere
at the HELIOS Theatre


Valeria Frabetti Award 2023 for the Helios Theater!



A great honour, on the 26th October 2023 we received the „Premio Valeria Frabetti“ for our artistic work and engagement in theatre for the youngest!

Read the complete laudatory speech here.


Good news!

The friend's association of Helios establishes a fund to help KiTas and schools visiting the theatre

Travelling by public transport in Hamm is free of charge for everyone under 18 since reently. A good step to foster mobility within the town. This also makes it easier for classes and KiTas from remote districts to visit the theatre. Nevertheless, we do know that sometimes also the entrance fee might be an obstacle. Therefore, the friend's association of Helios Theatre has decided to set up a fund that will allow to bear the costs for those groups wanting to visit the theatre, but having trouble in paying the fee. Please ask us for further information!

Helios Theatre wants to thank the friend's association for their ongoing and supportive dedication!


Hellwach 2023

,,Hellwach‘‘, the international Theatre festival for young audiences took place in the Hellweg region from May 20th-28th in 2023. This year, the Festival’s center and organizing city Hamm worked together with Kamen, Bergkamen, Lünen, Ahlen and Lippstadt.

Each city planned to provide a gathering place for artists from all over the world and the young people, with whom they’ll share their latest, experimental and innovative works. Most of those plays did their debut here and have never been seen in Germany before. On top of that, speeches and discussions enabled the exchange of thoughts and impressions on each side; the viewers and performers.

The program for hellwach 2023 is available! here!

International Exchange

MAPPING - A Big International Research Project!

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.

In 2018, the European Union accepted a new project: 19 theatres and festivals from 17 different countries are part of "MAPPING". 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 and on the project's website

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.

Co-Production with Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust from Delhi (India)

In 2020, a co-production of a common play together with Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust from Delhi (India) was planned. Instead, the two ensembles of HELIOS Theater and Katkatha found a different form of working together: They created two plays for children in India and Germany, in close digital exchange with each other. For HELIOS Theater, this was the performance Curtain Up!.

The ensemble of Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust created the fairytale The Monster of Tilapur, first as a digital live performance, with cameras and paper miniatures. It premiered online in September 2020.


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.



Theatre Award of the Federal Republic

In 2019, HELIOS Theater has received the Theatre Award of the Federal Republic of Germany. 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. We are very proud and happy about this important award!