Into the summer - and then: live theatre again!

Dear audience!

After a successful digital hellwach festival, we are currently planning the new season.

From September on, we will perform live again at HELIOS Theater! We are preparing two premieres for children and young people. All performance dates can be found here.

We are looking forward to meeting and experiencing theatre together again!

New Production: "Früh Stück"

A new play for everybody 3+ has been created: In Früh Stück, two performers explore the world of sound. They invite the audience to a "Früh Stück" - which can be literally translated as "breakfast" or as an "early piece" - for all senses. The production is created in the international project mapping, funded by the European Union. The play will premiere on Sunday, September 12th at 4:00 pm. We are looking forward to experience the first performances with children! More information about Früh Stück can be found here.

Berühren und Bewegen - Plays and professional talks

What connects art and nature? Why are both so important for children? Can nature be represented in theater?

HELIOS Theater will be hosting an exchange on these and other questions from October 1-3, 2021: performances by Ha zwei Oohh and Harvest (Theater o.N., Berlin) can be watched. In addition, reports from the field will provide impulses for thinking together about nature, play and art. The exchange is open to all interested parties from art, pedagogy and beyond. It takes place within the framework of the project "Touching and Moving" by Theater o.N. (Berlin) and HELIOS Theater (Hamm). First information about the program is available here.

Premiere for young people: Friedl Dicker

A new production for young people 14 + and up explores the life of Friedl Dicker and her time.

In the 1920s, many things were possible: after the First World War, Europe was on the move, a variety of new art movements emerged, women fought for new freedoms, emperors were deprived of their power and democracies were established. Friedl Dicker wanted to create, to become an artist. She made it to the famous Bauhaus, founded an architecture firm, painted and worked as an art teacher. After the Nazis seized power, she was imprisoned as a communist, then went into exile in the Czech Republic. As a Jew, she was deported - first to Theresienstadt, where she taught art to children, and then in 1944 to Auschwitz, where she was murdered.

Opening night is Friday, October 29 at 7:00 pm. All play dates, including mornings, can be found here. More information about the play can be found here.


"Curtain Up!"

"Curtain Up!"invites people aged 5+ to experience theatre and its endless possibilities. Directed by Barbara Kölling, the players Bahar Sadafi and Mamadoo Mehrnejad step on stage, tell a story, change perspectives...

You can find more information about the play here. All performance dates can be found here.

hellwach: international Theaterfestival - digital

From June 9-13, the HELIOS Theater and five towns of the Hellweg region presented the international theatre festival for young audiences, hellwach digital. The festival was a great success! It offered a programme for families, kindergartens, schools, and professional visitors and invited everybody to watch, enjoy, reflect, exchange and get creative themselves. Eight interdisciplinary theatre productions from all over Europe, from India and Mexico were presented online. Schools and kindergartens took the opportunity to watch theatre online. For some plays, digital and live workshops for school classes took place. The full programme can still be found on the hellwach pages. The talks in the international exchange programme are still online and can be watched on youtube.

Small Size Days 2021: At Eye Level

End of January, the international Small Size Days took place: Days in which theatre makers all over the world focused on very young children and art for them. This year, the Small Size Days mainly happened online. Shows were streamed and video reflections on the work for very young audiences were shared. The ensemble members of HELIOS Theater made a video: Starting from the film experiment "Eye Level 70" by Michael Lurse (2005), they discussed and questioned the concept of "Eye Level". What is "Eye Level"? Is there a possibility of eye level between children and adults? If yes, how? The video "At Eyelevel" is still online on vimeo here.


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

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.