HELIOS Theater is closed in November and December

Dear audience!

All performance dates of HELIOS Theater that were planned until the end of the year 2020 are cancelled, following the political decision to shut down, among others, the cultural sector in Germany.

We had planned 27 performances for different age groups which mainly addressed schools and kindergartens. Four "family sundays" and one evening show are also affected. Due to the high resonance on our performance dates, we had scheduled ten additional dates, many shows were sold out.

The rehearsals of the youth theatre workshop and the europefiction group are taking place online in the coming weeks.

We hope to be able to play in the new year. The planned performance dates can be found here.

"Curtain Up!"

"Curtain Up!"was and is our chosen motto for this season. On 4th of October, a new play by this title celebrated a very successful premiere despite the circumstances given by Corona. It 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.

Co-Production with Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust from India

"Curtain Up!"  is a co-production with Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust from Delhi. Originally, it was planned to produce one play together. Instead, the two ensembles worked on two plays for children in India and Germany, in close digital exchange with each other.

The ensemble of Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust tells the fairytale "The Monster of Teelapur" with miniatures made of paper and live cameras. The online premiere took place on 5th September 2020. Right now, they are beginning to develop a stage version of the show.

hellwach: international theatre festival shifted to 2021

hellwach, the international theatre festival for young audiences, is cancelled for 2020. The decision was made in consideration with the cooperating towns of the Hellweg region and the funders.

Instead, hellwach will take place from 5th-13th 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!

"CIRCLES" is "Children's Theatre of the Month" in 2021

The latest production for everybody 2+, CIRCLES, was priced "Children's Theatre of the Month" by the Kultursekretariat NRW. In February 2021, it will tour different towns in the land of Northrine-Westfalia. Also, it is invited to two international theatre festivals in Belgium: Pépites Festival in Charleroi and the festival of Théâtre Montagne Magique in Brussels.

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

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.


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.