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 workshops for professional artists about the theatre for the very young with materials.
Theatre makers from India and South Africa have initiated intensive workshop programmes: Jennie Reznek (Cape Town) has implemented theatre for early years in the Magnet Theatre's training programme for young performers since 2015. She also started an exchange between artists from South Africa and other African countries. With the experience from one of these exchange projects, Joshua Alabi (Lagos) invited Barbara Kölling for a workshop on professional theatre for young audiences to Nigeria in autumn 2019. Building up on a master class in 2015, Anurupa Roy from Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust (Delhi) organized a 7 weeks intensive mentoring programm for theatre makers from different fields in 2017/18.
From these programmes, about 20 theatre productions 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 have played and are playing in their respective cities, are invited to national festivals and tour internationally. Some of the participants have started their own theatre festivals, focussing especially on the theatre for the youngest audiences.
For the HELIOS Theater, these workshops mean an intensive and fruitful exchange with theatre artists from India and African countries and their artistic approaches.