hellwach 2018

8th international theatre festival for young audiences

in the Hellweg region

June 3-10, 2018


From June 3 to 10, 2018, HELIOS Theater was hosting hellwach – the international theatre festival for young audiences. Seven theatre companies from Europe, Africa and Asia had been invited to take part in the festival. As the closing performance, Magnet Theatre from South Africa played their energetic production “Paired” for everbody 2 years +.

For eight days, youth centres and theatres in Ahlen, Bergkamen, Bönen, Lünen and Kamen became spaces of encounter between children and grown-ups from the region and the international artists. Theatre groups from India, South Africa, Italy, France, Austria and Germany presented their productions. The international guests and the audience approached each other with curiosity and a high interest in finding a way of communication. With the various artistic approaches, “hellwach” presented a wide range of the theatre for young audiences today which attracted professional visitors from all over Germany as well as Nigeria, Australia, India and Belgium.

The HELIOS Theater’s venue, Kulturbahnhof Hamm, was the festival centre of “hellwach”: the meeting point for artists and everybody interested. Interviewed by Birte Werner (Federal Academy of Arts Education) and Kirstin Hess (Junges Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf), Anurupa Roy from Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust in Delhi and Lwanda Sindaphi from Cape Town spoke about the activities and topics of their work in India and South Africa. Laurent Dupont (Compagnie ACTA) and Joel Simon (Association Nova Villa) from France reflected on the Theatre fort he Very Young, which is produced all over the world now. The internationalization of the Ruhr’s youth art project “pottfiction” was the subject of a talk between Meike Fechner (ASSITEJ Germany) with organizers and participants of the project.

„Theatre for everybody“ was the heading of this 8th edition of “hellwach”. Barbara Kölling, together with Michael Lurse the artistic director of HELIOS Theater and “hellwach”, said: “Through putting the focus on this question it became very clear that a good play for children is also interesting for adults. Toddlers, teens and grown-ups from at least four continents have enjoyed theatre and shared moments together – each from their very own perspective and experiential background, and yet: together.”

The shows in the six venues were well visited, the opening and many more sold out. “Our experience from “hellwach” shows that kindergartens and schools are happy when they are addressed and invited directly. Continous communication and cooperation are very important in the culture for children.”

Dr. Mirjam Springer, chairwoman of the friends‘ association of HELIOS Theater and frequent visitor at “hellwach”, describes the atmosphere during this 8th “hellwach”: „The world is really coming together here. This was already noticeable during the opening. This „hellwach“ can be characterized especially by a great openness and humanity, which are also addressed in the plays with their different artistic languages again and again.”

On these pages you find the whole programme of „hellwach“ 2018. Check our facebook page and Instagram account (@helios_theater) for impressions from the festival and the latest news of our activities!

hellwach 2018 is funded by


To download the schedule of "hellwach" 2018, click here: Schedule

To take a look at the programme brochure (mostly in German), click here: Programme (5 MB)


Vélo Théâtre
Apt (France)
From the Bottom of the Well, the Frog Believes the Sky Is Round|
La grenouille au fond du puits croit que le ciel est rond

for everybody 5+

Toihaus Theater
Salzburg (Austria)
Dreams Dreams | Träume Träume
for everybody 3+

Die Pyromantiker
Berlin (Germany)
The Skyblue Chairs | Stühlchen Himmelblau

for everybody 5+

Magnet Theatre / Lwanda Sindaphi
Cape Town (South Africa)
for everybody 2+

Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust
New Delhi (India)
Wool Symphony
for everybody 2+

La Baracca – Teatro Testoni Ragazzi
Bologna (Italy)
Snow White (or something like that)| Biancaneve
for everybody 5+

HELIOS Theater
Hamm (Germany)
Face to Face | Gegenüber
for everybody 4+

Compagnie ACTA
Villiers-le-Belle (France)
Secret Gardens | Sons…Jardins Secrets
for everybody 4+

Press Service

Here you find high-resolution photos to the festival plays for download.