Theatre from the Beginning

Networks, Models, Methods: Impulses for the field of aesthetic education in the early years

From 2006 to 2008, HELIOS Theater was a part of the German project „Theatre from the Beginning!“, which investigated the future perspectives in theatre forms for the very young. It was initiated by the National Centre for Theatre for Young Audiences of Germany. Four cooperations of theatres and universites in Dresden, Hamm, Mannheim and Berlin worked together and set a course in the debate around early years education which was then quite new in Germany.

The research of HELIOS Theater together with scientist Geesche Wartemann from the University of Hildesheim and camera ethnograph Bina Elisabeth Mohn resulted in a documentary film, “Wechselspiele” (“Interplays”). The film focuses on the interactions between the three “parties” in the theatre for the very young: the performers, the children, and their adult companions – and the different levels on which interaction happens: embodiment, sounds and words, imitation, looks, company/support. It documents three visits of a kindergarten group to different stages of the production during the creation process and the talks of the artists and the scientist afterwards. The film is used in a lot of university classes as an extraordinary example of artistic research in the theatre for early years.


After the end of the project, a book was published which documents and completes the findings and results:

Gabi dan Droste (Hg.): Theater von Anfang an! Bildung, Kunst und frühe Kindheit
transcript Verlag, 2009