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New production: music theatre for children

In September, HELIOS Theater has celebrated the premiere of a new play for everbody 5+: "Who Awoke the Wind", music theatre for children. Three musicians and two puppeteers tell the Latvian myth about how the wind disappeared - and how a little, inconsiderable animal found it again. Animal puppets, a special stage setting and modern compositions for clarinet, percussion and voice create a very special atmosphere.

The play is a contribution to the current discussion about a contemporary music theatre for children. For more information about "Who Awoke the Wind", click here.

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„WOODBEAT“ is going on tour to China

This autumn, „WOODBEAT“ is invited to China!

From October 18th to November 4th, the performance for the very young will play 30 shows at Art Space for Kids (A.S.K.) in Shanghai. There will also be workshops about different aspects of the theatre for early years.

The interest in this theatre form is huge – as well as the demand for art for little children. The HELIOS Theater ensemble is looking forward to this first step in the encounter and exchange with the colleagues and the audiences in China.

International Exchange

"hellwach" – theatre for everybody!

"hellwach", the 8th international theatre festival "hellwach" took place from June 3rd-10th, 2018. In six towns of the Hellweg region, seven companies from Europe, Asia and Africa presented extraordinary productions for children, young people and adults, starting from the very young.

The HELIOS Theater in the Kulturbahnhof Hamm was the festival centre: a place for the exchange between the international artists and the audience. In addition to the performances, talks were held that gave background to the shows and dealt with questions of a modern, international theatre for young audiences, including the very young, in India, South Africa and Europe.

The programme is still online here: enjoy browsing through the "hellwach" pages!

A big research project is coming!

Since 2006, HELIOS Theater has been an active partner in the European network „small size“. The network is dedicated to exchanging and development of performing art for audiences aged 0 to 6.

In the current EU project "small size - Wide Eyes" (2014-2018), 17 theatres from 15 countries have created performances, set up festivals and exchanged about the theatre for the very young. Further information can be found on www.smallsize.org.

In August, the European Union has accepted a new project: About 20 theatres from different countries will be part of "MAPPING" from 2018-2022. The focus is set on artistic exchange and scientific research about several theatrical means of expression in the theatre for the very young. You can find more information about our work for this age group here.

Intensive exchange with artists in India and South Africa

The approach of "material theatre" 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. 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 festival 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.