Mila van Daag
Mila van Daag studied product design, architecture and theatre at the Bauhaus-University Weimar and at the Akademie Minerva in Groningen. Since 2006 she has developed project related sets for film and theatre.
After three years as props assistant at the Stadttheater Gießen, where she was responsible for numerous sets, she joined Theater Erfurt in the 2012/2013 season as props assistant and designed the set for “King Thrushbeard”, “The Coronation of Poppaea” and “Master Class”. Mila van Daag worked as set designer for “The Ring of the Nibelung (in one evening)” a co-operative project between Theater Erfurt and Theater Waidspeicher.
At Theater Waidspeicher she created the costumes for "The Glass Menagerie“, "Love of Seven Dolls“, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" , "Animalists“ and for the co-production with Theater Erfurt "The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland".
Annette Gleichmann came into the world and grew up in Erfurt. After school, she trained as a dental assistant. She studied theatre at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). After graduating, she worked in national television and various theatres including as a member of the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater ensemble in Schwerin, at “Freies Theater Medea Ost” and at “Freies Theater Medea West”. From 1992 to 1996 she performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna, followed by the Junges Staatstheater in Berlin (Theater an der Parkaue), the Volkstheater Rostock and at the Stadttheater Dessau among others. She has worked freelance since 2000 including as a lecturer in the puppetry department of the “Ernst Busch” Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has been active as an author and director since 2005 and worked at Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater Bautzen, Theater des Lachens Frankfurt/Oder, Theater Konstanz, Theater Plauen-Zwickau and at Stadttheater Fürth. She was the managing director of the puppet theatre at Theater Plauen-Zwickau from 2014 to 2016. At Theater Waidspeicher she directed “Prinz Bummelletzter” and “Casper Wool Hat: How to fool a Giant” in the season 2019/2020.
stage and puppet designer
Bärbel Haage was born in Erfurt in 1975. This visual artist, illustrator, theatre and film maker studied puppet theatre scenery at the historic Prague College, School of Art & Design from 1994 to 1997.
Since then she has been involved as a stage/puppet designer in numerous theatre and puppet theatre productions. From 2002 to 2005 she was the director of design at the Dresden Puppet Theatre. Over the last few years she has realized four German-Czech animated film projects. Additionally she worked many times with the Czech Forman-Theater and these co-productions have repeatedly received renowned Czech prizes for drama.
Bärbel Haage designed the stage, puppets and costumes for “The Oracle or The Bear, the Peacock and the Secret of the Old Hare” and for the Grimm fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin".
stage, puppet and costume designer
Kerstin Schmidt was born in Halle/Saale in 1960. From 1978 to 1980 she did a training as a men's tailor, followed, by a training and qualification as fashion designer from 1980 to 1983. From 1983 to 1989 she did evening classes at the School of Art Berlin/Weißensee. Since 1990 she has been working as a freelance set designer for theatre, opera and puppet theatre productions. Since 2010 she has run “Engel-Schmidt Produktion” with Frank A. Engel.
For Theater Waidspeicher, Kerstin Schmidt designed the set and puppets for "Grand Hotel", "The Seven Ravens", "Amadeus", "Heart of Stone", "King Lear“, "The Wooden Horse“, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”, “The Master and Margarita” and “Pinocchio”.
In the season 2021/2022 she designs puppets, sets and costumes for “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”.
puppet and stage designer
Janna Skroblin was born in Rostock in 1974. From 1993 to 2001 she studied set design and costume design at the Dresden College of Visual Arts, Dartington College of Art (UK) and Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. Since 2001 she has worked as a free-lance set and costume designer, puppet maker, museum and event designer, sculptor of wood and much more. She has worked for a wide range of German theatres including Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Admiralspalast Berlin, Wuhlheide and Waldbühne Berlin, Staatsschauspiel Leipzig, Staatstheater Hannover, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Theater Konstanz. She has worked with directors such as Rainald Grebe, René Marik, Annette Gleichmann, Tilla Kratochwil and Britta Geister. During the 2019/2020 season she created the set and puppets for “Casper Wool Hat: How to fool a Giant” in conjunction with Ira Hausmann.
puppeteer and actress
Juliane Solvång was born in Berlin in 1978. After school she worked as a stage and costume design assistant. From 1999 to 2003, she studied Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). In 2008, she moved to Sweden. As a puppeteer, actress, set and puppet designer she worked for various theatres in Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia. During the last years, her work was mainly focussed on Visual Storytelling and Photography. In 2019, she decided to return to Germany with Erfurt as her new home town.
In the 2021/22 season she appears in:
The Day Grandma broke the Internet (Der Tag, an dem die Oma das Internet kaputt gemacht hat)
puppeteer and actress, director
Kristine Stahl was born in Schwerin in 1967. From 1986 to 1990, she studied Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). She performed in Erfurt, Halle and Naumburg. As well as her employment as a puppeteer and actress she has also worked as a director and set and puppet designer for various German puppet theatres including Karlsruhe, Magdeburg, Naumburg, Chemnitz, Bautzen, Erfurt and Leipzig. Kristine Stahl was engaged at Theater Waidspeicher as puppeteer and actress from 2009 to 2017. As a director, she put on stage "Leon, the Pirate" and “The Oracle or The Bear, the Peacock and the Secret of the Old Hare”. In the season 2020/2021 she was the director and set designer for “The Moon takes his Socks off at Night”.
puppeteer and actress
Maria-Elisabeth Wey was born and raised up in Berlin. After her diploma at the "Ernst Busch“ Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin, she performed in Berlin, Jena, Meiningen, Dresden, Gera and Erfurt. Since 2003 she has worked in over 40 productions at Theater Erfurt, e.g. in "Anatevka", "God of Carnage", "Urfaust", "The Imaginary Invalid", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", in various DomStufen-productions for children as well as in musical, operetta and Christmas fairy tale productions. Besides that, Maria-Elisabeth Wey is a freelance lecturer for drama, pantomime and mask play. In addition, she worked as puppet designer for different theatres. Numerous guest performances have led her to Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Denmark, France, Poland and Austria.
In the 2021/22 season she appears in:
musician and composer
Leon Altmann was born in Berlin. When he was 6, he began learning to play the viola and the violin. This course of musical instruction lasted over ten years. From 2001 onwards, he was a long-term member of the youth symphony orchestra “Georg Friedrich Händel” Berlin. He started composing when he was 14. Since 2005 he has been producing music for theatre and film including: “Schah-mat” (2005) for the Berlin theatre school, “Die Regentrude” (2011) for the Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater Bautzen, “Bonnie and Clyde” (2011) for the Theater Konstanz, “Wolfszeit” (2014) for BAT Berlin, “Ein Schaf für's Leben” for Kleistforum Frankfurt/Oder as well as for the film “Dawn of the Darks” (2006).
Leon Altmann is himself a musician and produces music in other genres (preferably hip-hop and electronic music). In this context, he works with various Bands and musicians in Berlin.
For the 2019/2020 season Leon Altmann composed music and sounds for the Theater Waidspeicher production of “Casper Wool Hat: How to fool a Giant“.
musician and composer
Andres Böhmer is the grandson of a church cantor in Berlin and since his childhood has been inspired by music. In his youth he spent several years in Uppsala (Sweden) where he discovered his passion for the guitar and for composing music. He graduated from the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig majoring in jazz guitar. Andres worked in Germany and abroad as bandleader and sideman. During this time, he recorded numerous albums of his own that various German jazz labels published. Furthermore, Andres has been active in Germany as composer, producer and live musician for theatre and film for quite some time. He has worked with various city theatres in central Germany as well as groups and solo artists in figure theatre, dance theatre, comedy and travelling shows.
In 2009, he composed the music for the Theater Waidspeicher production of "Moby Dick", in 2017 for the production of "The Oracle or The Bear, the Peacock and the Secret of the Old Hare" and in 2020 for the production of "Four Tales of Heaven and Earth".
For the 2021/2022 season Andres Böhmer composes music and sounds for the Theater Waidspeicher production of “Krabat“.
stage and puppet designer
Carsten Bürger was born in Dresden in 1972. He studied wood-sculpture in the department for “Design of Playing and Learning” at Burg Giebichenstein Halle/Saale. Since 2002 he has worked as a designer and puppet maker with various theatres as well as being active in other artistic directions. Thus he has worked on "Pinguine können keinen Käsekuchen backen" for Kleine Bühne Naumburg, "König und Königin Drosselbart" for Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater Bautzen, "Kleine Meerjungfrau" and "Weihnachten bei Tiger und Bär" for Theater der Jungen Welt Leipzig, "Die Schwarze Mühle" for Theater der Jungen Generation Dresden and "Nur ein Tag" for Dresdner Projekttheater.
At Theater Waidspeicher, he designed the stage and puppets for "Leon, the Pirate" and the puppets for "Knight Tristan and Princess Isolde".
Frank Alexander Engel
director, stage and puppet designer
Frank Alexander Engel was born in Pasewalk (Germany) in 1965. In 1990 he entered "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin), faculty of Puppetry and graduated as a puppeteer in 1994. After this he worked at the State Opera Berlin and the Thuringian State Theatre Meiningen and as director, set designer and performer at the Young Generation Theatre Dresden.
Since 1998 he has worked as a free-lance director and set designer for puppet theatre and opera. From 2003 to 2011 he was employed by the Puppet Theatre of the City of Magdeburg as director, set designer and performer. Since 2010 he has run “Engel-Schmidt Produtkion” with Kerstin Schmidt. For Theater Waidspeicher he directed und built sets and puppets for "Grand Hotel", "The Seven Ravens", "Amadeus", "Heart of Stone", "King Lear“, "The Wooden Horse", “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”, “The Master and Margarita” and “Pinocchio”.
In the season 2021/2022 he is the director and the stage and puppet designer for “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”.
musician and composer
The improviser, musician, double-bass player and composer Johannes Frisch lives in Karlsruhe. For decades he has performed at concerts and festivals as improviser, band member, produced music for theatre and worked together with musicians from all over the world. He composes for projects that are multi-disciplinary or cut across boundaries, makes music for dance, silent films, and theatre, especially figure theatre. Since 1990 he has worked regularly with Frank Soehnle and the wilde&vogel figure theatre. Numerous works were created with rat'n'X for the Tubingen figure theatre, he has written theatre music for among others the Theaterhaus Mannheim, the Badische Staatstheater and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. He is currently working in various band projects such as the Kammerflimmer Kollektief, The Schwarzenbach with Dietmar Dath, the Moscow by Heart trio with the Russian-born American Misha Feigin and he also collaborates with Ralf Wehowsky. To date his music can be heard on about three dozen vinyl LP’s, CD’s and audio plays.
During the 2019/2020 season he produced the music and sounds for “Animalists”.
Christian Georg Fuchs
Christian Georg Fuchs was born in Düsseldorf in 1972. He studied music theatre direction at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg” and was granted a scholarship of the foundation "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes". He realized various productions in music-theatre, drama and puppet theatre in Hamburg, Weimar, Leipzig, Naumburg, Erfurt, Magdeburg, Neuss, Bautzen, Dessau and Chemnitz. Christian Georg Fuchs directed "Good Morning, Little Piglet", "King Arthur", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Romeo and Juliet".
From 2011 to August 2014 Christian Georg Fuchs worked as dramaturg and press dramaturg at Theater Waidspeicher Erfurt. Here he directed amongst others “Death in Venice”, „Divine Comedy“, “Knight Tristan and Princess Isolde”, “Atlas of Remote Islands“ and, as co-productions with "Theater Erfurt“, “The Ring of the Nibelung (in one evening)”, Purcells „Kind Arthur“ and the Monteverdi opera "The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland".
During the season 2021/2022 he puts on stage „The Nutcracker and the Mouseking“.
musician and composer
Udo Hemmann was born in Weimar in 1968. He studied bass guitar at the Franz Liszt School for Music in Weimar. Worked with various bands. Since 1990 he performed in numerous theatre productions in Weimar, Erfurt, Jena, Meiningen, Suhl, Baden-Baden and other places as a composer, singer, musician, arranger and musical director.
He arranged the composition and sound for "Leon, the Pirate" and "Rumpelstiltskin".
Peter Lutz was born in Baden-Baden in 1971 and studied puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). While still a student, he won prizes such as the Friedrich Luft Prize for the production of “Weihnachten bei Iwanows” (Christmas at the Ivanovs) at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and the Max Reinhardt Prize for “Die Maßnahme” (The Measure/Method) in Stuttgart. He performed as a puppeteer in Jim Henson’s “The Neverending Story III”. After completing his puppetry course, he became a freelance puppeteer and puppet maker for example at the Schauspiel Frankfurt/Main. From 1998 to 2000, he worked for the Theater des Lachens in Frankfurt/Oder. He is currently a freelance puppeteer and designer for various theatres including the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam, the Theater Basel, the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Residenztheater and Metropoltheater in Munich, theatres in Constance, Würzburg and Marburg as well as for the puppet theatres in Magdeburg, Erfurt, Leipzig, Dresden, Nürnberg, Naumburg, Karlsruhe and Bautzen.
At Theater Waidspeicher, he created puppets for the productions of “Göttliche Komödie” (Divine Comedy), “Das Fräulein von Scuderi” (Mademoiselle de Scuderi) and “Atlas der abgelegenen Inseln” (Atlas of Remote Islands).
In the season 2021/2022 he creates the puppets for “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”.
Florian Schmigalle was born in Weimar in 1979. After school he did a training as a cabinet maker, from 2001 to 2002 a practical training at Theater Waidspeicher workshop. From 2002 to 2006 he studied wood design at the advanced college of arts „Fachhochschule für angewandte Kunst“ in Schneeberg. Since 2007, he has been working as a freelance wood and object designer with his own workshop. He designs and builds playgrounds and abstract figures, he teaches courses for adults and works with young people in schools. He built puppets for the puppet theatres in Meiningen and Theater Waidspeicher Erfurt. In the season 2014/15, together with Kathrin Sellin, he built the wooden marionettes for Tennessee Williams’ „The Glass Menagerie“ at Theater Waidspeicher. Together with Ulrike Langenbein, he built the puppets for the opera „The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland“. In the season 2017/18 he built the wooden glove puppets for "Die Liebe der kleinen Mouche” (Love of Seven Dolls). In the season 2020/2021 he is the stage and puppet designer for "Pictures Of Your True Love“.
Frank Soehnle is one of the most internationally recognised German puppeteers and directors. From 1983 to 1987 he studied figure theatre at the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart. From 1987 to 1990 he managed the Karlsruhe Figure Theatre and in 1991 he founded the independent touring theatre figuren theater tübingen. Since then he has performed all over the world in solo or ensemble productions.
His Europe-wide work as a director explores the relationship between performer and puppet and sets visual accents in modern and classical text material.
The puppets created by Frank Soehnle are often human-animal or mythological hermaphrodites, he prefers marionettes, but his modus operandi stretches to objects that then take on a life of their own. Frank Soehnle also regularly gives lectures at various universities (Stuttgart, Berlin, Charleville-Mézières, Jerusalem, Tours).
During the 2019/20 season he put on stage the production of “Animalists”.
Matthias Thieme was born in Erfurt in 1976. He studied Theatre at the University of Leipzig and theatre-direction at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch") in Berlin. He gained his first theatre experiences at youth theatre “Die Schotte” in Erfurt with which he still collaborates as guest director. Recent productions for theatre “Die Schotte” were “Hamlet” (2015), “Lysistrate” (2016) and “Tschick” (2017). His production of “Romeo and Juliet” won the German Amateur Theatre “Amarena” Prize in 2011. He has worked as director for Theater Plauen/Zwickau, neues theater halle, Figurentheater Chemnitz, Theater Stralsund/Greifswald as well as theatres in Stendal, Zittau, Esslingen, Magdeburg, Rostock, Cottbus and Leipzig. The majority of his productions are for young people. From 2010 to 2013 he was the senior drama director and puppet theatre director at the Theater Plauen/Zwickau.
His first production as director with Theater Waidspeicher was “Moby Dick” in the season 2008/09. He directed and designed the stage for "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" and "The Journey to the Centre of the Woods".
puppeteer, actor and director
Martin Vogel was born in Werdau in 1968. After finishing school and working in a factory he studied Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). While he was still studying he was employed as an actor at the Hebbel Theater in Berlin in Robert Wilson's production of “Doctor Faust Lights the Lights“. From 1994 to 2004 he worked as a puppeteer at the Städtisches Theater Chemnitz. He also worked as an actor and singer in musical productions at the opera house in Chemnitz. He has been a member of the Theater Waidspeicher ensemble from 2004 to 2019. In 2020 “Four Tales of Heaven and Earth” was his debut as a puppetry director.
In the 2021/2022 season he appears as a puppeteer and actor in:
The Seven Ravens (Die sieben Raben)
The Master and Margarita (Der Meister und Margarita)