Puppet works wonder 2024 English

Puppet works wonder 2024 English

Theatre Northeim

Puppet works wonder 2024

UNIMA Germany (Union Internationale de la Marionnette), VDP (Association
of German Puppet Theatres), and DGTP (Society for Therapeutic Puppetry), to­gether with Theater der Nacht, invite you to attend their conference:

”Puppet works wonder – Fascination and Possibilities of a Medium”

The exciting possibilities of figure, puppet, and object theatre have already been explored in courses held in various facilities throughout the region.

The conference offers a symposium, a panel of artists, theatre performances, workshops, and work meetings. It provides you with opportunities to learn, discover, and explore on a wide variety of levels. At the same time, it connects the various departments. We hope to achieve greater shared expertise, and reinforced mutual respect. You will get to meet internationally renowned workshop leaders and puppeteers from all over Germany.

The conference will start on Friday, August 9th, 2024, at 7:00 PM at the Marktplatz square in Northeim. Introductory speeches will be delivered by Frauke Heiligenstadt (Member of the German Parliament), Sebastian Penno (Member of the Parliament of Lower Saxony), District Administrator Astrid Klinkert-Kittel, city mayor Simon Hartmann, Matthias Träger (Association of German Puppet Theatres), Ruth Brockhausen (UNIMA Deutschland and Theater der Nacht), and Antje Wegener (DGTP – German Society for Therapeutic Puppetry). Afterwards, we will move on to the Theater der Nacht with the theatre group Demain on change tout from France. Margrit Gysin is going to deliver the opening performance at the theatre. The highlight of the conference will be the Night of the Puppets with the performance of Cie/Créature from France, and the presentation of the workshop results. Towards the end, on Sunday, you can once more experience Cie/Créature and The Unreal, and also lend a hand in building the City of Puppets.


Participation fee

Participation fee for symposium

€ 55.00, including water, coffee/tea/cake, the opening performance on Fri., Aug. 9th, as well as lunch and dinner on Saturday, August 10th.


Participation fee for the workshop week

€ 380,00 for members of VDP or UNIMA (please specify when registering)

€ 440,00 for non-members. There will be a 10% early bird discount if you book by May 31st, 2024.

Students can receive a scholarship for the conference from UNIMA.

The course fee includes:

•  Entrance fee for the opening performance on Sunday, August 11th.

•  Attending a workshop

•  Attending the work discussions and ”Meet the Master”

•  Presentation of the workshop results at the ”Night of the Puppets”

•  Lunch and dinner at the Northeim youth hostel.

Following registration, you will receive a confirmation and an invoice. Once the fee has been transferred, participation is binding for the entire duration of the course. A refund of the fee is only possible if the conference is cancelled for unforeseen reasons. All workshops are open to both amateurs and professionals.


UNIMA Deutschland
Obere Str. 1
37154 Northeim
Telefon: 05551-9080779
(Di – Do von 9 –13 Uhr)

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Courses for professionals in the fields of education, therapy, and social work, as well as for children and teenagers from pertinent institutions (February through October, 2024)

These courses are designed for people who work in the various social and educational institutions and associations in our region. Daily tasks and routines can be quite demanding for everyday care personnel, nursing staff, or teachers.

The workshops are about discovering the options that are offered by objects,
figures, or puppets to help deal with and master tricky situations well. We are aiming to contribute towards promoting imagination, creativity, and team spirit. Luckily, this project is being heavily funded.

You can sign up in the theatre office at: kontakt@theater-der-nacht.net, or by phone: +49 (0) 5551-995507

Following registration, you will receive confirmation and an invoice. Participation in the course is binding upon transfer of the fee. A refund of the fee is only possible if the course has to be cancelled for unforeseen reasons.

Just Magical.

Working with rod puppets using your head, your heart, and your fingertips with Olaf Möller, Germany

How can I employ my puppet in lessons, group work, or individual contact so that it will unfold its magic? What do I need to consider in order to establish fluent interactions which everyone will enjoy? How can I handle awkward situations in a positive, playful way?

A mix of hands-on action, exercises, and demonstrations will help you practice proficient puppet management, gain confidence, and feel less embarrassed and inhibited while playing. You will receive pointers for impromptu play, strategic hints for playfully dealing with critical situations, and suggestions for the educational use of wide-mouthed rod puppets. A course for all those who desire to enrich their educational or therapeutic work through the magic of puppetry. Previous experience and bringing your own rod puppets is welcome, but not necessary.

Possible day courses: Thu., Apr. 4th, Wed., Apr. 24th, Thu., May 16th, Fri., May 24th, + Fri., Jun. 14th. Please book an appointment on the premises, or in the theatre (€ 20.00 per person)

6-7 hour day course for education, therapy, and social work professionals (6-14 participants)

Olaf Möller

Olaf Möller, born in 1967, is a social worker with a degree in education, play and theatre pedagogue, puppeteer, performer, and author. He was inspired by the Circus school FOOL-TIME and Franki Anderson (The Fool and The Art of Play), and also trained with Neville Tranter, Bodo Schulte, David Crean, Wolfgang Buresch, and Keith Johnstone. Since 1999 he has been offering training courses on the educational use of rod puppets, both nationwide and internationally.


Against the Grain – course for children

Anti-Bullying Project with Petra Albersmann, Germany

This workshop, while ideally combined with the multiplier course of the same name, is also quite effective on its own.

This workshop allows us to sensitize children to the topic of bullying in a playful way. This is a prevention project exclusively, and not an intervention project.

Project Day 1: Puppet building and introduction to puppetry with one class at a time.
Project Day 2: Processing and follow-up on the topic of bullying.

Two-day courses possible on: Apr. 29th – May 5th, June 3rd – 4th, and June 17th –21st Location: on the respective premises | € 100.00 per workshop | Registration

Two-day course for primary school classes, 2nd to 4th year

Against the Grain – course for educational professionals

Anti-Bullying Training with Petra Albersmann, Germany

This workshop introduces the concept of mobbing and bullying and explains how it works. Efficient tools are developed featuring simple puppet construction and an introduction to puppetry.

The presentation and implementation of simple stories makes for lively approaches to a difficult topic. The workshop can be easily combined with the class project of the same name, but it is also quite  informative on its own.

Day course possible in May 1st or June 21st.
Location: on the premises, or in the Theater der Nacht | € 20.00 per person | Registration

8 hour day course for educational professionals

Petra Albersmann

Petra Albersmann hat Germanistik und Theologie studiert, hat im Bankwesen und der Werbung gearbeitet und beschäftigt sich seit ihrer Kindheit mit Geschichten.
Inzwischen arbeitet sie seit vielen Jahren hauptberuflich als Puppenspielerin und Erzählerin, als Regisseurin und Referentin.


Becoming a Team with Puppets

Storytelling with figures – a theatre project with Monika Bohne, Germany

Theatre work needs a functioning team! We start with a story combining fantasy and reality. Then we develop the protagonists, the plot, and the various roles. We design table, stick, or sock puppets, thus promoting fine motor skills, as well as arts-and-crafts skills.

Animation exercises and scenic studies fill the evolving storyline with live action, growing and merging until a production takes shape. Technical theatrical options such as music, light, and sound set additional accents. The end of the project is marked by a public presentation.

Mon., May 13th – Fri., May 17th
Location: on the premises | € 200.00 per course

Week-long course for children 4th grade and up, teenagers, and adults

Monika Bohne

Monika Bohne has a degree in theatre sciences and is 1st Chairperson of the LAG Puppenspiel eV Thüringen. She co-founded the Erfurter Puppentheater, and also Synergura, the Thuringian puppetry festival. She has been organizing and managing educational puppet theatre projects for children, teenagers, and adults for 30 years.


How to create conflicts, and how to resolve them?

Masquerade and improvised theatre with Peter Sweet, Germany

This three-day intensive course teaches basic techniques of mask acting and improvised theatre. Together, we will explore what insights the art of mask play can offer us about the essence of being human, focussing on conflicts and our actions in this context. Conflict is an essential part of life. Acting out real-life scenarios in theatrical masks can help us accept the notion of conflict and see the humour in it. This workshop is aimed at anyone who would like to gain a new perspective on human drama through the poetic lens of mask theatre. – The workshop is designed to be suitable for participants without previous theatre experience.

Fri., May 17th, 5 PM – 8 PM, Sat., May 18th, 12 PM – 6 PM, and Sun., May 19th, 10 AM – 4 PM | Location: Alte Brauerei Northeim, event hall | € 50.00 per person

Weekend course for educational professionals, performers, and puppeteers

Peter Sweet

Peter Sweet is a movement theatre and contemporary circus director, teacher, and performer. He studied physical theatre at the Helikos Int. School of Theatre Creation in Florence, Italy, as well as contemporary and classical dance at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance and Circus and at the Ecole du Cirque Zofy in Sion/Switzerland. He commenced to work professionally in 2000 and has delivered over a thousand performances in more than twenty countries to date.


Crazy Dialogue

Puppetry – encounters in elderly care for people with dementia.
Course with Sonja Lenneke, Germany

The course provides an initial exploration of the possibilities and limits of the PUPPET medium for contacting and supporting people in old age, especially after the onset of regressive processes. The focus lies on the practical experience of the fascinating effects of playing. Puppets offer wonderful opportunities to establish communication (especially non-verbally). They offer relief and help build trust for elderly/afflicted individuals, and also for those tasked with helping/caretaking. – Puppet handling is practiced, and sensitive observation encouraged. The use of animal figures initially ensures ”worry-free encounters” and provides the necessary courage to engage in ”crazy”, playful dialogue. Most people do you not engage in conversation with a titmouse on a daily basis … Some residents are content simply holding Mr. Bunny’s paw … No puppetry experience required!

Possible day courses: Sun., July 7th, Mon., July 8th, or Tue., July 9th | from 10 AM to 5 PM, respectively | Appointments on the premises possible upon request | € 20.00 per person | Registration

7 hour day course for specialists in working with senior citizens | max. 10 participants

Sonja Lenneke

Sonja Lenneke has a degree in curative education. She is a speech therapist, a bereavement counsellor (BVT), and a puppeteer. She completed additional training as a therapeutic puppeteer, and took courses in mask play and clown theatre. Among other things, she staged productions on the subjects of grief and dementia. Since 1998, she has also been working as a therapeutic puppetry lecturer.


Hello, what are you doing ?

Puppet in caretaking and nursing situations: Establishing contact respectfully.
Course with Diana Jopp, Germany

How can we address the lack of contact which is prevalent among aging or sick people in everyday care? A childlike lap puppet may constitute a special key in this situation– especially for the inner world of people with dementia. During this course, we are going to deal with hand puppets and the required inner attitude when communicating with adults in need of care. We also get to reach out to our own inner child, which allows us to play very authentically.
We get a feeling for the symbolic power of animals and their emotional impact. Learning methods for handling puppets will provide us with an extraordinary tool. The ”puppet” ideas workshop knows no limits, as long as the play incorporates respect and acceptance.
For the duration of the course, participants are provided with a childlike rod puppet for the day of practice. It is also possible to bring your own puppet (approx. 65 cm). A one-day advanced training course on ”animal figures” can be arranged as well.

Day courses possible on Saturdays: Aug. 3rd, Aug. 10th, Aug. 17th, Aug. 24th, or Aug. 31st.
Appointments possible on the premises upon request (also on Sundays) | € 20.00 per person | Registration

Day course for professionals working with senior citizens, and everyday companions

Diana Jopp

Diana Jopp intensified her improvisational play with a rod puppet, got certified as a senior citizen and everyday companion, completed further training as a puppeteer with therapeutic puppets, and also trained as a geriatric-psychiatric support specialist. On top of that, she is a certified MAKS therapist and lecturer.


Life, Death and Illness – How do I tell the children ?

Playful communication with children in existential crises and during medical interventions.
Course with Nadja Meier-Läubli, Switzerland

This workshop whisks you away into the playful world of children’s experiences. It uses case studies to show what is possible when you get involved with the stories of little ones. Find out how communication through puppetry strengthens unsettled children and takes away their fear in the face of serious illness or medical procedures.
You will be given tools which allow you to respond better to the needs and fears of your younger and older patients/children.

Are you ready to change your focus for a few hours, overcome mental boundaries, and perceive the child in its entirety?

Thu., Aug. 8th and Fri., Aug. 9th | Dates and times can be arranged on the premises upon request | € 20.00 per person | Registration (Please indicate your profession when you sign up)

3-4 hour day course for specialist in the fields of therapy, education, medicine, and social work I 10-15 participants

Nadja Meier-Läubli

Nadja Meier-Läubli specializes in child-friendly communication and is head of the Kimi practice (for children in medical intervention) in Lucerne/Switzerland. Her training as a puppetry/art therapist (ED) and therapist for trauma work is complemented by a wealth of experience in family work. She is happy to pass on her knowledge through teaching activities and further training for parents, caretakers and experts in the field.


Stand By Your Puppet ! Breath in Hand !

Fascination and introduction to puppetry.
Course with Kristiane Balsevicius, Germany

Without doing much, the figure on the hand captures our attention: it looks at us, it talks and moves, as if it were a sentient living being.

The workshop invites you to play. It provides tips and experiences. We create our own puppets from paper and masking tape and discover how the audience’s imagination works. The animation begins with ”breathing into the hand” and makes the fascinating medium of puppetry tangible. It opens doors for a wide range of possible uses.

Day courses possible on: Sun., Oct. 6th, Mon., Oct. 7th, Tue., Oct. 8th, Wed., Oct. 9th, + Thu., Oct. 10th Appointments possible on request on the premises or in the theatre | € 20.00 per person | Registration

5 hour day course for multipliers such as social workers, teachers, and educators

Kristiane Balsevicius

Kristiane Balsevicius studied theatre science and education in Berlin. She has been working as a mobile puppeteer with her own workshop in Berlin-Neukölln for over 40 years. She kept expanding her horizons through directing work, international guest performances, and finally specialist training as a therapeutic puppeteer. She conducts workshops in primary schools and childcare centres.


PERFORMANCES on the premises upon request

You can sign up in the theatre office at: kontakt@theater-der-nacht.net, or by phone: +49 (0) 5551-995507

Sascha - Not One Step Further

A Play about Abuse
Holzwurm-Theater, Germany

Sascha is increasingly physically harassed by his uncle. He tries to communicate in his own way, but is initially not understood by his caregivers. Sasha gets lonely. In a chaos of emotions characterized by insecurity, shame, and guilt, this depressing situation comes to a head. Alarmed by his changed behaviour and his latent cries for help, those around him become more alert, and Sasha receives help at last.

The key points of this play are:
• I can trust my feelings
• I can distinguish between types of touch, my feelings about them are correct
• I am allowed to defend myself when my limits are violated
• I can get help. If it doesn’t work the first time, I can try again and again until I have finally made myself understood.

Mon., Aug. 26th - Fri., Aug. 30th, and Mon., Sep. 2nd – Fri., Sep. 9th | Appointments on the premises upon request for 3rd + 4th grades | € 3.00 per child | Registration

In collaboration with the Child Protection Association and a Parents’ Night


Amy, Tarik, and the Heart Emoji

A poignant story about first love, football, bullying, and cyberbullying
Holzwurm-Theater, Germany

There’s something wrong with class 5b. One of the students has locked himself in his bedroom and refuses to go to school. Only his grandfather succeeds in getting him to talk. This is how the love story between Amy and Tarik, the football hero, comes to light, which has somehow become awfully embarrassing due to cell phone videos and class chats. But others will soon notice, too, how quickly the focus of recognition and exclusion is apt to change.

Mon, Aug. 26th – Fri., Aug. 30th, and Mon., Sep. 2nd – Fri., Sep. 9th | Appointment on the premises upon request for 4th – 6th grade | € 3.00 per child | Registration

With supporting educational materials.

Jens Heidtmann, Holzwurm-Theater

The Holzwurm-Theater was founded in 1984. The main actor and author of the stories is Jens Heidtmann, who has since written and directed over 30 stage plays, travelling all over Germany.
The plays are a mixture of drama and puppet theatre. A wide variety of different types of puppets are used and music and songs are often included. The productions always revolve around a central theme that in some way touches on ‘being human’. They are atmospherically dense, entertaining and exciting.



VDP, UNIMA, and DGTP invite you to attend their symposium ”Puppet works wonder – Fascination and Possibilities of a Medium”.

Why do puppets have such great power, offering endless possibilities? We are going to address this question in the symposium through different contributions.

Opening performance: ”The Winter Stormers”, in the Theater der Nacht on Fri., Aug. 9th.

Symposium: Sat., 10 AM to 7 PM (including breaks), Sun. from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM in the Northeim Town Hall.

Participation fee: € 55.00, including water, coffee/tea/cake, the opening performance on Fri., Aug. 9th, as well as lunch and dinner on Saturday, August 10th.

Registration at:


Mareike Gaubitz

research assistant and head of the dfp documentation and research centre in Bochum

Keynote speech
Matt Smith

lecturer in applied theatre and puppetry at the University of Portsmouth (GB)

Keynote speech
Cariad Astles

puppeteer, teacher, trainer, researcher, and director (GB/Sweden)

Keynote speech
Insa Fooken

was a developmental psychology professor at the University of Siegen and the Goethe University in Frankfurt

Keynote speech
Riku Laakkonen

puppeteer, director, actor, and teacher (Finland)

Keynote speech
Antje Wegener

is a theatre scientist, working as a freelance therapeutic puppeteer (Halle)

Keynote speech
Margrit Gysin

preschool teacher, special education teacher, and puppetry therapist (Switzerland)

Keynote speech | Matt Smith

Applied Puppetry: Ecologies of Practice

As the scientific discourse on puppetry continues to evolve, and while some attention is paid to the use of puppetry in therapeutic and educational settings, a gap in knowledge and analytics still exists regarding the diverse applications of puppetry in community contexts.

This keynote will explain how puppets and performing objects manage complex communications, exploration and discovery, and facilitate the emergence of relevant stories and topics.

Applied puppetry should be recognized as an international practice. These practices are discussed within their specific political and social context, and integrated into theories of embodiment, new materialism, and object-oriented ontology.
A central goal is to develop a sound scientific approach to puppetry as a social practice.


Keynote speech | Cariad Astles

Wandering in non-life – Puppetry and death

This presentation will explore the relationship between puppetry and life, between living while not alive, and dead.

Keynote speech | Insa Fooken

Puppet secrets in the ”In-Between”: the puppet nudges the soul

As seemingly sentient actors, puppets will trigger psychological processes in encounters. With ”their” people, thus facilitating an understanding of oneself and others. Thanks to their ”productive ambiguity,” puppets create a space for transition and action. Puppet/human encounters mirror the situation of being born and ”entering the world” – the principle of ”nativity”, providing constantly recurring new beginnings.

This allows for a life-long dialogic question-and-answer game that starts at birth and is all about spontaneity, as well as ”response and responsibility.” The interactions between humans and puppets create spaces that make it possible to experience social resonance, ambivalence, and the constantly renewed interplay between identity and alterity. This is about: becoming human.

Keynote speech | Riku Laakkonen

Topic: Playing objects and one-on-one performances

Applied puppetry with fragile people

In my puppetry work, I combine the animation options of object and puppet
theatre. I have developed an object theatre where the viewer becomes a participant in the artistic process and is involved in the creation of a performance. I have applied this method in palliative care, and in nursing homes.

Keynote speech | Antje Wegener

Puppet works wonder – dramaturgical propositions

Effective theatrical aspects in therapeutic puppetry

The puppet, the figure, the scenery, playing a role, unlocking the visual potential inherent in the material … that sounds a lot like theatre. But it also shapes the dynamic action in a puppet therapy setting.
Animation not only stimulates the material, but also translates into a body memory and shakes up gridlocked life patterns. Transformation is a healing principle, and a specialty of PUPPETS.

Keynote speech | Margrit Gysin

Right in the middle. Art – play – puppet. Practice between art and therapy

Margrit Gysin draws from the unmistakably original, from the joy of the resistant and unaligned, from the wild and tender archaism of fairy tales, myths, and symbols. Working with children in various contexts, she is an attentive observer and development companion.

What can puppetry achieve? How do you merge, or separate. playing, therapy, and theatre arts in everyday professional life? Principles and a willingness to experiment grow from a wealth of experience.


All workshops are open to both amateurs and professionals!

Workshop 1 – Space.Puppet.Material.Object

Workshop with Julia Raab, Germany | Registration

– There are still places available –

Translating existential themes into images

A room. A puppet, a material, an object. The player and their story.

A picture emerges in which a tale lies dormant. We use the animation of the lifeless material to uncover the deeply hidden narratives. In improvisation, we explore means and methods in order to venture into heavily concealed, difficult topics as well. The perception of space, material, play, and movement helps us find our way to a scenic implementation.

Max. 10 participants | Location: n.n. | Course language: German

Julia Raab

Julia Raab is a puppeteer and theatre educator who completed her Figure Theatre studies in Stuttgart in 2013. She regularly teaches at the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences in the department of social work, media, and culture. From 2014-2020 she was a guest lecturer at the Johanniter Academy in Leipzig in the social affairs department. From 2007-2009, she headed the Theatre Education branch at the theatre in Eisleben. Since 2013, she has been working as a freelance puppeteer and theatre teacher in Halle/Saale.


Workshop 2 – Puppets as companions during transitions

Workshop with Cariad Astles, GB/Sweden | Registration

– fully booked –

In their original use as burial objects, puppets were borderline entities, designed to facilitate the transition between life and death, accompany the deceased into the next world, and deliver messages to the living from other worlds.

Puppets exist in intermediate spaces: between life and death, between humans and non-humans, between art objects and actors, between safety and danger. They are guardians of thresholds.

This workshop is about using puppets as assistive devices for crossing thresholds. We are going to explore what it takes to navigate change, and how the companionship of another creature can be helpful in these encounters. The workshop will explore various narratives, derived from myths and personal experiences. This workshop aims to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of puppets in situations of change, and to learn techniques for using puppets in these settings. The work will be playful, experimental and exploratory, studying the use of puppets in specific contexts of healing and empowerment.

Max. 10 participants | Location: Alte Brauerei, event hall | Course language: English

Cariad Astles

Cariad Astles reresearches and teaches at the Centre for Research into Objects and Puppets in Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London (CSSD). CSSD offers a puppetry BA, the only university education in puppetry in England, bringing together academic and practical research into puppetry and object theatre.


Workshop 3 – Get a Puppet!

Workshop with Sonja Lenneke, Germany | Registration

– There is still 1 place available –

Puppet as a medium for encounters and companionship

Introduction to the method of therapeutic puppetry
When puppets become a means of expression for those seeking companionship, and a safe environment is provided, people will be encouraged to playfully manifest their own deep emotions. In assisted play, puppets can be used to express yourself, your questions, and your worries through protected, encrypted images. At this level, their caregivers try to understand these ”messages” and provide support and answers in the same playful way. Sometimes, the game does not even need many words and works through its symbolic power alone.

The workshop enables self-awareness in play and through the process of art therapy (modelling heads for hand puppets), and provides an overview of the variety of possible uses using practical examples from work with children, adults, and the elderly.

Max. 10 participants | Location: Theater der Nacht, Salon | Course language: German

Sonja Lenneke

Sonja Lenneke has a degree in curative education. She is a speech therapist, a bereavement counsellor (BVT), and a puppeteer. She completed additional training as a therapeutic puppeteer, and took courses in mask play and clown theatre. Among other things, she staged productions on the subjects of grief and dementia. Since 1998, she has also been working as a therapeutic puppetry lecturer.


Workshop 4 – What my mouth cannot say

Workshop with Petra Albersmann, Germany | Registration

– There are still 4 places available –

Kamishibai – build, design, discover

Kamishibai (from Japanese: Kami – paper; Shibai – drama/theatre) has been gaining increasing popularity in recent years, especially in the educational sector. With its picture cards, it is often employed in the area of language development. During the workshop week, participants will build and design their own Kamishibai out of wood and various materials.

Together, we will then explore the possible uses for the ”world’s smallest theatre”: language training, image-based storytelling, puppet or shadow theatre, and whatever else comes to mind.

No previous knowledge of playing or telling stories is required, but manual crafting skills are.

Max. 10 participants | Location: Theater der Nacht, workshop | Course language: German

Petra Albersmann

Petra Albersmann studied German and Theology in Bochum, worked in advertising in Hamburg, and realized that, even in these areas, everything revolves around stories!
She has been working as a full-time puppeteer and story teller, director, and lecturer for many years now.


Workshop 5 – When stories unfold

Workshop with Gilbert Meyer, France

– fully booked –

Playful handling of stories – with or without a few words

The workshop thoroughly explores the various visual, narrative, and handling forms of puppets and images: narrative roles, storyboards, pop-up systems, acting within a space with a wide variety of puppets. Participants will experience the communicative and expressive possibilities, the effects of security, self-empowerment and social integration through artistic means. Communication is established non-verbally or by using different languages.
The week will culminate in a presentation of the means that have been explored so far.

Max. 10 participants | Location: Alte Brauerei, café and tower room | Course language: German

Gilbert Meyer

Gilbert Meyer is a puppeteer, artist, and director. After attending the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette in France, he founded the TOHU-BOHU Theatre in Strasbourg. He prefers object theatre and puppetry for facilitating social exchange. His work in various artistic areas and development projects adds a social dimension to his artistic endeavours.

Gilbert Meyer at facebook

Meet the master

CONVERSATIONS with the Artists

Discussions with the artists who teach at the conference will take place daily during the workshop week from Mon., Aug. 12th, through Fri., Aug. 16th, between 2:15 PM and 2:45 PM in the auditorium at Theater der Nacht.
Admission is free, donations are welcome!

Monday, August 12th | Meet the master | Conversation with Julia Raab

Tuesday, August 13th | Meet the master | Conversation with Cariad Astles

Wednesday, August 14th | Meet the master | Conversation w. Petra Albersmann

Thursday, August 15th | Meet the master |Conversation with Sonja Lenneke

Friday, August 16th | Meet the master | Conversation with Gilbert Meyer


who are present at the conference will take place daily during the workshop week from Mon., Aug. 12th through Fri., Aug. 16th at 8 PM in the Theatre hall.
Admission is free, donations are welcome!

Mon., Aug. 12th | Riku Laakoonen (in English)

Performing objects and agency. Working with vulnerable people
Working in retirement homes or in palliative contexts requires sensitivity, closeness, and distance at the same time. Animated objects can awaken memories and initiate stories. This night will see experiences conveyed and questions answered through discussions and practical demonstrations.

Riku Laakkonen is a puppeteer, director, actor, and teacher.

Tue., Aug. 13th | Detlef Schmelz and Marlene Schmelz-Gmelin

The climate conference.
Marionette theatre and the possibilities of presenting a contemporary topic in a performance.

Detlef Schmelz and Marlene Schmelz-Gmelin have been intensely involved with marionettes since their student days. They construct easily movable, expressive marionettes, winning internationally renowned awards.


Tue., Aug. 13th | Matt Smith (in English)

Thinking with Puppets and Ecology
This presentation describes the use of ideas from ecological thinking, such as those of Tim Morton, as a practice of applied puppetry. A wide variety of experiences and projects is vividly presented in images and videos.

Matt Smith is a lecturer in Applied Theatre and Puppetry at the University of Portsmouth.


Wed., Aug. 14th | Inga Hartmann and Kerstin Reichelt

Start them young! Puppet building, material play, and puppet theatre in preschools
In an open forum, Inga Hartmann and Kerstin Reichelt will talk about their many years of experience from project work in daycare centres. They will share their insights, as well as various pointers and tricks. What performance skills are inherent in small children, and how can we support them in expressing themselves using their body and voice, and through play with material and figures? We will discuss the value we perceive in playing with puppets, in puppet building, and in puppet theatre acting, and the importance of sharing our experience with educators.

Inga Hartmann is a cultural and theatre scientist. Over the years, she has specialized in the development of productions and theatre projects with children of preschool age. krimmelmokel.de

Kerstin Reichelt has a degree in culture and media education and is an experienced theatre teacher. Her Theaterwerkstatt STiNE from Magdeburg travels
nationwide as a touring theatre (drama + puppetry).

Thu., Aug. 15th | Antje Wegener and Petra Albersmann

Escape. Trauma-sensitive work through puppetry
Petra Albersmann’s report on her workshop projects with young migrants is supplemented by Antje Wegener’s trauma-educational insights. This leads to a quite practical understanding of the productive and healing effects of puppetry activities.

Antje Wegener is a theatre scientist, working as a freelance therapeutic puppeteer.

Petra Albersmann has been working full-time as a puppeteer and storyteller, director and lecturer for many years.


Fri., Aug. 16th | Silke Technau and Andrea Haupt

Come on Paula, take heart! – Risk and responsibility.
Productions about experiencing abuse, and sexual self-determination of children.
Andrea Haupt (puppeteer) and Silke Technau (director) discuss the special play development of two productions by wolfsburger figurentheater compagnie, ”Paula, take heart” and ”Courage and Anger and Green Socks”. How can dramaturgy and character construction work, and help keep the children safe?

Andrea Haupt has been a puppeteer since 1984, and has been director of wolfsburger figurentheater compagnie since 1991.

Silke Technau studied German and theatre sciences in Berlin; she is co-founder of KOBALT Figurentheater. Since 2003, she has been on the editorial team of the German UNIMA specialist publications Das andere Theater and Notebook.


The ”Puppet works wonder” festival features performances that deal with diffi­-cult existential topics. We offer follow-up discussions for all performances and work with regional associations that have been dealing with these crucial issues for years.

We are pleased that our project will bring together experts for artistic work with those from the social work sector. Watching, talking, and working together will enhance our expertise, multiply the impact of our work, and thus bring joy and a sense of achievement to everyone involved.

Welcome to getting creative and productive together in the workshops or at ”Puppet City”. The ”Unreals” from France will also entice everyone to get involved. The other performances  encourage you to feel, ponder, and find new ways. With this in mind, we wish everyone an inspiring time.

Tickets for the performances in the theatre are available at:
theater-der-nacht.de or at the theatre itself.

The Winter Stormers

Margrit Gysin, switzerland  |  figurentheater-margrit-gysin.ch

A snowstorm is raging through an icy winter’s night
The animals are freezing. They find refuge and protection with Mother Earth for a night, but they need to share their space and get along. This requires concessions and consideration and trust from everyone.
Inspired by a dream of a refugee child, Margrit Gysin is weaving motifs and characters from various European fairy tales into a new story, placing the problems surrounding migration in a larger context through her imagery.

Fri., Aug. 9th | 8:30 PM | Theater der Nacht | € 15.00 / € 10.00 | 4 years and older | Tickets

This performance can be booked by one or several groups on Friday mornings, 11 AM. If you are interested: kontakt@theater-der-nacht.net
or call the theatre office at +49 (0) 5551-995507

Following the performance, after a ten-minute break, we offer a follow-up discussion with expert support in the theatre hall.

Les trois têtes | The three heads

Demain on change tout, France  |  demainonchangetout.fr

A unique, poetic, and festive story
When the three beings of fate lost a game of chess against the mechanical Turk, they were tasked with sharing people’s everyday lives, wherever they may take place.

The Merchant of Oblivion, the King of Carnival, and the Madman who escaped from the chessboard – this three-headed marionette will roam the city, along with the Chimère orchestra featuring three monkey musicians

Fri., Aug. 9th | 7:30 PM | Procession from Marktplatz to Theater der Nacht

Sat., Aug. 10th | 7:30 PM | Procession from Marktplatz to Theater der Nacht

Free admission / Donations welcome

Amy, Tarik, and the Heart Emoji

Holzwurm-Theater, Germany  |  holzwurm-theater.de

A poignant story about first love, football, bullying, and cyberbullying
There’s something wrong with class 5b. One of the students has locked himself in his bedroom and refuses to go to school. Only his grandfather succeeds in getting him to talk.

This is how the love story between Amy and Tarik, the football hero, comes to light, which has somehow become awfully embarrassing due to cell phone videos and class chats. But others will soon notice, too, how quickly the focus of recognition and exclusion is apt to change.

Sat., Aug. 10th | 2 PM | Theater der Nacht | € 15.00 / € 10.00 | 10 years and older | Tickets

Following the performance, after a ten-minute break, we offer a follow-up discussion with expert support in the theatre hall.

Beyond the sadness

Sonja Lenneke, Germany  |  handundraum.de

Two people on their way – with memories in their luggage
Without words, only through the actions of the characters, a space opens up for scenes of farewell and mourning. This delicate production faces the depths of the topic, and does not avoid the pain.
Sonja Lenneke takes the audience on an inner journey, on paths of grief that turn into ways out – beyond the grief.
Conceived as a family play, the serious but uncomplicated nature of the production reaches out to children and adults alike, and initiates the dialogue on a topic in life that is still frequently repressed.

Sat., Aug. 10th | 8:30 PM | Theater der Nacht | € 15.00 /€ 10.00 | 5 years and older | Tickets

Following the performance, after a ten-minute break, we offer a follow-up discussion with expert support in the theatre hall.

Seven Home Alone

Theater Petra Albersmann, Germany  |  petra-albersmann.de

A play about (sibling) rivalry and solidarity
Ms. Goat urgently needs to see a doctor. In the absence of a babysitter, the older kids are supposed to look after their younger siblings. As soon as the mother leaves the house, the squabbling starts. Suddenly, the wolf is at the door, claiming to be their babysitter – appointed by the Youth Welfare Office. The little ones are thrilled, while their older siblings remain suspicious. Actually, the wolf does a rather good job. However, when the situation comes to a head, the seven stick together, all for one and one for all. In a joint effort, they manage to turn everything upside down, including the wolf …

Sun., Aug. 11th | 12:00 PM | Theater der Nacht | € 15.00 / € 10.00 I 4 years and older | Tickets

Following the performance, after a ten-minute break, we offer a follow-up discussion with expert support in the theatre hall.

Picnic in the Park

Sun., Aug. 11th | 2 PM - 5 PM | at the theatre and in the park | Free admission/Donations welcome
A family afternoon in the park around the Theater der Nacht, featuring a va­ri­ety of small theatre plays and walk acts.

The Princess on the Flower, Holzwurm-Theater from Winsen/Luhe

Zenkai, Gilbert Meyer from Straßburg

Magic Show, Andy Clapp from Katlenburg

The Unicorns and The Forest Cat, Kyra from Northeim

Harp Concert, Kaunoka from Osterode

Guitar and Bagpipes, Igor Michel and Heiko Brockhausen from Northeim

Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf, De Vliegende Koffer, Niederlande

The painter Francois Blanc, Steven Luca, Niederlande    ... etc. ...

The Black Dog

Julia Raab, Germany  |  juliaraab.de

Depression – out of the shadows, into the spotlight
One out of four people will experience phases in their lives where they encounter this: a diffuse melancholy and painful listlessness, or the feeling that life is devoid of meaning – in short, depression.
You can learn to live with this affliction. It is a long way – but also surprisingly creative. Take, for example, this image prevalent in literature and therapy – a black dog. It is always there; relationship unclear. It just refuses to leave. It growls, it nips, it bites. Once in a while, its attitude seems more peaceful – will you be able to put it on a leash and take it for a walk?
Through the interplay of mask, puppet, object, documentary materials, elements of choreography, and a musical score by Alexander Hohaus, Anja Schwede and puppeteer Julia Raab bring life with the Black Dog to the stage. Semi-satirical caricatures, songs and, above all, the experiences of those affected determine the suitability of the theatrical image for bringing depression out of its tongue-tied corner.

Sun., Aug. 11th | 8:00 PM | Theater der Nacht | € 18.00 / € 15.00 | 16 years and older | Tickets

Following the performance, after a ten-minute break, we offer a follow-up discussion with expert support in the theatre hall.

Night of the Puppets

Sat., Aug. 17th | 8:00 PM | at the theatre and in the park | Free admission/Donations welcome

The climax of ”Puppet works wonder”!
In this year’s ”Night of the Puppets”, workshop participants will show you what they have created during the week. Plus, you get to meet ”Les Irréels/The Un-reals” from the theatre Cie/Créature Lou Broquin, France, creatures who live in their own worlds and connect them to people or things that you may have already missed, or would definitely like to get to know. An exciting evening walk through a variety of worlds awaits you.
To conclude the ”Night of the Puppets”, there will be dancing in the Theater der Nacht to the music of ”Schräge Vögel”, the theatre’s in-house band.

Everyone who missed ”Les Irréels” on Saturday night will have a chance to encounter them again on Sunday afternoon, during the final event of ”Puppet works wonder.”

Puppet City

Sun., Aug. 18th | 2 PM - 6 PM | at the theatre and in the park | Free admission/Donations welcome

Puppet City – the city of puppets  |  

Puppet City is a one-day event exploring city life through the eyes of puppets. From 2 PM, everyone (including families and children) is invited to imagine what a cityscape of the future might look like with a tailor-made ”city design toolkit”. The playful construction activities are interrupted by performances with puppets exploring the imaginary city. The interaction between all participants is open and easy. The kit encourages visitors to construct buildings and play with the puppets in the emerging city.