What is the academy?


The ACADEMY FOR THEATER AND DIGITALITY is a model project of the Theater Dortmund for digital innovation, artistic research, technical education and training. Here, fellows together with the Academy’s staff investigate the possibilities of digital technologie for the performing arts: we explore innovative technologies, changing work structures, new narrative forms and discuss what it means to be an artist today at the interface between the performing arts and the latest technologies.

We’d like to research firstly how digital technologies can be applied meaningfully and sensually for the performing arts; secondly how the latter are transformed by, for example, sensors, robotics and actuators, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence etc.; and thirdly how digital technologies can expand the various areas of work in front of, on and behind the stage. 

The ACADEMY FOR THEATER AND DIGITALITY sees itself as a place of innovation, inspiration, discourse, exchange, a place with the courage to try something new and also to fail, for reflection, network building, impulse giving and communication – a place of art! 

The AKADEMIE FÜR THEATER UND DIGITALITY is supported by the Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Wilo-Foundation and receives funding from the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF / EFRE). 





The world as it presents itself to us has become more complex. The number of loose information transmitters reaching into our areas of perception has increased explosively. Whether technology, science or politics: the interrelationships have become more complex and contradictory. The way in which the public sphere is organized, political discourses are conducted, and how we work and live together has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. The digitalization of all areas of life has played a not to be underestimated part in all this. The tools it creates are used by people today as a matter of course. And we are now faced with the epochal task of investigating the numerous new connections between the digital and analog worlds, i. e. digitality: phenomenologically, sociologically, philosophically, technically and – as a core discipline of the Academy – artistically.

How does the theatre react to these changes? With which narrative patterns, experimental set-ups and technological inventions? What know-how do theatre professionals need now? What tools can and must the theatres themselves develop? For which professional fields of the performing arts do we, as technology-oriented artists, have to offer new opportunities for further education? Which are the upcoming new possibilities of narration, catalysed by new technologies? Which social debates can be taken up or even initiated in theatres through the use of digital technologies? What are the issues of post-digital modern age? How can technology – as a tool of production and object of observation – be sensually experienced and discussed in an open artistic space?

(Marcus Lobbes)



oyoun Berlin is looking for a software developer or team with a culturally sensitive and human-centric appreoach to design and implement an online event management database tool. The software developer/team will work with our researchers and designers in implementing features developed through anti-discriminatory and anti-racist reseach. The tool will be eventually released as an open … Continued


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Welcome on board!

The new fellows of the Academy For Theatre and digitality arrived today! Katie Hawthorne, Yvonne Dicketmüller, Kiran Kumar & Kai Tuchmann, Elena Tilli & Samuel Chan, Luise Ehrenwerth sowie Johannes Payr & Peter Lorenz will work on their projects the next few months. Soon, HIDA Fellows Martin Hennecke as well as team Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari / … Continued


For our series “HOW TOTORIAL”, Mario Simon visited a robot in Augsburg. What the state theater of Augsburg is up to with it will be explored in a workshop talk with Tina Lorenz and Markus Schubert. In the 4th episode we invite a Kuka robot arm to dance.   Produktion: Mario Simon


Angelika von Ammon completed her bachelor’s degree in media, sports and event management at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences before moving to Dortmund for her master’s degree in cultural analysis and cultural mediation (focus on cultural anthropology of textiles).

During and after her studies she worked as a student assistant in institutions such as the Hartware MedienKunstverein (HMKV 2013-2017), the Ruhrtriennale (2013-2015) or the WDR Landesstudio Dortmund (2012-2013). She also accompanied cultural projects of the independent scene such as the AdlerStern street festival (2012-2015), Last Art Standing (2019) and TRANSIT, a Narrative Space by Mona el Gammal funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) in collaboration with Futurium (2021).

Between 2017 and 2021, she worked full-time in project management for funding, with a particular focus on organizing jury processes and their further development. From 2017-2019 she was in charge of the Individual Artist Funding (IKF) of ecce GmbH and from 2020-2021 the General Project Funding of the NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste.



Michael Eickhoff studied history, German language and literature, and sociology in Bielefeld and Paris. Since 2000 he has been working as production manager, dramaturg, curator and lecturer for various theaters (Theater Bonn, Wiesbaden and Bielefeld) and universities. From 2010 to 2020 he was part of the artistic management team at the Schauspiel Dortmund under the artistic direction of Kay Voges. Here he has accompanied a large number of productions, curated discourse series, festivals and international guest performances, and co-created the concept and the funding of the Academy for Theater and Digitality.

He is particularly interested in theater in discourse with various social actors – in exchange with political-artistic activism, journalism and a variety of related disciplines of art.

Since summer 2020 he has been part of the Academy for Theater and Digitality where he is responsible for (international) networking and cooperation between art, science and business.


Jan Hugenroth gained his first theater experience at the Theater im Pumpenhaus Münster and the Frankfurt Opera after training as an electrical engineering technician. He then studied theater and event technology at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. Since 2005, he has worked as a designer and production manager and most recently as deputy technical director at the Münchner Kammerspiele, Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein and Aalto Theater Essen. He has accompanied a large number of productions from the construction rehearsal to the premiere, has also been responsible for his own sets and has implemented modernization measures.
Since spring 2022, he has been responsible for technical management and the new building at the Academy for Theater and Digitality


Philipp Kramer, who was born in Dortmund, was passionate about handicrafting since early childhood. His vivid interest in automation in both, hard- and software, lead to his studies of Applied Computer Science, emphasis on robotics, at TU Dortmund. Since 2019 he consults the Academy in matters of technology and digitality.




Viviane Lennert studied Theater Studies, Media Studies and Sociology (BA) at the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg as well as Scenic Research (MA) at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Since 2015 she has been working with the media art collective TeamLEN! (Viviane Lennert, Stella Lennert) on experimental set-ups between scenography and performance art (e.g. Teddy Award of the Berlinale, Kultursymposium Weimar of the Goethe Institute, Zeitzeug_ Festival Bochum). As a video artist/VJ she has worked with äöü Kollektiv (LTT Tübingen), Saskia Rudat (Freischwimmen Netzwerk) and the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, among others. Under the pseudonym Donna Vivo she produces audiovisual collages, soundscapes and mixed media environments. In 2021 she was involved as project manager/co-curator in the conference “Another End Is Possible” of the New Now Festival. In addition to her artistic work, she chaired the Zeitzeug_ Festival for independent performing arts in Bochum until 2019, served as project manager, and has been at the Academy for Theater and Digitality at Theater Dortmund since 2020, where she is responsible for marketing and (digital) communication since 2022.



Marcus Lobbes has been working as a director and set designer in opera and drama since 1995.

His main focus is on uncompromising classic productions as well as numerous premieres in many renowned theaters of the Republic (Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus, Theater Freiburg, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Staatsheater in Kassel, Mainz, Saarbrücken, Darmstadt and Braunschweig, Schauspiel Dortmund, Wuppertaler Bühnen et al).

New collective working forms with the ensembles and his close contact to contemporary authors are the characteristics of his artistic work.

In addition to numerous invitations and awards, his approach also finds its way into the training of young talents: he has recently been invited as a guest lecturer and speaker at the Akademie für Darstellende Künste in Ludwigsburg, the Salzburg Mozarteum, the University of Rostock, the Hochschule Mainz, the Kunstuniversität Graz and the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule in Düsseldorf.


Veronika Ortmayr studied Media and Cultural studies and Media Culture Analysis. She worked as a critic, freelance journalist and author in the field of culture until she moved to the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus in 2014 as Assistant to the Artistic Director. Since the late 1990s she has been interested in Artificial Intelligence and New Technologies. Before her master’s degree she worked for Sinius/Siemens Business Services for several years as an IT consultant. She is particularly interested in gender aspects of man-machines, film history and the cultural history of digitality. Since the beginning of 2019, she has been a member of the Academy team as Assistant to the Director Marcus Lobbes.


Mario Simon studied german studies, literary- and cultural studies, film- and media science and philosophy at Universität Bonn, TU Dortmund and in Hagen. 2010-2011 he worked in Bonn for the research project “Mediatisierte Welten – Deliberation im Netz: Formen und Funktion des digitalen Diskurses am Beispiel des Microblogging-Systems Twitter“ with the Deutsche Forschungegemeinschaft.

Mario Simon worked continuously for Schauspiel Dortmund (Direktion: Kay Voges) from 2013 till 2020, starting as assistant and later as video artist and head of the video department. After his first work at Schauspiel Dortmund with “Einige Nachrichten aus dem All“ (Directed by Kay Voges, awarded as best production NRW at Theatertreffen 2013, 2nd place at the Experimental Film Sunset Filmfestival Los Angeles) he worked with various directors as a video artist, e.g. Kay Voges („Die Borderline Prozession“, „Die Parallelwelt“), Claudia Bauer, Jörg Buttgereit and Klaus Gehre („Minority Report – der Live-Film“), Marcus Lobbes (“Ich, Europa”), as well as with the collective sputnik on the first live animation movie in the world: „Die Möglichkeit einer Insel“. In 2017, Mario Simon was awarded with the young talent award of the state NRW.


Kay Voges is director of the Volkstheater in Vienna (since 2020). As artistic director he directed the Schauspiel Dortmund from 2010-20.

Voges has been working as a director for acting and opera since 1998 – e.g. at Schauspiel Dortmund, Staatsoper Hannover,  Oper Dortmund, Volksbühne Berlin, Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Staatstheater in Darmstadt, Kassel and Stuttgart, Theater Magdeburg, Theater Bonn et al.

Important works were Voges’ theater adaptation of “Der Meister und Margarita” (2012), “Einige Nachrichten an das All” by Wolfram Lotz, which opened the 2012/2013 season at Schauspiel Dortmund as a multimedia encounter between theater and film) and his theater adaptation of Vinterberg’s “Das Fest”. With the multimedia performance “DAS GOLDENE ZEITALTER – 100 Wege dem Schicksal die Show zu stehlen” (2013), he continued his work at the interface of theater and film/video art, and his celebrated debut as an opera director with “Tannhäuser oder der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg” (Oper Dortmund, 2013) was a brilliant continuation of this.

Kay Voges has received several awards for his directorial work. In 2017 his production “Die Borderline Prozession” was invited to Berliner Theatertreffen. “Einige Nachrichten an das All” won the main prize for Best Production at NRW Theatertreffen 2013. The film for the production was awarded first prize for Best Direction at the Artodocs International Film Festival in St. Petersburg and second prize in the Experimental Film category at the Sunset Film Festival Los Angeles.

Voges’ works consistently research the interface between theater and digitality – reason for him to initiate the founding of the academy in 2017 and act as founding director.



Financed by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Academy will award a total of 54 scholarships for five months each in the years 2019 – 2022, usually for the months September to January and February to June.

The call for applications is aimed at artists, technicians and post-graduate fellows who have a keen interest in researching artistic-technical relations within digital narratives in theatre spaces, as well as putting those into practice. We are hoping for applicants who want to research and work with digital methods (e.g. Motion Capturing, Coding, XR, VR, AR, Robotics, Computer Sciences, Sound, Film, Interaction Design…).
The fellowships are destined to provide theatre artists and technicians with the option to begin their planned research projects, to realize their drafts and to continue or finalize their ongoing projects.





  • Laura Åkerlund (CEO and Artistic Director of Helsingin Koominen Ooppera, Finnland)
  • Dinesh Chenchanna (ZDF Mainz)
  • Jasmin Grimm (Rosy DX, program developer, creative producer)
  • Tina Lorenz (Staatstheater Augsburg)
  • Prof. Sabine Sachweh (University of Applied Science Dortmund, Idial)
  • Amy Stebbins (Alumni, writer, director)
  • Hubert Eckart (DTHG)
  • Prof. Friedrich Kirschner (HfS Berlin)
  • Marcus Lobbes (Director of Academy)
  • Lucas Pless (Coding, Engineering)
  • Mario Simon (Media Department)
  • Kay Voges (Founding Director)


Martin Hennecke is a German percussionist, composer and the Associate Principal Timpanist at Saarland State Orchestra. With his ensemble “Percussion Under Construction”, he has been creating opportunities to perform the best percussion repertoire through the development of a series of full length live shows and mixing solo with ensemble percussion literature extending from the classic masterpieces to contemporary works including his own compositions. His music (mostly percussion, orchestra and electronic pieces) have been performed at venues like Philharmonie Luxemburg, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Völklinger Hütte and festivals like Euroclassic, SubsTanz, Zappanale etc. He is a sought after timpanist and percussionist and has been invited to work with about 1/5th of the 129 orchestras in Germany, e.g. the Bamberg Symphonic, Bremen Philharmonic, Frankfurt Opera, Gürzenich-Orchestra Cologne, Hannover State Orchestra, Baden State Orchestra Karlsruhe, Nuremberg State Orchestra and the radio orchestras of WDR, SWR and SR. At the 2013 German Music Competition, he was awarded with the coveted scholarship and invited to participate in the concert series “national selection of young artists”. Martin Hennecke also is a member of the committee for theater and concert orchestras at the German Musician’s Union and is teaching at University of Music Saar.

Climate change and the ecological crisis are the defining challenges of our time, yet it seems that people find it difficult to discuss. As the subject is so vast and complex – a planetary climate system that is ever changing – it often evokes an emotional response – denial, grief or even aggression. Focusing on the Arctic, Common Grounds explores methods for listening, sensing and understanding climate change from an embedded perspective by taking novel approaches for performative sonifications of data through the theatrical apparatus.

Common Grounds is a twofold project, artistic and scientific, that develops digital instruments for data sonification, as well as a performative sound installation, using the digitally amplified theater space as a microcosm for a planetary scale phenomena. Based on a data set collected hourly for more than twenty years at a high arctic permafrost research site in Svalbard, Norway, by a team of scientists, lead by Julia Boike at the Alfred Wegener Institute Potsdam, this current research sonifies the processes that the permafrost layer is undergoing.

In the theater context, these sonifications are presented as an immersive environment of various sound emitting devices including also a local input of a CO2 sensor, hence exposing the fact that change happens across many different scales and that scale itself is a continuous spectrum rather than a collection of discrete points. Oscillating between sensors and the sensed, human and mechanical personas, it dissolves the theater walls and includes the audience members as active, embodied participants within this environment.

Eventually, Common Grounds hopes to establish a listening perspective across a local-global scale, making tangible that our bodies are part of the biosphere and hence also take part in the process of climate change. Environment is ‘in here’ rather than ‘out there’.


Common Grounds is a collaborative research project by Kerstin Ergenzinger, Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari, Tobias Grewenig and Julia Boike:

Kerstin Ergenzinger︎︎︎ is a visual artist working across the fields of installation, electronic arts, sound and drawing. The inextricable relations between body and world, perception and the perceived, sensing and sense making are central themes of her practice.


Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari︎︎︎ is a composer and artist, working across a broad spectrum of practices to embody and re-ritualise ways of sounding as an alternative mode of being. Exploring a plethora of artistic strategies his work attempts to navigate the physical, political and spiritual turbulences of our world.


Bnaya and Kerstin are long-time collaborators as part of the Sono-Choreographic Collective.


Tobias Grewenig primarily works with non-linear, installation-based works and audiovisual performances, including projects with the artist group Therapeutische Hörgruppe Köln [Therapeutic Listening Group Cologne], Ensemble The Knob, The Finger & The It and with the improv collective Frequenzwechsel [Frequency Change]. The conception of analog and electronic instruments is a key component of his work.


Julia Boike is the chair of the Energy- and Waterfluxes research group at the Geosciences, Permafrost research division at Alfred-Wegener-Institut Potsdam. Her research interests are: Thermal, hydrological and biogeochemical processes in northern permafrost soils;  Soil-atmosphere energy balance observations and modeling in high latitude regions;  Water balance observations, modeling and scaling in the Arctic.


ArtesMobiles was founded by Nina Maria Stemberger (performance) and Birk Schmithüsen (media artist) and has been producing forward-looking performances since 2013. They are looking for ways to dissolve academic categories and break down the boundaries between conceptual art, theatre and technology. ArtesMobiles produces across genres and extends the performing arts with new media to create experiences, social experiments and performative installations.

In our research project during the fellowship we interpret the multimedia  performance space as a life-like entity that interacts with the body,  the movement and the location of the performers. The multimedia space  itself becomes an actor that influences the action and interacts with  the performers. We work with different sensors, which are put into  correlative relation to moving heads, projections and sound by a machine  learning system and thus create a complex interaction relationship.

We are also investigating how a choreography can be developed in virtual space and then implemented with many performers and the same number of moving heads and individual sound sources in the stage space. To do this, we create a collection of movements that we record with the help of a motion capture system and choreograph it in the 3D programme. We are researching how we can represent all performers as digital actors and simulate interaction with synthesizers and moving heads.

Nina Maria Stemberger is a director, performer, theatre educator and curator. She developed her passion for performances in urban spaces in 2003 and was present in the international street theatre scene until 2010. In 2008, she founded the international youth encounter “artcamp” and was the artistic director of the theatre programme until 2018. Her work focuses on site-specific stagings, participatory audiences, and the crossover between technology and performers. It is important to her to make these accessible to all generations, cultures and genders and to make them experienceable through strong visual representations. Her productions open up new perspectives, make the theoretical tangible, arouse emotions and create solidarity. In her work, she repeatedly asks herself how art can be an integrative component in the development of future perspectives and how it can be co-designed. She curates artistic interaction works at the Garbicz Festival and the Chaos Communication Congress.

Birk Schmithüsen is a media artist based in Leipzig (DE). His work explores emerging technologies that affect our everyday lives. He is interested in the actual functionality hidden in a black box behind the simple user interface. In aesthetic experiments, Birk explores non-perceptible, abstract concepts such as Machine Learning (AI) and BigData as artistic media. The research results are staged in immersive new media installations. Between explanatory approaches through data visualization, abstract, aesthetic reuse of emerging technologies and speculative concepts, he opens up new perspectives on current topics of digitalization. Birk holds a diploma in fine art and got an EMAP/EMARE grant. His works were shown internationally at key media art festivals in France, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Germany, including re:public, Chaos Communication Congress, Ars Electronica and ZKM.

An artist and livecoder duo, Flor de Fuego and Naoto Hieda, has been performing and creating installations online using open source tools. Prior to the fellowship, being in Argentina and Germany, respectively, we started collaborating remotely by using live coding and web technologies. Live coding is an emerging field in new media and computational arts: a practice and tools for performing to create visuals and sounds by typing code on the spot. Often represented as “show us your screens”, performers are expected to present the screen with the code. During the fellowship, we expand the live coding practice beyond performance and propose new uses; as a method for collaborative rapid-prototyping, as a playful way for learning code and as a place where bodies meet virtuality.


Florencia Alonso (Flor de Fuego) is a digital-craft artist who mainly works with programming and live coding in order to create performative experiences. Her research is around concepts such as the body, space, code and chaos. She has taken part of several international and local festivals in collaboration with other artists as well as individually. She graduated as bachelor in Fine Arts at the National University of La Plata. Education is a fundamental part in her production. Alonso is part of CLiC (live coders collective) from Argentina. She is also an active community collaborator of Hydra, a live coding browser software developed by Olivia Jack.


Naoto Hieda is an artist from Japan, based in Cologne with a background in engineering (B.Eng. from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan and M.Eng. from McGill University, Canada) and currently enrolled in Diplom II at Academy of Media Arts Cologne. They question the productive aspect of coding to speculate its new form, namely post-coding, through neurodiversity and live-coding.


Our research wants to work on the interaction of robotic and human bodies in theatrical spaces. Manufaktor is a puppet theater collective that has been working with robotic bodies for years.

As puppeteers we know the simultaneity of actively influencing the play of the puppet/object and in turn passively observing it. We are interested in this balancing of perspectives and we want to transfer this to the robotic future of theater.

// a projective space of robot and human creative interactions

Translating the puppeteer’s arm into data.

The goal is to enable an artistic symbiosis between humans and robots. Away from the dystopian narratives that cultivate the human/machine divide. Away from the “uncanny valley” of humanoid robots towards a self-empowerment of robotic bodies.

We are interested in the emotive power enabled by new interactive technologies like computer vision and generative synthesis and how the allow us to feel an emotional effect as we explore spaces where they are implemented and what that will mean for the future of technology and public space

The installation “A projective space” builds on our performance ‘1/0/1 robots – hacking the binary code’. We want to develop our setup further. The stage set with the LED strips attached to it, which serves as a space for the 6 self-balancing robots with LED matrix, as well as, 2 live cameras and projector. The goal is a experimental, playful and exploratory ways in which people might try to appropriate the installation, the emergent complexity between control and speculation and ultimately the balance that is negotiated between human agency and the ungovernable natural world of which machines are now a part of.


Gilda Coustier (she/her, they/them) is a director/performer/creator. After training at the “Théâtre aux mains nues” in Paris, Gilda studied contemporary puppetry at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst “Ernst Busch” in Berlin until 2014. Since then, Gilda has been realizing theater works together with manufaktor, which, among other things, link digital technologies with figure and object theater and design queer-feminist robotopias, most recently in “Pinocchio 2.0” or “1/0/1 robots – hacking the binary code”. In addition, Gilda is involved with animatronics, programming, and robotics. Through collaborations with the Chaos Computer Club, Gefährliche Arbeit or Mz* Baltazar’s Lab, Gilda was able to incorporate geek theme and maker vibe into her work.

Until 2014, Frieder Miller studied contemporary puppetry at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch in Berlin. Since the end of her studies, she realized several independent theater works together with the collective manufaktor, such as Pinocchio 2.0 or 1/0/1 robots – hacking the binary code. She collaborated with Tucké Royale, Swoosh Lieu and Armada of Arts, among others. She worked as a lighting technician at various festivals, the Holzmarkt Berlin or for the Chaos Computer Club. Frieder provided lighting support for various theater works, including Simone Dede Ayivi’s production ‘The Kids Are Alright’ at Berlin’s Sophiensælen. She is part of the feminist network Dangerous Work and was selected for the Fellowship Program of the Academy for Digitality and Theater Dortmund 2022.

Mushiva is a Berlin-based Namibian multidisciplinary creative technologist whose work exists at the intersection of computer science and art. One third of the award-winning Hip Hop poetry group Black Vulcanite, Mark’s work incorporates novel technologies such as computer vision, sound synthesis, and robotics to enhance the performative aspects of artists. He has a PhD in Human Computer Interaction (Pro-social games) from the University of Trento, Italy and actively researches the potentially transformative effects interactive technologies have in marginalised and non-technical communities.



Meredith is an artist and creative technologist based in Berlin. He studied biomedical engineering and science communication at Imperial College London. After moving to Berlin he became interested in creative uses of technology. He has worked as a programmer and an artist to create transmedia experiences in virtual reality, for multimedia installations and for the stage. His work focuses in particular on novel uses of machine learning in creative domains and critiquing the broader technological and cultural manifestations of artificial intelligence.

Sól Ey is an Icelandic multidisciplinary artist based in The Netherlands. In her work,  she creates multisensory experiences that connect sound, space, movement, light, and the body. With a background in composition, she makes performances, installations, and instruments that emphasise performative interaction, immersion, and participation. By using tools such as sensors, DIY electronics, scenography, video projections, and spatial sound, she strives to create a dynamic interplay between objects and perceivers, and form a sensitive environment for the audience to explore.

During the fellowship, she will work on a wearable speaker instrument called Hreyfð. This instrument works with gestures, sensors and microphones that modulate audio feedback, thus integrating sound and movement. Furthermore, the research explores the relationship between space and the body: between the performer’s bodies, the audience’s bodies and the space between them. Thus, the performance research also explores power structures within the performance space.


Alexander Nham is an interdisciplinary performer and musician with a background in media technology. Together with the performance collective Inner Rise he worked on several theatre plays on Hamburg’s stages of KAMPNAGEL, THALIA THEATER, the FUNDUS THEATER but also found himself in the AGORA THEATER in St. Vith or in front of the camera of Luise Donschen.

During his experiments on ‘Digital Theatre’ he created VisionTale, a large, immersive video installation with escape-room elements, combined with interactive theatre. In February 2019 Alexander Nham joined the artists collective Blutende Freischwimmer*innen under which he worked on virtual reality experiences in the Lichthof Theater and at the SKANDALØS Festival 2019.


Amy Stebbins is an American writer-director. Her theater lies at the intersection of performance, opera and new media. She has received commissions from institutions such as the Bavarian State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Augsburg State Theater. Her artistic training took place at the Berlin Volksbühne where she assisted artists like René Pollesch, Sebastian Baumgarten, and Chris Kondek. Residencies and fellowships include: the  German Chancellor Fellowship (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation), the Akademie Musiktheater heute, and the Fulbright Assocation.

Stebbins has also dedicated significant energy to pushing for institutional reform in new work development in both spoken theater and opera. She has convened multiple Transatlantic exchanges for artists and arts administrators from institutions such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, The Münchner Kammerspiele, and the Gärtnerplatztheater. Together with Hauke Berheide she is the co-founder of New Opera Dialogues, an artist-led platform to promote international dialogue about aesthetics and best institutional practices for contemporary opera.

Stebbins holds a Ph.D. in Cinema & Media Studies and Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University.



Andrea Winkler’s works oscillate between installation, sculpture and objet trouvé as space-consuming scenarios and reenactments of set pieces from the everyday world. These scenic complexes reflect her interest in the material and the objects of a living world that is marked by an increasing theatricality and stage characteristics, goods fetishism, scenarios of spatial and ideological demarcation, and a security-minded and marketable thinking.

Andrea Winkler (CH/AUT) studied Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and at the HfbK Hamburg. Her works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad, such as at the HKW Berlin, KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Aargauer Kunsthaus, nbk Berlin, Frankfurter Kunstverein, KM – Halle für Kunst und Medien Graz or Devening Projects Chicago, and have received numerous awards. In 2019 she received the UBS Cultural Foundation’s award for her research on post-digitality and new materialism, and in 2021 she is artist in residence at TaDA, Textile and Design Alliance Ostschweiz.

In recent years, she has increasingly been working on projects in cooperation with the artist Stefan Panhans, with whom she received the Innogy Visit Award in 2019 for the experimental film musical “Defender”, among others, and will participate in the exhibition “Zin Ex – From Abstraction to Algorithm”, Centro Tabakalera, San Sebastian, in 2020. In 2021 she will have a solo exhibition at HMKV Dortmund.



Ariane Trümper is a Rotterdam based scenographer, media artist and researcher. Her work is situated on the intersection between media arts, performance and spatial design, researching perceptive and performative processes filtered through our bodies and technology. She is Holding a Master of Fine Arts in Scenography and is a PhD student at the University of the Arts (HKU) and the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht.

Ariane Trümper received grants from i.e. the Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam (CBK) for her research on the experience of space through sound, is an editorial member of the Dutch research group Platform-Scenography and regularly taking part in research formats, such as the Research Academy in Zurich, or the Academy for Theatre and Digitality at Theater Dortmund. She creates performative installations, set designs and media works, and is a tutor at the MA Scenography program of the HKU.

Website: www.arianetruemper.de

As a founding member of theatre label internil, and under his own name, Arne Vogelgesang has been devising theatre & performance projects since 2005. He has been especially interested in new forms of radical political subjectivation online and the narratives and memetic fields they embed themselves into. Arne also makes video art for others, gives talks & workshops on his research topics and occasionally writes texts about them. His Twitter handle is @foyglgezang.


Christiane Hütter/ Frau Hue is a worldbuilder. She explores, questions and (re)invents systems with the means of art, game design and storytelling – using social cooperation. Her works cover a wide range of formats from urban games, fictive organizations, citywide revitalizing festivals and playful settings for urban participation. She studied scriptwriting and holds a diploma in psychology (thesis “Press play for PTSD prevention”) Besides writing a crime series episode “Tatort (Heimatfront, 2011)” about traumatized Afghanistan soldiers and working as lead writer for the interdisciplinary research institute Climate Media Factory she has been designing games since 2010.

Gloria Schulz is a digital artist from Hamburg. She is a founding member of the artist collective “Blutende Freischwimmer*innen”, feels most comfortable in grey windows and, as a visual hacker, explores immersive illusory spaces.

Her Artworks as a creative coder and performing artist is shown throughout various festivals and theatres in Germany and abroad. Weaving in Motion Capture and photogrammetry with live art she created at the Theatre of Research FUNDUS THEATER in Hamburg the transgenerational workshops “Ich, Avatar” and “Wir, Welt”. For the participatory citizen project “Stadttheater” at the LICHTHOF Theater Hamburg she designed and performed the VR theatre piece »Raum im Kopf« and with her collective and young hackers she developed an AI that has learned what happiness is and now shares it with the visitors of the “Digitale Welten” Festival in Frankfurt. Furthermore, she is researching the possibilities of VR for storytelling at the HAW Hamburg: In the research project “MYTH Stories” in cooperation with the California State University in Long Beach about she is opening out opera through VR. Besides her work as a creator, she is also part of this year’s “NODE Forum for Digital Arts” festival in Frankfurt as a creative producer and combines creative coding with artistic practices.

As part of her fellowship at the Academy for Theater and Digitality in Dortmund, she overcomes and extends the singular experience in virtual worlds, both technically and narratively.


The composer Hauke Berheide is a Rome prizewinner, winner of the Förderpreis of the State of NRW and prizewinner of Music Theater Now. Works for the Düsseldorf Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Ensemble Modern, Saarbrücken State Opera and many others.

Markus Schubert is a hacker, game designer, founder and managing director of Nebelflucht GmbH, initiator of the gaming platform toto.io and co-initiator of the reading platform polyplot.io. He is a graduate computer scientist with over 15 years of experience in IT consulting as a software developer and architect. For many years he has been working on interactive games, participative formats and immersive installations in the independent scene as well as in municipal and state theatres with various groups and artists. These include “Der Spalt” at the Grillo Theater in Essen, “Game Over” at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken, “No Work And All Play” at the Staatstheater Nürnberg and many others.

Stage No More is a Beijing-based art collective founded in 2014. Members come from diversified art background. Our art practice concerns itself with issues of contemporary identities, digital existence, cyberculture, public discourse in the media, as well as our relations to virtuality and reality.

Stefan Panhans uses filmic, performative and installative means to artistically address the growing hypermediatization and digitalization and their effects on our society, our behavior, our psyche and bodies, and to negotiate phenomena such as increasing social inequality, everyday racism, stereotypes and diversity issues.

His works are shown internationally at exhibitions and film festivals, recently (2017-2020) among others Videonale.17 and Videonale.16, Bonn; 35th and 34th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival; EMAF – Electronic Media Art Festival #33 and #32, Osnabrück; Transmediale 2018, HKW, Berlin; 13th Athens Digital Arts Festival; Addis Video Art Festival, Addis Ababa; Deichtorhallen Collection Falckenberg, Hamburg; MUMOK Cinema, Vienna; Goethe Institute China, Beijing.

He received numerous awards and prizes, e.g. an Honourable Mention for “HOSTEL”, Videonale.17, 2019, and the Edith Russ Haus Media Art Award 2017.

In 2020 he realized “HOSTEL”, his first radio play as an adaptation of his video mini-series of the same name for the NDR/DLF culture.

In recent years he has increasingly been working on projects in cooperation with the artist Andrea Winkler, with whom he received the Innogy Visit Award for the experimental film musical “Defender” in 2019, participates in the exhibition “Zin Ex – From Abstraction to Algorithm”, Centro Tabakalera, San Sebastian in 2020, and will have a solo exhibition at HMKV Dortmund in 2021



The interweaving of the human being with his technological environment and the accompanying emotional demands are the starting points for the installations and performances of Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten. The research-based content is processed through abstracting narratives and scenic moments within the installations: Text fragments, sound, objects, and performative elements form narratives which, based on phenomena of the present, suggest alternative ways of looking at things and dare to take a speculative look into the future.
Since this year, the duo has been working on infrastructure and logistics, the increasing digitalization and possible narratives that can occur in and around logistic hall complexes. In addition to changing working environments in which people move, they are researching in the context of new developments in applicable innovations for human-machine interaction.
Lex Rütten and Jana Kerima Stolzer have been working together as a duo since 2016. They realized their first joint projects during their studies at Kunstakademie Münster and Düsseldorf. In recent years, the two have developed scenic installations at the interface of exhibition space and stage, including recently for the “Cabin Crew Night” of the Ruhrtriennale (Bochum), at Museum Folkwang, (Essen), at Dortmunder Kunstverein and for Atelier, Pact Zollverein (Essen).

Lena Biresch is an author, director, curator, dramaturg and game developer. After her studies in Hamburg and Naples, she recently completed a second training as VR game programmer at the SAE Institute Hamburg (for Unity).

Her research project “HoloPy³”, a cooperative game in and with virtuality, researches the expansion of theater with digital media, explores the applicability of holograms and virtual reality. In this respect, “HoloPy³” reflects on the added value of three-dimensional and interactive narrative forms in terms of content and art – especially in view of the non-existent fourth wall in these media. “HoloPy³” brings theater, holograms and virtual reality together in a new way: First of all, theater as a place of embodied performance, ritual performance practice and social exchange; then holograms as a collectively perceivable augmented (extended) reality; and finally virtual reality as an experience that is only realized in the conscious perception of the individual. Specifically, Lena Biresch will explore how real people can be realized live as holograms in a virtual environment.

Lukas Rehm studied media art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, previously theater studies and art history at the LMU in Munich. He held scholarships of various institutions (Spatial Sound Institute, Budapest and others) and has realized numerous installations, compositions and theater performances.

His project “Sensory Airplanes” is a further development and at the same time transformation of comprehensive compositional, documentary and film material from the music theater production “Castor&&Pollux” into a theatrical installation with interactive elements. “Sensory Airplanes” combines the baroque opera “Castor et Pollux” by Jean-Philippe Rameau with a digital new composition developed by Lukas Rehm for an interactive spatial sound system (4DSound).

Marco Donnarumma is an artist, performer and scholar weaving together contemporary performance, new media art and computer music since the early 2000s. He manipulates bodies, creates choreographies, engineers technology and composes sounds, thus combining disciplines and media into an oneiric, sensual, uncompromising aesthetics. He is internationally acknowledged for solo performances, stage productions and installations where the body becomes a morphing language to speak critically of ritual, power and technology.

Touring regularly for the past fifteen years across major and independent theaters, concert halls, festivals and museums worldwide, his repertoire received numerous acknowledgements, most recently: Digital Award at Romaeuropa Festival 2018 for „Eingeweide“; two awards at the Bains Numériques Biennial 2018, as well as the Award of Distinction (2nd prize) in Sound Art at Prix Ars Electronica 2017 for „Corpus Nil“; Artist of the Science Year 2018 by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education for „Amygdala“.

Donnarumma holds a Ph.D. in performing arts, computing and body theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2019, he co-founded the artists group Fronte Vacuo with Margherita Pevere and Andrea Familari.


Andrea Familari has worked with theater, music, contemporary art, especially in the live act audio/visual scene, Familari is a multimedia artist whose research derives from the investigation on generative processes, analysed through the lens of the noise and expressed via different media: video screenings, interactive installations, prints.

Experimenting since 2011, he establishes his practice within the international underground media and art scenes. His repertoire tours regularly from theaters to concert halls, festivals and museums, and has been presented in 23 countries worldwide.

Since 2011 he runs FAXstudio, a multidisciplinary studio curating audio-visual performances, light design, scenography, videoclip production. In 2017 he founded psst.one, a video-research channel focused on weekly interviews of artists whose practices relate to the audio/visual field.
In 2019, he co-founded Fronte Vacuo, an artistic group, together with Marco Donnarumma and Margherita Pevere.


In their research project “Humane Methods” they work with body sensors, robot-supported protheses, methods of artificial intelligence and let music and light respond to them interactively. Later, “Humane Methods” will be a collective social experiment that combines technology, art and social participation in an unusual narrative form. It fundamentally transforms the previous approach of theater on a physical and conceptual level.

The goal of the project is the development and testing of interactive visualization systems for mixed reality in theater. By incorporating virtual reality, motion capturing and computer game mechanics, the two fellows want to expand theater in a multimedia way and create new possibilities of 3D representation of real bodies and interaction.

Nils Corte studied computer science at the FU Berlin, is a musician (pianist), playwright, producer and programmer. He has found his artistic focus in the remix culture. With his band “Ganz Gut” he played at renowned festivals and stages. Recently he wrote “Murder on the Holodeck”, “Depressive Tropical” and others. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the music and culture festival “Klingt Gut”.Currently he is working on the visualization software “Peppers Holosuite”, which enables actors:innen to interact with holographically projected objects on stage and make them simultaneously experiencable for the audience.

Roman Senkl is director, author and graduate of the course of studies “Scenic Writing” at Universität der Künste Berlin and Hochschule für Schauspielkunst „Ernst Busch“, Berlin. From 2018-2020 he worked as a dramaturg at Schauspiel Dortmund. Before that he was, among other things, author at Theater Koblenz. In addition to his studies at HfS Berlin, he realized numerous theater projects as dramaturge, author and director in Germany, Austria and on the internet – among others with onlinetheater.live, minuseins, K.G.I.). His work focuses on digital technologies: Interactive Storytelling, VR, Mixed Reality and others. He is a guest lecturer at the Kunstuniversität Graz, was a guest lecturer at Princeton University and Cornell University. Roman Senkl has won over 20 international creative awards, including the Golden Lion / Cannes.

Vesela Stanoeva completed her bachelor’s degree in interior design at New Bulgarian University in 2013, followed by two semesters at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and in 2019 she wrote her master’s thesis in scenography on the topic “Do Not Panic. Merging Virtual & Physical Spaces” at the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund.

She is currently doing her doctorate at the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund and the Bergische Universität Wuppertal on the topic “Hybrid Scenography. Intervention, Immersion, Illusion”. In addition, she teaches as a guest lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund in the Photographic Studies program.

The focus of her artistic work is the encounter with identity problems and their manifestations. The resulting participatory, sensual and immersive works of art manifest themselves in hybrid experiences that take up the uncertain future of the post-anthroposcene and transform it both virtually and physically into dream-like worlds and surreal nightmares.


In her project “You Better Don’t Know” the relationship between environment, people and sense of reality is questioned and staged. As a result, “You Better Don’t Know” functions as a speculative platform for paranormal and extraterrestrial experiences.
The truth is out there somewhere: The digital age opens up new possibilities to present and experience cultural content through various innovative technologies. These new digital technologies make it possible to expand existing environments as a place where “anything is possible”.

Creative director of We Create International, Vivian Lu, a Macau-based visual designer who has worked on exceptional stage and performance productions to much market applause. From theatre set visuals to costume designs, runway shows to large, elaborate events for large corporations, Lu delivered over 60 shows in the past five years and has been executing shows internationally, cultivating production and designs.

As a stage designer, Vivian was always passionate about how she can create stronger connections between audiences and her designs, with main attempts to introduce new technology and innovation into traditional theatre for the last few years of her practice.

Vivian Lu received the DFA design for Asia Awards in 2019, which celebrates design excellence and acknowledging outstanding designs.

Benjamin Burger is an interdisciplinary artist at the intersection of theater, performance, design and media art. He first studied “Visual Communication” in Hamburg and completed the Master “Event” at the Zurich University of the Arts. In his thesis he compared the performance of video games with that of theater and developed the interactive theater piece “Yet Another World” (premiere 3/2013, Gessnerallee Zurich), which was performed simultaneously in the multiplayer-game GTA4 and on stage.

With his production EXTRALEBEN he collaboratively explores performative strategies for speculative storytelling, participatory stage formats and immersive experiential worlds. The works, in which he also appears as a performer, among others, have been invited to various festivals and events. Since 2020 he has been artist-in-residence at the Gessnerallee Zurich, where he is working on a philosophy and aesthetics for a “theater of exhaustion.” As founder and co-curator of the festival-as-research OTHERWISE, he speculates on social transformation processes at the intersection of art and science.

He also works solo and freelance as a director, performer and writer. He is a regular guest lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts. As part of the research project “Telematic Network Performance Format” he explores a practice for simultaneous performances based on the “holographic” projection of spaces, which he is now further developing in the Fellowship at the Akademie für_Theater_und_Digitalität.


Joel De Giovanni is a freelance Camera Operator working with Live Video & Projection. He finished his MA in Design in the Field “Ereignis” (Designing Happenings) at the ZHdK (2011).
He creates & manages complex media installations for a divers portfolio of clients. At the Network Performance Format (ZHdK), he’s working with the telepresence of performers through Live Video. This is also the broader aim within the Fellowship at the digital theatre.

Christoph Wirth creates performative installations and environments, sounds, concepts and speculative texts. His works examine how politics of imagination, embodyment and sensation relate to medial and technical dispositives. They have been shown internationally at Carreau Du Temple Paris, CAC Vilnius, Nordic Performing Art Days, Ballhaus Ost or Berliner Festspiele Immersion a.O. In2015 he founded the performance label OS (OBLIQUE SENSATIONS/OBJECTIVE SPECTACLE) He works as dramaturge, performance artist and musician and lives in Berlin.

Markus Wagner studied philosophy and theater science. As a scenographer and 3 D- designerhe creates actual and virtual spaces for exhibitions, fairs, different brands and clients, such asBMW, Google, KUKA, Expo 2020 etc. Dedicated to a practical approach he balances between an affirmative and critical investigation into topics like digitalisation, automatisation, VR, AR and artificial intelligence.

OBJECTIVE SPECTACLE / Oblique Sensations works at the intersection betweenhappening, performance, installative art and soundart. OS examines dispositives ofspectacular sensation in medial settings, political environments and figurations of society.



Jiayun is a writer and dramaturg currently based in Los Angeles. Edwin is a light designer and theatre technician based in Rotterdam. Together they are interested in experimenting with new storytelling/storyliving paradigms and technological possibilities in theatre and performance.

Their research project, working title FXKE, explores post-truth communication in the media-political sphere. In FXKE, text-generating AI systems “help” to spread facts and fakes; real-time interactive media engagement fraught with dis/information fuels audience’s cognitive biases and political orientations; and audience’s reactions—as an integral part of FXKE—in turn, regenerate and reorchestrate the next post-truth reality.

Nico Parisius works in theatre both, on stage and in front of a computer. As a puppeteer and creative coder he is interested in the prospects of digital technologies in theatre.
After his studies at “Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts” department for puppetry he was part of the ensemble of the puppet Theater Halle until 2020. In that time he was part of different international cooperation, for example with the “Handspring Puppet Company” and Robyn Orlin or the “Marc Sinan Company”. Nowadays he works under his own name as well as under the label “Das Hybris” as an puppeteer, actor, director and media artist.



Caspar Bankert studied the art of puppetry at the univesity for
dramatic arts „Ernst Busch“. After his graduation he co-founded the artist collectives “komplexbrigade” and “das Hybris”
and is since working, in multiple ways, in the area of the dramatic arts. Caspar is working as a voice actor,
actor, puppeteer, writer, game designer, illustrator and director.
Caspar Bankert merges, in his directorial work, the structures and mediums of digital and analog games,
with the possibilitys that human actors/agents can offer.
Among others, he worked on theatre and game performances for the “Schauspiel Frankfurt”, “Theater Chemnitz”, the “Futurium” in Berlin and
“UNICEF” Germany.

After studying German literature and philosophy Sarah Buser completed a Master’s degree in Theater at the Zurich University of the Arts. She currently works as a director and writes software for various projects at the intersection of participatory theatre, philosophy and new media that deal with the nature of our reality. She explores augmented reality and location-based software as theatrical and narrative tools. She teaches at art universities (Burg Giebichenstein Halle, Schauspielschule Ernst Busch Berlin, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste) and gives workshops on the artistic and theatrical use of new technologies. She lives in Berlin.

Sarah Buser is interested in the overlapping and mixing of digital and physical spaces. Through the interweaving of different realities, she explores the possibility of changing our view on everyday life as well as anchoring fiction in an presumably known space. For her research project Die Andere Stadt she calls into question how we rationalize reality employing Augmented Reality and speculative fiction. Based on China Miéville’s novel The City and The City, she will investigate parallel realities, translating situations and fragmented narration. The work will be situated in an hybrid reality at the entaglement of technology and our everyday life.


Elena is a multidisciplinary artist.

She creates experiences for the audience, inspired by humanity and the human body.

Elena is the co-founder of the Cistifellea Collective together with the musician Nicolas Cristancho, in which she practices her love for directing and media design. She is also a video designer in the theater and her collaborations have been seen at The Kitchen Theater in New York, at the Barichstaadt Opera in Munich and in public theaters in Barcelona.

Graduated in mechanical engineering (MA), Elena completes her education at Yale School of Drama studying Technical Design and Production and Design for Theater. She is currently in the second year of the program held by Claudia Castellucci at Scuola Conia Raffaello Sanzio focused on the Theory of Scenic Representation.

Elena is the recipient of the 2021 Theater and Digitality residency in Dortmund, Germany, starting in September 2021.

She was also the recipient of the residency offered by Troikatronix-Isadora and LakeStudio Berlin in 2019. During this time she created the short piece Ex Matrice Corpora.

With Cistifellea she collaborated at the performances Asuntos Humanos (2021), Todo Bien Todo Tranqui (2021) El Silencio no Existe (2020)


Samuel received his MFA from Yale School of Drama, whereas he majors in Design. His work on Twelfth Night was nominated for the Outstanding Lighting Design in the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. His media art work Aesthetics and Freedom of Human Beings is one of the finalists of IFVA (Incubator for Film and Visual media in Asia) in 2020.

Katie Hawthorne is a writer and researcher, specialising in the relationship between live performance and emerging technologies. She is based at the University of Edinburgh, where she will shortly complete her doctoral research “Contextualising Liveness: Digitally Distributed, Mediated and Located Theatre in Edinburgh and Berlin, 2017-19”. At the ATD she is working on a project titled “Automating the Audience”, which explores the ethics of labour in emerging modes of digital audienceship and asks: What would it mean to have an automated audience?

ludwig technique (a.k.a. Johannes Payr) is a cross-media concept and performance artist. A self-described media agnostic and generalist dilettante, he works in very diverse fields: software development for research laboratories, construction sites, art venues and theater productions (on and behind the stage), to name a few. He has an intense interest in almost everything and is not shy to take on unexpected offers. This has recently lead him on a wild adventure to obtain a degree in medical technologies and to work in a laboratory for robotics and industrial automation.

ludwig technique mostly works in collaborations with other artists, as this allows him to explore more modalities and create more faceted, immersive experiences. Since 2020, he has teamed up with theater director and performance artist Peter Lorenz to explore the delivery of interactive theatrical performance machines. As modern production techniques and distributed manufacturing become state of the art, ludwig technique incorporates them into the creation of his works, making use of the humane and production resources of local maker communities. Being transparent about the distributed production process and credit all people involved is an important aspect of his art.

Common themes for ludwig technique are recursive systems (e.g. feedback-loops), and interactive installations. He sees art as a means of pushing the boundaries of collective human perception, an inherently human endeavour of exploration and deeply related to scientific research.


While studying applied theatre studies in Glasgow, Peter Lorenz worked as a clown and assistant director in drama and opera (including Scottish Opera, Vancouver Opera, Theater St. Gallen, Cologne Opera, Innsbruck Festival of Early Music and Bayreuth Festival). His own productions and experimental performances in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he co-founded the Street Arts Festival Mostar in 2012, move between contemporary theatre, sound performances and spatial installations. The opera STILLHANG with Peter’s set and collaborative direction at the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl received the Austrian Music Theatre Award. His most recent works include the experimental sound theatre HOW DEEP IS THE SEA, the interactive performance machine in a pizza box UNSICHTBARE STÄDTE INNSBRUCK and his production of Neil LaBute’s FETTES SCHWEIN at the Tiroler Volksschauspiele in Telfs.

The collaborative research between dancer Kiraṇ Kumār and dramaturg Kai Tuchmann is towards the making of ‘Dear Dead Doctor’, a work of digital and documentary theatre. In the form of an open letter to Kiran`s late grandfather, who was the first doctor of western medicine in his family, the project explores performative strategies of bringing medical and somatic knowledges into dialogue on stage. Our address to the doctor is conceived through Kiraṇ`s grandchild: a parthenogenetic, proto-progenic being (P3B). P3B will be digitally materialized by drawing on ‘data points’ from yogic, dance and martial embodied practices. ‘Dear Dead Doctor’ re-imagines what ‘being human in the world’ could imply in its continuity across pre-modernities and futurities.


Kiraṇ Kumār is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and writer. His work focuses on unpacking understandings of the human body-mind through a trifold practice of dance as art, science and ritual, and on proposals for change that these understandings hold for our contemporary world. Rooted primarily in his somatic practices of Haṭha yoga and traditional Indic temple dancing, his research unfolds through critical, conceptual and artistic inquiries into premodern Indic cosmologies. In his works, these transdisciplinary inquiries come to dialogue with pressing personal and planetary problems, through performance, writing, video, installation and archiving as modes of publication.

Following initial study in mechanical engineering at National University of Singapore (2016), he holds an MFA in new media art from City University of Hong Kong (2012) and an MA in dance from Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (2014). Since 2015 his independent artistic research has been supported by the National Arts Council Singapore, Dance Nucleus (Singapore), Einstein Foundation, Literary Colloquium Berlin and Robert Bosch Foundation. Research fellowships include the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences (2016-18),Volkswagen Foundation’s ‘Arts & Science in Motion’ program (2016-19) and Akademie Schloss Solitude (2022).


Kai Tuchmann works as a dramaturg, director, and academic. Kai is a guest professor at Beijing’s Central Academy of Drama-—for which he has developed, together with Li Yinan, the curriculum of the first Dramaturgy BA program in Asia. He has held research fellowships at The Graduate Center, CUNY (Fulbright) and at the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University. Kai also teaches and lectures on dramaturgy and theatre management at Zurich University of the Arts, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, and Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. In his research Kai argues for an understanding of Dramaturgy as a practice that expands the possibilities of theatre.

Kai`s artistic works have examined the afterlife of the Cultural Revolution in present-day China, the effects of urbanization on the population of migrants in Europe and Asia, and the ontological status of embodiment vis-à-vis digital technology. His stagings and dramaturgies were invited, among others, to I Dance Hong Kong, Seoul Marginal Theatre Festival, Zürcher Theaterspektakel, Kunstfest Weimar, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, Asia Society New York, and OCAT Shenzhen.

Luise Ehrenwerth is a costume designer, stage designer and scenographer. She studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and at Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. Projects with her participation have been carried out at the Nationaltheater Weimar (“Reichstag Reenactment”, Kunstfest 2019), for the documentary film “ANAMNESIS” (set design, Berlinale Forum 2021) and currently at the Landesbühnen Sachsen and the Theater Baden-Baden for “setup.school(). – Die Lernmaschine“ (in collaboration with the media theater collective machina eX, premiere at the end of 2021). Before and during her studies, she gained experience as a costume and stage design assistant at the Burgtheater Vienna, the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Theater Neumarkt Zurich.

One of the main areas of interest in her artistic work is the diverse sensorial ways of perceiving scenic spaces and their influence on the people who interact with them. To investigate the narrative potential of acoustic spaces using binaural 3D audio recordings she developed the augmented audio reality project SCHRAPP SCHRAPP BUFF ZONG in collaboration with Nele Bühler. In 2020 within the Denkzeit-scholarship from the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony Luise Ehrenwerth researched how virtual and at the same time haptic scenographies can be created with augmented reality.

For her stage and costume design for “It’s not that way, it’s over here – Scenes by Eugène Ionesco”, which she realized together with Nele Bühler at the Academy for Performing Arts in Ludwigsburg, they received the MARTA Award at the SETKÁNÍ Encounter Festival Brno 2018 in the category “Best Scenography”. As said in the Jury statement “in recognition of supporting the creation of a world of powerful association, dynamic aesthetic and bizarre yet well-judged characters, with a clear style of ensemble acting and stylization”.

In connecting:stitches, her research project at the Academy for Theater and Digitality, Luise Ehrenwerth explores the possibilities of bringing together costume making and digital technologies. Her focus is on electronic textiles and sensors made of conductive materials, as well as the implementation of textile AR markers in costumes. In addition to the question of what role costume design plays in the theater of digitality, it is also about the search for changing body images in a digital (art-)world.

Yvonne Dicketmueller is a theater maker and freelance artist from Bochum. With her mobile stage, the RoboTheater, the trained puppeteer entertains children all over Germany with exciting robot stories. Besides classical theater plays the Bochum-based artist also explores more unconventional puppet theater formats. In 2018 she created the robot-installation “Ein Platz an der Sonne” in which little machine-beings compete with one another for the brightest spot beneath an artificial spotlight-sun.

Her pronounced interest for technology informs many of Yvonne Dicketmueller’s theatrical works. In 2021 the puppeteer intensively researched the possibilities of 3d-printing for puppetry. Her findings have led to several 3d-printed puppets in her new crankie-puppet-piece “Stina und der Tentakelarmverkäufer”.

Another focus of Yvonne Dicketmueller’s work are e-textiles. The artist works with conductive yarns and fabrics but also non-textiles that she submits to textile manufacturing processes. Her newest e-textiles art-work are hand-woven fabric speakers that she fabricated in 2020 during the pandemic and which have been on display at an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bochum in 2021.

At the academy Yvonne works at the intersection of puppet theater and costume. She wants to design a mechatronic costume, that reacts to its environment.







Akademie für Theater und Digitalität

Theaterkarree 1-3

44137 Dortmund / Germany

Fon: +49 (0) 231 226 14330

E-Mail: akademie@theater.digital

Web: theater.digital