Mila van Daag
Mila van Daag studied product design, architecture and theatre at the Bauhaus-University Weimar and at the Akademie Minerva in Groningen. Since 2006 she has developed project related sets for film and theatre.
After three years as props assistant at the Stadttheater Giessen, where she was responsible for numerous sets, she joined Theater Erfurt in the 2012/2013 season as props assistant and designed the set for “King Thrushbeard”, “The Coronation of Poppaea” and “Master Class”. Mila van Daag worked as set designer for “The Ring of the Nibelung (in one evening)” a co-operative project between Theater Erfurt and Theater Waidspeicher.
At Theater Waidspeicher she created the costumes for "The Glass Menagerie“, "Love of Seven Dolls“, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn", "Animalists“ and for the co-production with Theater Erfurt "The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland", "The Day Grandma broke the Internet“, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and “Novecento”.
In the 2023/2024 season she designed the costumes for "Iphigenia, King's Child".
Stage and puppet designer
Bärbel Haage was born in Erfurt in 1975. This visual artist, illustrator, theatre and film maker studied puppet theatre scenery at the historic Prague College, School of Art & Design from 1994 to 1997.
Since then she has been involved as a stage/puppet designer in numerous theatre and puppet theatre productions. From 2002 to 2005 she was the director of design at the Dresden Puppet Theatre. Over the last few years she has realized four German-Czech animated film projects. Additionally she worked many times with the Czech Forman-Theater and these co-productions have repeatedly received renowned Czech prizes for drama.
Bärbel Haage designed the stage, puppets and costumes for “The Oracle or The Bear, the Peacock and the Secret of the Old Hare” and for the Grimm fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin".
Kinbom & Kessner
The theatre music duo Kinbom & Kessner consists of the Berliner theatre maker Sonja Kessner and the Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Kinbom. They have worked together since 2015 and have released three studio albums of original theatrical songs. Their latest album “Anthropos” was released by Hook Musik/Theater der Zeit, and contains guest contributions from amongst others Angela Winkler and Axel Werner.
Sonja Kessner is an artist and anthropologist whose work takes various forms in the field of the performing arts. Fredrik Kinbom has worked as a studio and touring musician with internationally acclaimed artists like Sarah Blasko, Gemma Ray, Gurrumul and Moulettes, and also composes for film with his duo Kinbom/Brandenburg (Grimme-Preis award 2020 for “Die Unerhörten”).
In the 2023/24 season, Kinbom & Kessner will handle composition and sound for “Iphigenia, King's Child”.
Director / dramaturge
Susanne Koschig was born in Suhl/Thuringia. She studied German Literature, Drama and History of Arts at Humboldt University in Berlin. After university she had a 2-year engagement at Theater Waidspeicher Erfurt as a dramaturge and theatre educator. From 2004 to 2014 she worked as a lecturer at the University of Erfurt/the faculty of education. The contents of her courses were children’s literature and their didactics as well as children’s theatre and children’s films. She has published numerous academic articles on these subjects. In addition to her job at university she worked as a theatre educator with children and young people at schools. Besides that, she worked as a director and playwright for the youth theatre "Die Schotte" in Erfurt as well as for other theatres.
Until the season 2022/2023 Susanne Koschig was the dramaturge and press dramaturge for Theater Waidspeicher.
She directed the stage adaptation of the children's book "The Day my Father became a Bush", which was elected for the 14th edition of Augenblick mal! - The German Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences 2017. In the season 2017/18 she puts on stage the Grimm fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin".
From the 2023/2024 season she is the head of the puppet theatre departement at the Theater Altenburg-Gera.
Photo by: Lutz Edelhoff
Gisa Kuhn studied costume design in Hamburg and was subsequently employed as a set assistant at Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar. Since 2003 she has worked as a costume and set designer for stage and film as well as a stylist and wardrobe mistress.
Her engagements as a set designer have taken her, for example, to Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Theater Chemnitz, Musikalische Komödie Leipzig, Oper Halle, Theater Oberhausen, Theater Lübeck, Prinzregentheater München and Mainfranken Theater Würzburg.
For Theater Waidspeicher, she has so far designed sets for "Drei Mal Leben" and "Die Goldberg-Variationen" as well as costume designs for "Die Hirtin und der Schornsteinfeger" and "Der Sturm". In February 2020, she designed and realised the puppet costumes for "Atlas of the Remote Islands".
Gisa Kuhn lives with her family in Hamburg.
In the 2023/2024 season she is designing the set and costumes for the production of "The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces".
Photo by: Werner Hinniger
Composer / musician
Born in Pirna in 1987 as the youngest daughter of a very musical family, Katharina Lattke started taking violin lessons at the age of 6 and switched to drums at 15. After graduating from high school, she studied jazz/rock/pop percussion at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden and folk/improvised music at the Norges Musikkhøgskole Oslo from 2008 to 2014.
In addition to her work with her band "monkey & goat", she is active as a freelance drummer in various bands and projects and in recent years has had engagements at the theatre junge generation tjg. Dresden and the Semperoper, among others. Outside of her work as a percussionist, she also composes, arranges and produces music for theatre and other projects, including for the Theater Junge Welt Leipzig.
As a freelance instrumental teacher, she teaches children and adults on the drumset and especially tries to make the path to this instrument palatable to girls and women!
In the 2022/2023 season, she took on the composition and sound for the production "Mole's Star".
Set and costume designer
Coco Ruch was born in 1970 in Freiburg, Breisgau. She has lived and worked in Erfurt since 2000. From 1988 to 1994 she studied painting/graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. She graduated as a master student under Reiner Küchenmeister. Exhibitions followed in Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, Berlin and Erfurt.
From 1991-1996 she studied expressive dance under Freia Leonhardt and worked on projects with her. Then she moved to Berlin in 1996 and entered the world of theatre imagery with her initial work in puppetry and puppet making at the ACUD Theatre. Since 1998, she has been designing and building sets for performances, theatre, theatre sculptures, etc. From 2002 to 2011, she worked with and studied under the costume and set designer Ella Späte.
Coco Ruch has worked with: ACUD Theater Berlin, Theater unterm Dach Berlin, FEB Eisenach, Theaterscheune Teutleben, Shakespeare Company Berlin, Serkowitzer Volksoper Dresden, Theatersommer Erfurt, Erfreuliches Theater Erfurt, Die Schotte Erfurt, Sommerkomödie Barfüßerruine Erfurt.
The costume design for Krabat in the 2021/22 season was is her first collaboration with Theater Waidspeicher.
Photo by: Marcel Krummrich
Stage, puppet and costume designer
Kerstin Schmidt was born in Halle/Saale in 1960. From 1978 to 1980 she did a training as a men's tailor, followed, by a training and qualification as fashion designer from 1980 to 1983. From 1983 to 1989 she did evening classes at the School of Art Berlin/Weißensee. Since 1990 she has been working as a freelance set designer for theatre, opera and puppet theatre productions. Since 2010 she has run “Engel-Schmidt Produktion” with Frank A. Engel.
For Theater Waidspeicher, Kerstin Schmidt designed the set and puppets for "Grand Hotel", "The Seven Ravens", "Amadeus", "Heart of Stone", "King Lear“, "The Wooden Horse“, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”, “The Master and Margarita”, “Pinocchio” and “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”.
In the season 2022/2023 she designs puppets, sets and costumes for “Gold Power Love Death – The Song of the Nibelungs”.
Puppeteer / actress
After finishing school, this native of Berlin worked as an artistic assistant as well as in various dance theatre projects. She graduated from the Faculty of Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" Berlin). Various engagements took her to the Theatre of the Arts in Zurich, the Deutsches Theater Berlin, the Theater des Lachens in Frankfurt/Oder. From 2003 to 2005 she was a member of the Theater Waidspeicher ensemble. Following this she worked freelance. From 2009 to 2012 she was an actress and puppeteer with Theater Naumburg/Saale. From 2013 until 2022 Kathrin Blüchert was once more a member of the Theater Waidspeicher ensemble, where she has appeared in more than 20 productions since then.
In the season 2023/2024 she appears in:
Julia Sontag was born and grew up in the Rhineland. At the age of 16, she passed the entrance exam to Bayrische Theaterakademie August Everding Munich and studied acting there, graduating in 2009. Various engagements at theatres and in TV productions have taken her across the country as a player. With the 2016/2017 season, she moved to Theater der jungen Welt (TdjW) in Leipzig as a permanent actress. Since the 2018/2019 season, Julia Sontag has also been working as a director, preferably for younger audiences. At the TdjW Leipzig she staged "Die Seiltänzerin" by Mike Kenny, "Man wird doch wohl mal wütend dürfen" in her own version of the children's book by M. Boutavant and T. Tellegen and "Der Zinnsoldat und die Papiertänzerin" by Roland Schimmelpfenning. In autumn 2020, she moved the well-known children's book story by Leo Lionni into the digital-interactive space with "Digital: Frederick" and was responsible for the set as well as the direction. In an extended play variant, "Frederick und Alexander" has also been performed in analogue since summer 2021.
With the start of the 2022/23 season, Julia Sontag will be a freelance director and actress and will stage plays at the Theater der jungen Generation Dresden, among others.
"Mole's Star" in the 2022/2023 season was Julia Sontag's first work at Theater Waidspeicher Erfurt.
Puppeteer and actress, director
Kristine Stahl was born in Schwerin in 1967. From 1986 to 1990, she studied Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). She performed in Erfurt, Halle and Naumburg. As well as her employment as a puppeteer and actress she has also worked as a director and set and puppet designer for various German puppet theatres including Karlsruhe, Magdeburg, Naumburg, Chemnitz, Bautzen, Erfurt and Leipzig. Kristine Stahl was engaged at Theater Waidspeicher as puppeteer and actress from 2009 to 2017. As a director, she put on stage "Leon, the Pirate" and "The Oracle or The Bear, the Peacock and the Secret of the Old Hare". In the season 2020/2021 she was the director and set designer for "The Moon takes his Socks off at Night".
In the season 2023/2024 she is the director and set designer of "Pretty Lola, Pleasant Liesel".
Set Designer / Puppet and Stage Creation
Nadine Wottke was born in Arnstadt in 1978. From 1998 to 1999 she studied media design at the Bauhaus University Weimar and then transferred to studying fine art at the Faculty of Design at the Bauhaus University Weimar, which she finished with a diploma in 2007.
She has lived in Erfurt as a freelance artist since 2007. From 2007 to 2019, she was a lecturer at the Erfurt School of Painting, and also took on teaching assignments at the University of Erfurt and the Bauhaus University Weimar. For her work, which has been exhibited in Erfurt, Berlin, Münster, Basel, Zurich, Barcelona, New York and Miami, among other places, she has received various prizes and scholarships, including the scholarship of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Thuringia in both 2008 and 2017 as well as the Pulse Award Miami in 2012.
Since 2018, Nadine Wottke has been employed as a staff member in the studio of Theater Waidspeicher. The overall set design for the production "Four Tales of Heaven and Earth" in the 2020/2021 season at Theater Waidspeicher is her first independent theatre work. She took on the overall design for the productions of "Tom Thumb" and "The Steadfast Tin Soldier".
In the 2022/2023 season, she is responsible objects and props of "Pretty Lola, Pleasant Liesel" and the overall design of "The Hare and the Hedgehog".
Photo by: Marcel Krummrich
Musician and composer
Andres Böhmer is the grandson of a church cantor in Berlin and since his childhood has been inspired by music. In his youth he spent several years in Uppsala (Sweden) where he discovered his passion for the guitar and for composing music. He graduated from the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig majoring in jazz guitar. Andres worked in Germany and abroad as bandleader and sideman. During this time, he recorded numerous albums of his own that various German jazz labels published. Furthermore, Andres has been active in Germany as composer, producer and live musician for theatre and film for quite some time. He has worked with various city theatres in central Germany as well as groups and solo artists in figure theatre, dance theatre, comedy and travelling shows.
For the 2023/2024 season he composes music and sounds for the Theater Waidspeicher production of "Fiete and the Sea".
Stage and puppet designer
Carsten Bürger was born in Dresden in 1972. He studied wood-sculpture in the department for “Design of Playing and Learning” at Burg Giebichenstein Halle/Saale. Since 2002 he has worked as a designer and puppet maker with various theatres as well as being active in other artistic directions. Thus he has worked on "Pinguine können keinen Käsekuchen backen" for Kleine Bühne Naumburg, "König und Königin Drosselbart" for Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater Bautzen, "Kleine Meerjungfrau" and "Weihnachten bei Tiger und Bär" for Theater der Jungen Welt Leipzig, "Die Schwarze Mühle" for Theater der Jungen Generation Dresden and "Nur ein Tag" for Dresdner Projekttheater.
At Theater Waidspeicher, he designed the stage and puppets for "Leon, the Pirate" and the puppets for "Knight Tristan and Princess Isolde".
In the 2023/2024 season he creates the puppets for "The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces".
Musician and composer
Christian Claas was born in Dortmund in 1978. He studied musicology, dramatics and social psychology at the Ruhr University in Bochum as well as at the University of Vienna. In 2015, following his successful engagements at Theater Meiningen and at the Bayreuth Festival he became a freelance theatre-composer and director for theatre and puppet theatre.
Since 1998, he has been composing music theatre. His music was, and still is, heard in theatres in Meiningen, Berlin, Dortmund, New York, Zwickau, Plauen, Chemnitz, Leipzig and Frankfurt-Oder. Consequently in 2016, within the scope of a co-production of Das Weite Theater Berlin with the Theater des Lachens Frankfurt-Oder, he developed and directed a play concerning noise, sound and music called “Auf dem Mond gibt’s keine Töne”. In 2017 at Theater der Jungen Welt in Leipzig he produced a puppet musical titled “Die süßesten Früchte” for one performer. He also let the puppets and performers sing in his 2017 production of “Aladin und die Wunderlampe” at Figurentheater Chemnitz. The music for his productions of "Peter Pan" and “Der Zauberer von OZ” at Theater Meiningen is available on CD.
In the season 2018/2019, he was responsible for the composition of music and sound for “The Master and Margarita” at Theater Waidspeicher.
Frank Alexander Engel
Director, stage and puppet designer
Frank Alexander Engel was born in Pasewalk (Germany) in 1965. In 1990 he entered "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin), faculty of Puppetry and graduated as a puppeteer in 1994. After this he worked at the State Opera Berlin and the Thuringian State Theatre Meiningen and as director, set designer and performer at the Young Generation Theatre Dresden.
Since 1998 he has worked as a free-lance director and set designer for puppet theatre and opera. From 2003 to 2011 he was employed by the Puppet Theatre of the City of Magdeburg as director, set designer and performer. Since 2010 he has run “Engel-Schmidt Produtkion” with Kerstin Schmidt. For Theater Waidspeicher he directed und built sets and puppets for "Grand Hotel", "The Seven Ravens", "Amadeus", "Heart of Stone", "King Lear“, "The Wooden Horse", "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall", "The Master and Margarita", "Pinocchio" and "Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow".
In the season 2022/2023 he is the director and the set and puppet designer for "Gold Power Love Death – The Song of the Nibelungs".
Christian Georg Fuchs
Christian Georg Fuchs was born in Düsseldorf in 1972. He studied music theatre direction at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg” and was granted a scholarship of the foundation "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes". He realized various productions in music-theatre, drama and puppet theatre in Hamburg, Weimar, Leipzig, Naumburg, Erfurt, Magdeburg, Neuss, Bautzen, Dessau and Chemnitz. Christian Georg Fuchs directed "Good Morning, Little Piglet", "King Arthur", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Romeo and Juliet".
From 2011 to August 2014 Christian Georg Fuchs worked as dramaturg and press dramaturg at Theater Waidspeicher Erfurt. Here he directed amongst others "Death in Venice", "Divine Comedy", "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", "Atlas of Remote Islands" and, as co-productions with "Theater Erfurt", "The Ring of the Nibelung (in one evening)", Purcells "King Arthur" and the Monteverdi opera "The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland". During the season 2022/2023 he put on stage "The Servant of Two Masters".
In the 2023/2024 season he is the director of "The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces".
Stage and puppet designer
Martin Gobsch, born in Erfurt in 1978, is a trained cabinetmaker, and trained as a scenery builder at the Waidspeicher Theatre from 2002 to 2004. The theatre then engaged him as a set designer and puppet maker until 2009. During this time, he was responsible for the sets of the productions: The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs, Little Muck and Moby Dick, among others. Since 2010 he has been working freelance for various German puppet theatres, including the Lindau Marionette Opera on Lake Constance, the Meiningen Puppet Theater, the Zwickau Puppet Theater, the Erfurt Theatre Summer and the Heiligenstadt Literature Museum. In addition to his exhibition workshop on Erfurt's Krämerbrücke, he runs two mechanical theatres in the old town.
In the 2021/22 season, he designed and built the puppets, and designed the stage set for Krabat.
Photo by: Steve Bauerschmidt
Musician and composer
Udo Hemmann was born in Weimar in 1968. He studied bass guitar at the Franz Liszt School for Music in Weimar. Worked with various bands. Since 1990 he performed in numerous theatre productions in Weimar, Erfurt, Jena, Meiningen, Suhl, Baden-Baden and other places as a composer, singer, musician, arranger and musical director.
He arranged the composition and sound for "Leon, the Pirate" and "Rumpelstiltskin".
Musician and composer
Born in Halle (Saale) in 1963, Sebastian Herzfeld learned several instruments at an early age and soon played in various jazz bands.
Later he studied bass at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin and graduated in 1998.
Playing with musicians from the international jazz and world music scene (including Markus Stockhausen, Ramesh Shotham, Trilok Gurtu and Chris Jarrett), he developed his passion for foreign sounds and unusual rhythms.
Over the years, he turned more and more to composing music for theatre and film.
He has composed over eighty pieces of theatre music to date: as musical director of the neues theater and the Puppet Theater Halle (2005-2011) and as a guest at many theatres in Germany, including Schauspielhaus Bochum, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bregenz, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Schauburg München, Berliner Ensemble and the Burgtheater Wien. His music is characterised by his preference for idiosyncratic sounds such as the tone of his custom piano and his specially developed metal instruments.
For the album "Lieder von Liebe und Tod" (Songs of Love and Death) he received the world music prize Ruth in 2008 together with Anne Kaftan and the singer Bobo.
He released several albums with his own settings of German poets through the project by Bobo and Herzfeld.
The composition for "Pinocchio" in the 2020/2021 season was his first collaboration with Theater Waidspeicher. In the 2021/2022 season, he arranged the composition and sound for "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow".
In the 2022/23 season he composed music and sounds for "Gold Power Love Death - The Song of the Nibelungs".
Photo by: Sami Bill
Peter Lutz was born in Baden-Baden in 1971 and studied puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). While still a student, he won prizes such as the Friedrich Luft Prize for the production of "Weihnachten bei Iwanows" (Christmas at the Ivanovs) at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and the Max Reinhardt Prize for "Die Maßnahme" (The Measure/Method) in Stuttgart. He performed as a puppeteer in Jim Henson’s "The Neverending Story III". After completing his puppetry course, he became a freelance puppeteer and puppet maker for example at the Schauspiel Frankfurt/Main. From 1998 to 2000, he worked for the Theater des Lachens in Frankfurt/Oder. He is currently a freelance puppeteer and designer for various theatres including the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam, the Theater Basel, the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Residenztheater and Metropoltheater in Munich, theatres in Constance, Würzburg and Marburg as well as for the puppet theatres in Magdeburg, Erfurt, Leipzig, Dresden, Nürnberg, Naumburg, Karlsruhe and Bautzen.
At Theater Waidspeicher, he created puppets for the productions of "Divine Comedy", "Mademoiselle de Scuderi", "Atlas of Remote Islands" as well as "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King".
In the 2022/2023 season he created the puppets for "The Servant of Two Masters".
Matthias Thieme was born in Erfurt in 1976. He studied Theatre at the University of Leipzig and theatre-direction at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch") in Berlin. He gained his first theatre experiences at youth theatre "Die Schotte" in Erfurt with which he still collaborates as guest director. Recent productions for theatre "Die Schotte" were "Hamlet" (2015), "Lysistrate" (2016) and "Tschick" (2017). His production of "Romeo and Juliet" won the German Amateur Theatre "Amarena" Prize in 2011. He has worked as director for Theater Plauen/Zwickau, neues theater halle, Figurentheater Chemnitz, Theater Stralsund/Greifswald as well as theatres in Stendal, Zittau, Esslingen, Magdeburg, Rostock, Cottbus and Leipzig. The majority of his productions are for young people. From 2010 to 2013 he was the senior drama director and puppet theatre director at the Theater Plauen/Zwickau.
His first production as a director with Theater Waidspeicher was "Moby Dick" in the season 2008/09. He directed and designed the stage for "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn", "The Journey to the Centre of the Woods" and "The Day Grandma broke the Internet". He was the director for "Krabat".
In the 2023/2024 season he directs the productions of "Iphigenia, King's Child" and "The Hare and the Hedgehog".
Puppeteer, actor and director
Martin Vogel was born in Werdau in 1968. After finishing school and working in a factory he studied Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). While he was still studying he was employed as an actor at the Hebbel Theater in Berlin in Robert Wilson's production of "Doctor Faust Lights the Lights". From 1994 to 2004 he worked as a puppeteer at the Städtisches Theater Chemnitz. He also worked as an actor and singer in musical productions at the opera house in Chemnitz. He has been a member of the Theater Waidspeicher ensemble from 2004 to 2019. In 2020 "Four Tales of Heaven and Earth" was his debut as a puppetry director.
In the 2023/2024 season he appears in:
The Master and Margarita (Der Meister und Margarita)
Puppen- und Schauspieler
Maurice Voß was born in Berlin in 1994. He graduated from the Faculty of Puppetry at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts (Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" in Berlin). As a student he performed with Puppentheater Magdeburg“ and Schaubude Berlin, he had guest performances at Figurentheaterhaus Hannover, Das Weite Theater Berlin, Puppentheater Halle and the International Figurentheaterfestival in Wels. He has been a member of Theater Waidspeicher ensemble from 2019 to 2023.
In the season 2023/2024 he appears in:
Atlas of Remote Islands (Atlas der abgelegenen Inseln)
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow (Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee)
Mole's Star (Der Maulwurf und die Sterne)
Four Tales of Heaven and Earth (Vier Märchen von Himmel und Erde)