“What does the play I am working on have to do with me, my surroundings, and what is happening right now?”
I am a theater director and cultural journalist living in New York City. I grew up in Germany, where I studied theology, archaeology, and the history of thought. My love for the theater began when I discovered Beckett’s work while in my early 20’s. I yearned for expression and the emotionality beyond the intellectual bent of academia, so I became an actor and began directing. By the time I arrived in New York in 2004, I had been artistic director of the prestigious Children and Youth Theater in Münster, and an award-winning director in Cologne’s avant-garde theater scene at the trendsetting Artheater..
My philosophy as a director is all about creating safe, open, and collaborative spaces for performers, audiences, and of course, for myself as an artist. I always ask myself: “What does the play I am working on have to do with me, my surroundings, and what is happening right now?” I pose the same question to my actors, playwrights, dramaturges, and designers, because I believe we all need to unravel the truth of the stories we tell, through our own vision and within the context of our lives.
Theater is alive, demanding, and surprising. It has the power to bring people together into a healing space. I love to create unusual experiences for audiences by playing with light and shadow, incorporating music in compelling ways, and giving my actors moments on stage that allow them to relax, surrender to their personal experience, and create unexpected and magical moments.
As a child, I daydreamed about games, toys, books, comics, characters and their adventures. I am a nomad at heart, and I imagined belonging in another time and place, very different from the small German village where I grew up. I always hated being told to keep still and sit – I had to move! It drove my mother crazy, and eventually it drove me away from my town, state, and country. At 40, I followed love’s calling and found a new home with my husband Mario in Elmhurst, Queens. At last I felt I could settle in New York.
Since then, I have developed a second career as a cultural journalist for one of Germany’s most esteemed broadcasting networks, and have conducted hundreds of interviews about art and life. I have continued my theater work, directing and producing plays in Berlin, Mexico City, New York, and San Francisco. I have also become a respected playwriting teacher. Here in the U.S., I am learning what it means to be white, German, and an immigrant, and how being me encompasses all of these things, yet none of them at all. I am still discovering what it means to be an artist in the world.
Thank you for reading about me!
Awards and residencies
Next Stage Residency
The Drama League. 2017 | Development of “Father God Mother Death.”
Father God Mother Death
by Mario Golden
Cherry Lane Theater, NY
2017 | Selected for the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. H.O.L.A. Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, Mario Golden. 2018 | Latin Alternative Theater Awards, Best Solo, Mario Golden; Best Music/Sound Design, Andreas Robertz and Mario Golden
Exile is My Home
by Domnica Radulescu
Theater for the New City, NY
2016 | H.O.L.A. Award, Best Ensemble
by Nancy Ferragallo
Theater for the New City, NY
2014 | H.O.L.A. Award, Best Production
Which Is Your Drug of Choice
by Kai Hensel
2008 | Golden Penguin Award, Best Direction
by Martin McDonaugh Artheater Cologne
2006 | Cologne City Award, Best Direction
Night of the Assassins
by José Triana
1999 | First Prize Audience Award, NRW Festival for a Young Audience
by Marco Balliani
1998 | First Prize Directors Award and First Prize Audience Award at the NRW Festival for a Young Audience