Impulse Theater Festival

Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mülheim an der Ruhr

13— 23 June 2019

Dorf Theater

Grüezi everyone! This Impulse opening will produce some unlikely encounters. Amateur theatre meets the avant-garde, a play in Swiss dialect meets politicians’ speeches of welcome. And the buffet waits temptingly at the side of the stage.

13.06.18 19:00 – 21:00 Schedule

Entry is free of charge.
To register please e-mail Limited seats.

Ringlokschuppen Ruhr
Language: Swiss German, German, English with German and English surtitles

© Frieda Schneider
© Frieda Schneider
© Frieda Schneider
© Frieda Schneider
© Frieda Schneider
© Frieda Schneider

Amateur theatre in Switzerland is booming. Over 120 associations in central Switzerland alone are clear proof of this. As a “living tradition” since 2008 it has been included as part of the immaterial world cultural heritage that is officially protected by a UNESCO convention. But what is actually being preserved here? For two years Corsin Gaudenz has researched the strangely alien yet familiar world of Swiss village theatre. In sports halls, barns and clubhouses he has experienced evenings in the theatre where the socializing before and afterwards is sometimes more important than what happens on stage.  
His production is a temporary museum of this living tradition: professional actors put the diversity and peculiarities of village theatre on stage, present its characters and themes, and give its practitioners, their biographies and their motives a voice.  At the same time there is a lot of room to meet people – at the buffet over Kägifret and a glass of schnaps. 
The version that has been adapted for Impulse plays with the conventions of an opening night: speeches and welcomes are as much part of the performance as the get-together that follows. ‘Dorf Theater’ shows to what a large extent the why, what for and how of theatre are determined by the social and geographical context in which it is taking place. Here the local world of the village appears considerably more foreign than art from faraway countries that originates in a familiar cultural context. The performance is largely in Swiss German with German and English surtitles.


A project by Corsin Gaudenz
Actors: Evelyne Gugolz, Dominique Jann, Kotomi Nishiwaki, Andri Schenardi, Giulin Stäubli
Music, Piano: Vera Kappeler

Choirmaster, Painter, Countertenor: Philipp Caspari
Choir: Bettina Biasio, Alice Meier, Eleonore Strehler, Jane Rippin Wagner, Linda Feichtinger, Ewa Raznikiewicz, Sophie Wolf, Ernst Aebi, Thomas Rüdisühli, Gabor Doka
Stage design: Frieda Schneider
Costume design: Božena Čivić
Publicity, education work: Carmen Beyer
Artistic consultant: Martin Schick
Intern: Yan Balistoy
Contact for touring enquiries: Corsin Gaudenz, corsingaudenz[a]


A project in co-production with the Gessnerallee Zürich, the Festival Belluard Bollwerk International Fribourg and the Heitere Fahne in Berne in collaboration with the Theatergesellschaft Rothenburg, Theaterverein Menzingen, Theatervereinigung Muotathal, Theatergruppe Isenthal and Theaterverein Stansstad. With support from the City of Zürich Cultural Department, Canton of Zürich Culture Department, Pro Helvetia, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Avina Stiftung, Georges und Jenny Block Stiftung and in partnership with Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art.


Corsin Gaudenz studied Acting, Art History and the Master’s programme in Solo/Dance/Authorship at HZT Berlin. He works as a director, choreographer and dramaturg in the fields of performance, dance and music theatre – with a preference for processes with open and unconventional narrative structures. He most recently realised the opera ‘Tell’ (2015); ‘Dingdonggrüezi’, a HausBauSchau (2014); the exhibition ‘abstract animals’ (2014) and the circus piece ‘Time Is On My Side’ (2013). In 2013 he wrote the libretto for the opera project ‘l’homme qui rit’ by the Gruppe Freie Oper Zürich.  

Frieda Schneider began studying architecture and then changed to stage and costume design. She has worked as an assistant to Anna Viebrock and Christoph Marthaler and as a stage and costume designer for artists including Chris Kondek, Erik Altorfer, Katja Gaub and Michel Schröder. She teaches model-making and technical drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. ‘Dorf Theater’ is her fourth collaboration with Corsin Gaudenz.  

Božena Čivić is a freelance costume designer and scenographer for theatre and film productions. She regularly works together with Triad Produktionen, Ives Thuwis, Markus Wolff, Sabine Harbeke, Stefan Bachmann, Eveline Ratering and others. Her diploma work ‘identity©’ was awarded the Swiss Federal Design Award and received considerable international recognition.  

Andri Schenardi completed his training as an actor at the Zurich University of the Arts. His first full-time engagement took him to the Konzert Theater in Berne in 2007, where he played a number of leading roles from the classical and modern theatre repertoires. He works as a freelance actor in film and television and since the 2015/16 season has been a guest performer at Schauspielhaus Graz. He also records radio drama.  

Evelyne Gugolz worked as a freelance actor in theatre and film after graduating from the Zurich University of the Arts, among others with Christoph Frick at Stadttheater Bern, with Wolfgang Küppel for the Schlachthaustheater in Berne, with Karin Arnold in Zürich and with Bettina Glaus at the Südpol in Lucerne. She can be seen in almost all Corsin Gaudenz’s plays.    

Dominique Jann studied Acting at the Zurich University of the Arts.  He has had guest engagements at  Schauspielhaus Zürich and has also been a member of the artistic directorate of the company vorOrt. In 2009 Dominique Jann won the Swiss Film Prize for Best Actor in the film ‘Luftbusiness’.  

Kotomi Nishiwaki studied Dance in Zürich and at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. She has also trained in Butoh. She has appeared as a dancer in works by Pé Vermeersch, Gisela Rocha, João Fiadeiro and Corsin Gaudenz. Since 2005 she has worked on numerous productions with Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods.  

Giulin Stäubli is a freelance performer and musician. He has made appearances with and been a regular company member of deRothfils and the company vorOrt, appeared in Robert Wilson’s production of the ‘Sonnets’ at the Berliner Ensemble in 2009 and worked with Jürg Halter in Lucerne and at the Neumarkt Theater in Zürich as a percussionist and performer.

Vera Kappeler studied the piano at Winterthur Conservatoire and also took lessons at the Basel Jazz School. She has been engaged as a theatre musician at Freie Oper Zürich and the Theater Neumarkt. She makes concert appearances with solo programmes and a range of projects both in Switzerland and abroad.