Impulse Theater Festival

Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mülheim an der Ruhr

13— 23 June 2019

Global Belly

Surrogate motherhood is a global business. An examination of an ethical dilemma from different perspectives.

15.06.18 18:00 – 19:30 Tickets Schedule
15.06.18 20:00 – 21:30 Tickets


16.06.18 16:00 – 17:30 Tickets Schedule
16.06.18 20:00 – 21:30 Tickets Schedule
17.06.18 15:00 – 16:30 Tickets Schedule
17.06.18 19:00 – 20:30 Tickets Schedule

Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, Stage 2
Language: German on 16.06. and 17.06., English on 15.06.

Special after the performance on 17.06. at 15:00:
Audience discussion with the artists and Erwin Kress, Vice President of the German Humanist Association (Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands) and a spokesperson on the theme of autonomy at the end of life. Chaired by Katja Grawinkel-Claassen, FFT Düsseldorf

© Philine Rinnert
© Philine Rinnert
© Philine Rinnert
Global Belly Szenenfoto 4 C Philline Rinnert

The unfulfilled desire to have children drives couples abroad from Germany, Switzerland and many other countries. In India, the USA and Ukraine they commission surrogate mothers to bear them a child. By doing this, the would-be parents transgress legal boundaries and enter new moral territory.  Flinn Works has conducted research in five countries in order to get to the bottom of trans-national surrogate motherhood: is it a medical blessing or the exploitation of people’s bodies in the spirit of colonialism? Is bearing a stranger’s child work or loving thy neighbor? And what passport should the new-born receive?  
In the course of the performance’s several sections the audience is repeatedly addressed in new roles: by long-winded agency bosses, happy surrogate mothers, arguing feminists and desperate would-be parents – people who are on different sides of the trans-national trade in surrogate motherhood and see themselves confronted by insoluble ethical, emotional and legal issues. What perspective to take from this is left up to the audience. An experience between delicately calibrated intimacy, heated argument and the cool logic of the market.


Director: Sophia Stepf
Performance: Anne Hoffmann, Matthias Renger, Sonata, Lea Whitcher
Special Guest on video: Crystal Travis
Research: Flinn Works
Dramaturgy: Lisa Stepf
Specialist Advisor: Dr. Anika König
Design: Philine Rinnert
Music: Jörg-Martin Wagner
Assistant Director: Elisabeth Lindig
Assistant Stage Designer: Alice Harrison
Production Management: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro and Helena Tsiflidis
Contact for touring enquiries: Helena Tsiflidis, helena[a]


A production by Flinn Works in co-operation with Sophiensaele Berlin and Tuchlaube Aarau. Funded by the Berlin Senate for Culture and European Affairs, the Fonds Darstellende Künste, the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts, the Cultural Department of the City of Kassel, the Gerhard-Fieseler-Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai.


Flinn Works was founded in Kassel in 1992 as Flinntheater. Since 2007 Sophia and Lisa Stepf have produced contemporary plays together as the core team, working with musicians, actors and performers: ‘a small small world’ (2011) was created as a co-production with the Goethe Instituts in Dhaka and Bangalore.  In ‘C sharp C blunt’ / ‘Shilpa – The Indian Singer App’ (2013) Flinntheater focussed on the professional lives of Indian women working as performers in the entertainment industry. ‘Songs of the T-shirt’ (2015 in co-production with the Sophiensæle) examined the textile industry in Bangladesh between emancipation and exploitation. Since 2016 under their new name Flinn Works they have created the lecture performance ‘Schädel X’ and ‘Maji Maji Flava’ (in co-production with Asedeva, Dar es Salaam, and in co-operation with Staatstheater Kassel).