Impulse Theater Festival

Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mülheim an der Ruhr

13— 23 June 2019

The Automated Sniper

What are the rules of art? What are the rules of war? And how far will the audience go in this experiment?  A first-person shooter live in the theatre!

19.06.18 20:00 – 21:10 Tickets Schedule
20.06.18 19:30 – 20:40 Tickets Schedule

Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, Stage 1
Language: English with simultaneous translation into German and Arabic (Arabic on 19.06. only)

Special after the performance on 17.06.:
Audience discussion with the artist and Sebastian Linke, Army Captain, youth officer and spokesman on security and defence policy. Chaired by Wilma Renfordt, Impulse Theater Festival

© Bam Photographers
© Bas De Brouwer
© Bas De Brouwer
© Bas De Brouwer

Bare fists, swords, crossbows, bombs, rockets, drones. The history of human conflict is the history of increasingly violent weapons that can be used over increasingly large distances. The strongest parties have now removed themselves entirely from the battlefield and guide bombs to their targets from the safe distance of a comfortable control room.  What ethics can we still demand today if the enemy has been reduced to a collection of pixels on a screen?  
With THE AUTOMATED SNIPER Julian Hetzel shows the gamification of violence: two performers on stage are shot at with a remotely controlled weapon. The shooters from the audience are in a safe location – and fire at the stage using a joystick. The brutality takes place virtually but at the same time it is completely immediate. Hero and coward become one. Until a gamer from Baghdad joins in...  
And art? Will it be able to use its revolutionary power to change the rules that social conflicts are fought out by or does it remain a harmless game that allows itself to be banished again and again to the spaces it has been allocated? ‘The Automated Sniper’ is a commentary on modern warfare, it is free art, a critical pamphlet and a sensitive experiment.  How far would you go?


Concept, Director: Julian Hetzel
Maschine Artist: Hannes Waldschütz
Performance: Bas van Rijnsoever, Claudio Ritfeld, Ana Wild
Gamer: Akram Assam
Dramaturgy: Miguel Angel Melgares
Artistic Associate: Joachim Robbrecht
Dramaturgical Assistance: Luc Groen, Artun Alaska Arasli   
Costumes: Karianne Hoenderkamp
Lighting Design: Nico de Rooij
Technical Direction: Tymen Bergman, Dirk Hout 
Production Management: Jasper Hupkens
Contact for touring enquiries: Ravian van den Hil, ravian[a]


A production by the Frascati Theater Amsterdam in collaboration with Ism & Heit. Co-produced by WEB Network: Gessnerallee Zürich, Beursschouwburg Brussels, Gothenburg Dans & Teater Festival, Festival Uzès Danse, wpZimmer Antwerp, ACCA Attenborough  Centre for CreativeArts Brighton. With support from the Fonds Podiumkunsten. 


Julian Hetzel was born in the Black Forest and currently lives in the Netherlands. He studied Visual Communication at the Bauhaus University Weimar and Theatre at the University of the Arts in Amsterdam. Julian Hetzel develops plays and installations between theatre, music and media, frequently with a political dimension and a fictionalized documentary approach. His works are produced and presented internationally. From 2014 to 2016 he was Artist in Residence at the SPRING Performing Arts Festival in Utrecht. In 2016 he won the VSCD Mime Award for ‘The Automated Sniper’.