Theater Dortmund

(Dortmund, Germany)

With around 70 productions per season, the Theater Dortmund is one of the most productive theaters in Europe. In the theatrical landscape of the Ruhr area it is also distinguished by its versatility. The six-division house offers a comprehensive programme with concerts, ballet, opera, drama, children’s and youth theatre (KJT) and the Academy for Theatre and Digitality in four houses.

Especially in the current repertoire you will find numerous plays whose courage and level underline the importance of the house for social discourse.

Beyond the Ruhr Metropolis, the Schauspiel Dortmund has been regularly causing a stir since 2010. Under the directorship of Kay Voges, it was voted best theatre in North Rhine-Westphalia for the third time in a row in a critics‘ survey in 2018. Voges is a pioneer in the field of the latest theatre techniques – he will be succeeded as new Schauspiel director by Julia Wissert in summer 2021.

In the field of opera, Director Heribert Germeshausen provides a breath of fresh air with his contemporary interpretation. Under his direction, the Ruhr metropolis will receive a „RuhrOpera 21“ in Dortmund – the house will explore together with its visitors what the genre of opera could look like in the 21st century.

With the Theatre for Young Audience (Dortmunder Kinder- und Jugendtheater – KJT), founded in 1953, Dortmund is a theatre with a long tradition aimed at young people.

The youngest division is the Academy for Theatre and Digitality, initiated by Kay Voges, founded in 2019 – a research laboratory, free of economic constraints, in which scholarship holders can deal with the effects and opportunities of digitality in the scenic arts and workshops qualify employees for the technical requirements of the 21st century.

PlayOn! Team
Kai Festersen, Project Manager

Born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, he studied at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst „Ernst Busch“ Berlin, Institute for Dramatic Directing. Besides his directing work and leading positions at theatres in Augsburg, Oldenburg, Altenburg/Gera he developed the online portals for and the ZDF.theaterkanal. From 2007 to 2014 he built the Akademie für Darstellende Kunst Baden-Württemberg with its headquarters in Ludwigsburg, lastly as course coordinator directing, then from 2016 to spring 2019 he was director of the KBB/ Artistic Production Manager at the Volkstheater Rostock.

Justo Moret, Choreographer

was born in Valencia, Spain. After finishing his education as a professional dancer in the Netherlands, he performed with established dance companies as well as in the independent dance scene in the Netherlands and in Germany. He studied classical dance pedagogy and, in addition to his work as lecturer for dance at the Folkwang University of Arts, has been responsible for the educational work of Ballett Dortmund since 2008. There he regularly choreographs full-evening performances for young, non-professional dancers from different cultures, using a wide variety of technics and styles. He also regularly guests as ballet master, rehearsal director and choreographic assistant at various theaters. He is a board member of the German Professional Association for Dance Pedagogy.

Lioba Sombetzki, Dramaturg

has a Bachelor of Arts in Theaterstudies and Mediastudies, a degree in theater pedagogy and is currently studying for a Masters degree in artistic Research at Ruhr-University-Bochum. She acted in several free productions and had her own free company Komplott Legal until 2019. She also worked as an assistent director in free and professional productions. Furthermore she plays the piano and double bass and is a 500h RYT certified Yoga teacher.
She is working as a dramaturg in the KJT (kids and youth theater Dortmund) since 2016.

Lisa Bunse, Marketing Manager
Headshot of Lisa Bunse

studied German and Englisch Literature (BA) followed by a Master’s programme in Comparative Literature, both at the University of Paderborn. Along with her studies she was part of the student body of the faculty of Germanistik, Anglistik and Romanistik – her voluntary work included organising the annual students elections, working as a tutor and starting as well as caring for the Social Media Pages, mainly Facebook and plans expanding the Social Media presence further.
She did several internships at publishing houses, mainly in the editorial office, where she worked part time as a student assistent. In spring 2016 she did an internship in the PR at Schauspiel Dortmund. From summer 2016 on she now works in the PR department together with her colleague Djamak Homayoun.
In september 2019 she spent a month as part of the staff exchange programme of the European Theatre Convention at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.
From Season 2020/21 she will be responsible for the social media pages of the Schauspiel Dortmund.

Marcus Lobbes, Director

has been working as a director and set designer in opera and theatre since 1995. His focus is on uncompromising classic productions as well as numerous premieres and first performances in many renowned theatres in Germany (Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Theater Freiburg, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Staatstheater in Kassel, Mainz, Saarbrücken, Darmstadt and Braunschweig, Schauspiel Dortmund, Wuppertaler Bühnen and many others). New forms of collective work with the ensembles and his close contact to contemporary authors distinguish his artistic signature. In addition to numerous invitations and awards, his approach has also found its way into the training of young talent: He has recently been invited as a guest lecturer and speaker to the Academy of Performing Arts in Ludwigsburg, the Salzburg Mozarteum, the University of Rostock, the Mainz University of Music and Performing Arts, the Graz University of Art and the Robert Schumann Academy of Music in Düsseldorf. Since 2019 he has been the Artistic Director of the Academy for Theatre and Digitality in Dortmund.

Matthias Keller, Dramaturg

His first contact with classical music was in his childhood, when he started studying violin and sang in children’s choirs. Later this passion should become his job. After graduating from school he spent two years in Israel and Palestine, then he studied business administration (Universität Mannheim) and cultural management (Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT Weimar). He has worked for different theaters (Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Theater Freiburg), festivals (Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and orchestras (West-Eastern Divan Orchestra) in different positions, for example as an assistant director, in orchestra management, dramaturgy or music education.
Since 2018 he works at Oper Dortmund as a dramaturg, mainly responsible for opera for children and young people.

Sven Ehrentraut, Game Expert

is a freelance game designer and ux designer working in Berlin and The Hague. He graduated with a university diploma in communication design, and worked since 2008 in the games industry, where he contributed to several shipped titles. Among them, massively-multiplayer-online games, but also smaller indie mobile games. One ongoing project, Phoenix II (iOS), is a featured “Game of the Day”, and a demo game installed by Apple on showroom devices. 
Sven attended several GDC Game Developer Conferences in Cologne, Austin and San Franscisco, mainly with focus on game writing; worked with D&D author and fantasy writers to develop new franchises; and gave several two-day workshops for students on interactive storytelling and narrative design. 
Sven has a research interest in (game) metaphors.

Thierry Tidrow, Composer

is a Canadian composer working in Germany. He holds a B.Mus. (Hons) in composition from McGill University, an M.Mus. from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he studied with Richard Ayres, and is an Alumnus of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute fellowship. His music has been performed across North America and Europe and recent works have focused on vocal and text-based music, including five chamber operas. Thierry has won many prizes, including the Berliner Opernpreis 2018 and the Canada Council’s prestigious Jules-Léger Prize. He is currently composer in residence for Oper Dortmund. His work, described as both “exuberant”and “macabre”,  explores the grey area between humour and darkness as well as truth and lie, walking a tightrope between comedy, tragedy, and horror.

Zsófia Geréb, Director

was born in Budapest. 2010-2015 she studied stage directing at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest in the class of Gábor Székely and Viktor Bodó. In 2018 she gained another master’s degree in opera directing at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin. In 2017 she staged My Corporate Identity by Thierry Tidrow at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In the same year she directed Tannhäuser für Kinder at the Bayreuther Festspiele, which production she also staged in San Juan, Argentina in 2019. In 2018 she and Thierry Tidrow won the Berliner Opernpreis for Prosthetics of Autonomy – a sci-fi opera. Also in 2018 she led a Shakespeare workshop at the University of California, Berkeley. Since the autumn of 2019 she teaches acting for singers at the Hanns Eisler Berlin.

Tobias Ehinger, Managing Director

Tobias Ehinger became manager of the Dortmund Ballet in 2004. He studied at the John Cranko Academy in Stuttgart, at the University of Mannheim, at the Académie de Danse Classique Monte Carlo and at the Dance Conservatory in Prague. During his artistic career as dancer and assistant, which took him via Stuttgart, London and Essen to Dortmund, he worked with important artists like Hans van Manen, Heinz Spoerli, Mauro Bigonzetti, Benjamin Millepied, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Christian Spuck, William Forsythe, Alexander Ekman and Edwaard Liang. For the Ballet Dortmund there was a close cooperation with the Hong Kong Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Chinese National Ballet as well as the National Theatres of Prague, Brno, Bratislava and the Palace of Arts Budapest. In 2013 Tobias Ehinger was awarded the German Dance Prize recognition.

Since October 2017 Tobias Ehinger has been Managing Director of the Theater Dortmund.

Gabriel Feltz, Orchestra

Gabriel Feltz is one of the most important German conductors of the middle generation. Since the beginning of the 2013/14 season, he has been General Music Director of the City of Dortmund, conducting the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dortmund Opera. He is also chief conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.

Feltz received his artistic education at the Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ Berlin. He then embarked on a classical German Kapellmeister career. The list of orchestras conducted by him is long, and there are currently over 60 orchestras worldwide (e.g. Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio, National Orchestra of Taiwan, Graz Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the Danish Radio, the Bavarian State Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (RTE), Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra).

As a very active opera conductor, Feltz has also ongoing collaborations with Frankfurt Opera, Zurich Opera, Cologne Opera and others. The Music Society of the City of Graz appointed him „Artist in Residence“ for the 2018/19 season.

Heribert Germeshausen, Opera

Heribert Germeshausen has been Director of the Dortmund Opera since the 2018/19 season. After working at Koblenz Theatre, the Salzburg Festival, the Bonn Opera, at Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, he was the Opera Director at the Theater und Orchester Heidelberg and Artistic Director of the Baroque Festival Winter in Schwetzingen 2011 – 2018. In addition to baroque music, contemporary music has been given a special place in the Heidelberg opera repertoire. In 2013, the Heidelberg Theatre, together with the Freiburg Theatre, won the critics‘ survey of the trade journal Die Deutsche Bühne in the category „Unusually convincing theatre work away from major theatre centres“. In 2014/15, the opera division of the Heidelberg Theatre was awarded one of the most prestigious German theatre prizes, the Prize of the German Theatre and Media Publishers 2014. Singers and productions of the opera divisions led by him were nominated four times for the prestigious German Theatre Prize „Der Faust“: 2018, 2016 and 2013 (opera division of the Heidelberg Theatre), 2010 (Anhaltisches Theater Dessau). He is a regular jury member at important singing competitions, including the International Singing Competition for Baroque Opera Pietro Antonio Cesti, the Innsbruck Early Music Festival and the Belvedere Singing Competition.

Kay Voges, Drama / Theatre

Kay Voges has been the Artistic Director of Schauspiel Dortmund since 2010, in summer 2020 he will move to Volkstheater Wien in the same position.

Since 1998, Voges has worked as a director for drama and opera, among others at Schauspiel Dortmund, Dortmund Opera, Hanover State Opera, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Staatstheater Darmstadt and Kassel, in Magdeburg, Moers, Münster, Bonn, Schauspiel Stuttgart as well as Berliner Ensemble (2018, Die Parallelwelt) and Volksbühne Berlin (2019, Don’t be evil). Under Voges‘ direction, Schauspiel Dortmund was voted the second-best theatre in the German-speaking world in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 categories in the specialist journal „Theater heute“ – and in 2016, 2017 and 2018 the best theatre in North Rhine-Westphalia in the annual critics‘ survey conducted by the daily newspaper „Welt am Sonntag“. He received several awards for his directorial work. In 2017 Die Borderline Prozession was invited to the 54th Berlin Theatertreffen, in 2012 Nora/Ghosts was invited to NRW Theatertreffen, and in 2019 his production of Thomas Bernhard’s Der Theatermacher was also invited to the NRW Theatertreffen.

Julia Wissert, Drama / Theatre (from 2021)

Julia Wissert, born 1984 in Freiburg, Germany, studied theatre and media production in London at the University of Surrey under Felix Barrett (Punchdrunk), Kasia Zaremba-Byrne (NIE) and Habib Nagmouchin (Théâtre du Soleil). After her studies she was the assistant director at the theatres of Freiburg and Basel and at the Staatstheater Oldenburg. In 2010 she showed the production Haram by Ad de Bont and was responsible for various small projects. At the beginning of 2013 she directed Das Interview by Theo van Gogh at the Junges Theater Göttingen. From 2011 to 2014 she studied directing at the Mozarteum Salzburg. In 2014 she received the Kurt Hübner Directing Prize for her diploma production of The Boy at the door at the State Theatre Wiesbaden. She works as a freelance director at the Gorki Theater Berlin, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse Berlin, Staatstheater Oldenburg, Theater Brno in the Czech Republic and Lucerne Theater, among others. In 2021 she becomes the artistic director of (Drama) Theatre Dortmund (Schauspiel).

Xin Peng Wang, Ballet

Xin Peng Wang has been ballet director since 2003. Born in Dalian (China), he received his dance training at the local art academy. His first engagement led him to the Beijing Central Dance Company. He studied choreography at the Peking Dance Academy and at the Essen Folkwang Hochschule. After moving to Germany, he was engaged as a dancer at the Aalto Ballet in Essen. Since 1996 he has worked as a freelance choreographer worldwide, for the Hong Kong Ballet, National Ballet of China Beijing, Contemporary Dance Festival in New York, Ballet of the Semperoper Dresden, Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam and the Royal Ballet van Vlaanderen Antwerp.

He created more than 40 different productions for Theatre Dortmund. In 2014 he founded the NRW Junior Ballet under the motto „Dance needs a future“, which has developed under his direction into an international „dance ambassador of Dortmund“.

Andreas Gruhn, Theatre for Children and Young People

Andreas Gruhn was born in Berlin in 1959. After graduating from high school he trained as a typesetter. He then studied acting at the Berlin University of the Arts and was subsequently engaged in Ulm, Tübingen and at the Luisenburg Festival in Wunsiedel. Since 1993 he has worked as a director and author in Berlin, Zittau and Essen. He has directed the Children’s and Youth Theatre Dortmund since 1999.