Folkwang Shakespeare Festival 2018

  • William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew"
  • four national productions and one international production
  • Students of the Durban University of Technology, South Africa | Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finnland | Drama Academy Ramallah, Palestine | Folkwang University of the Arts, Germany
  • from 11.04.2018 to 21.04.2018 | Neue Aula | Essen-Werden


WED_11.04.2018 | 7.30 PM | ESSEN-WERDEN | NEUE AULA
Folkwang University of the Arts | Germany
_directed by Achim Lenz
_in German
_further performances: THU 12.04. & FRI 13.04.2018 | 7.30 PM

SAT_14.04.2018 | 7.30 PM | ESSEN-WERDEN | NEUE AULA
Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki | Finland
_directed by Jukka Ruotsalainen
_in Finnish 

SUN_15.04.2018 | 7.30 PM | ESSEN-WERDEN | NEUE AULA
Drama Academy Ramallah | Palestine
_directed by Emile Saba
_in Arabic

MON_16.04.2018 | 7.30 PM | ESSEN-WERDEN | NEUE AULA
Durban University of Technology | South Africa
_directed by Deborah Arlene Lütge
_in English and isiZulu 

FRI_20.04.2018  | 7.30 PM | ESSEN-WERDEN | NEUE AULA
International Production
_directed by Brian Michaels, Achim Lenz, Deborah Arlene Lütge, Jukka Ruotsalainen, Emile Saba
_multilingual performance
_further performance: SAT 21.04.2018 | 7.30 PM


Welcome to the Folkwang Shakespeare Festival 2018

Initiated in 2001, with the Folkwang University of the Arts as a major partner, the International Shakespeare Festival can now look back on a certain tradition. Therefore it is both an honour and a pleasure to welcome back a new edition of the festival. “The Taming of the Shrew” is the play which will be performed by the Acting Schools from Durban (South Africa), Helsinki (Finland), Ramallah (Palestine) and Folkwang in 2018.
Our university is committed to the ideals of international openness and diversity, as well as artistic excellence and interdisciplinary study. For this reason, we are particularly proud that intercultural exchange can be experienced already during the studies in both national and international projects.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Jacob
President of the Folkwang University of the Arts

About the play:

Sorry… what was that? Are we really dealing with a situation where a self-confident young woman shows too much of her spirit and confidence to a locker room macho, who then has nothing better to do than to tame her like a wild animal? Is this a cheapskate macho comedy about the cruel suppression of a woman? So how come that this comedy is the most frequently performed of all Shakespeare’s plays? Perhaps it’s all a bit more complex than first meets the eye. Perhaps it’s not only about the vexed relationship between man and woman, but about all the roles that we (are forced to) play on the stage of life. Names are exchanged, clothes are handed back and forth, false identities are the common currency. Everything is transformed, if not illuminated. Despite its powerful comic elements, “The Taming of the Shrew” is a multi-dimensional and troubling play. It asks the main question - who are we really? - behind our masks, behind our own comedy of manners.

Prof. Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt
Vice-President for International Affairs and Events of the Folkwang University of the Arts

Participating universities and directors

Achim Lenz c Julia Lormis 01

Achim Lenz | Director (of the Folkwang performance)

After graduating in classical philology and ancient history at the University of Basel, Achim Lenz completed his study of directing at the Folkwang University of the Arts. His productions attracted attention among experts: T-A-N-N-Ö-D was awarded the Max-Reinhardt-Prize of the Austrian Federal Ministry in 2008. He is promotion award winner of the canton Graubünden/Switzerland, the Eliette-von-Karajan-Cultural Foundation and the Armin-Ziegler-Foundation for directing. Since 2010 he works as a lecturer in music theatre and acting. He works as a freelance director at renowned theatres in Germany and Switzerland. Since 2017 he took over the position of artistic director of the Gandersheimer Domfestspiele.
Photo: Julia Lörmis

Interviews with StudiScout Amelie von Godin

Logo Finnland

Theatre Academy

Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy is a reformer of the performing arts and an inviting research unit. The academy offers training at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. The academy offers degree programmes in Lighting and Sound Design, Dance, Choreography, Theatre Pedagogy, Dance Pedagogy, Acting, Directing, Dramaturgy, Ecology and Contemporary Performance, and Live Art and Performance. In addition to Acting in Finnish, the academy offers an Acting programme in Swedish. The results of the studies are performed on the stages of the Academy’s training theatre.

Interview with StudiScout Amelie von Godin

Jukka Ruotsalainen c Mari Penttilä

Jukka Ruotsalainen | Director

Jukka Ruotsalainen is an actor and director currently working as a lecturer in acting at The Theatre Academy Helsinki. He graduated in2002 as Master of Theatre and has worked as a director, actor, choreographer and writer across a broad stream of artistic disciplines. He is a member of the prestigious Takomo Theatre company, which is based in central Helsinki.
Photo: Mari Penttilä

Logo Drama Academy 1

Drama Academy Ramallah

The only academic institution for acting in Palestine was founded with the support of the Folkwang University of the Arts in winter semester 2009/10 as part of the German-Palestinian "Future of Palestine" initiative. In addition to their studies, the students take part in an exchange programme thus fostering artistic contacts and exchange of experiences with their German partners. The Drama Academy is financially supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the annual exchange programme is financed by the Allianz Cultural Foundation.

Ramallah 02

Emile Saba | Director

The Palestinian director Emile Saba completed his study of acting in the USA at the University of Connecticut with the degree of MFA (Magister of Fine Arts). During his studies he played among others the Earl of Burgundy in Shakespeare's "King Lear", Teiresias in Sophocles' "Antigone" and the Drum Major in Büchner's "Woyzeck". In Palestine he worked 2014 in "Wyes of a Thief" with the renowned film-director Najwa Najjar and at the Ashtar-Theatre in Ramallah in the internationally acclaimed "Gaza Monologues” which had many guest performances in Germany.
Photo: private


Durban University of Technology

The Durban University of Technology, Faculty of Arts and Design's, acknowledged student-centred Department of Drama & Production Studies, contributes a solid performance ethic to Durban's cultural scene. In 2017 this unique South African tertiary programme, with a conservatoire production ethic, boasted 36 student-directed plays, 21 play-readings of student written original plays, 1 concert, 6 staff-directed productions, 1 annual dance drama, and 1 cabaret, all featuring only undergraduate students: "At no point do they patronise their students by offering them safe options - so their work gets more interesting with every production. DUT should be proud of what happens in the unassuming Courtyard Theatre with incredible regularity..."

The participation is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from financial resources provided by the Federal Foreign Office (AA).



Deborah Arlene Lütge | Director

Award-winning performer/director Lütge, credited in VASTA for inspiring Drama pedagogy where: [M]y students come first ... their success is my success. They are ... the Voices of the Future and ... will have the opportunity to hear each other and use those Voices to speak to one another. That ... is the best hope for our art and our planet. "[F]orward-thinking" leader, published academic, poet, playwright, founder of three festivals, Lütge built an acknowledged Drama Conservatoire, simultaneously serving as professional Theatre Judge, Twist Theatre Development Project (a Dutch/SA initiative) and RITE Studios Board Member, plus elected CCIFSA KZN General Councillor: Arts Education and Training.

Photo: Morgan Kisten


Brian Michaels c Jakub Urbanski 01

Brian Michaels | Director (in charge of the international performance)
He studied philosophy at the University of Sussex in England. He has been living and working in Germany since 1973. Founded Il Teatro Siciliano in 1978 in Frankfurt - Germany's first immigrant theatre, which gained international recognition.

Since 1984 he has been working as both an opera and theatre director - in Munich, Berlin, Framkfurt, Hamburg, Essen, Los Angeles and Delhi. Worked for many years for the State Opera in Stuttgart, as well as Basel, Bonn, Darmstadt, Essen and Salzburg.

5 productions for the Wiener Festwochen, as well as productions for festivals in Bregenz, Schwetzingen, Innsbruck, Frankfurt and Recklinghausen.

From 1994-2013 Professor for Acting and Directing at the Folkwang University in Essen.

Since October 2014, Guest Professor for Acting and Directing at the PWST Bytom/Cracow.

In 2017, he directed an international version of Lysistrata for the European Capital of Culture in Pafos, Cyprus. 2019 he will produce an important production for Plovdiv, the European Capital of Culture 2019 in Bulgaria.
Photo: Jakub Urbanski