Stage and Costume Design
The course covers a wide range of topics from a discussion of the classic stage area to experimental work. Students try out various techniques and media in order to develop as broad a range of tools as possible and train an individual understanding of artistic practices. Project work is based on intensive research in literature, the public space, everyday phenomena and their visualization.
The program includes both working on models portraying scenic options and the scale realization of a spatial design in the form of a mock-up stage set. In this context, the issues of lighting, sound, materials research and processing, and technical drawing and construction will also be discussed.
Something that is unique to HfG Offenbach is the inclusion of the Stage and Costume Design department in the institutional framework of the Hessische Theaterakademie (HTA). This means that, as part of their course, students can work in close collaboration with the directing, acting, singing and contemporary dance courses at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and the Masters course in dramaturgy at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Students have the option of participating in the core courses of the above institutions as part of a reciprocal arrangement, which means productive interdisciplinary teams can form. This joint exploitation of the learning options available not only reinforces the students’ theoretical knowledge on a broader basis, but also helps when putting this into practice.
Students can try their hand at real theater work in their own productions and in the context of the HTA they can even do so at selected city and regional theaters in Hessen: Theater work for students under professional conditions.
Teacher for special purposes
Dr. Wolfgang Hofer
Jan Hartmann (Lighting Director at Frankfurt Opera House)
Antje Schöpf (Chief make-up artist at theater company Städtische Bühnen Frankfurt)
Tristan und Isolde – Annual show 2014
»Descend, o night of love, (...) Unconscious – utmost rapture!«
A complex network develops: entanglements and entrapments between supreme love and supposed honor, loyalty and betrayal – confusion and disarray also reign between destiny and atonement, longing, renunciation and sorrow. But does their own insatiability not mean they are destined to always feel such yearning passion? Must the utopian lovers not inevitably fail as their passion, with all the (overwhelming) power of its feelings, will only ever lead to suffering?!
In Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” the utopia of love walks the fine line of the ultimate question: Is love (not) stronger than death? And this is indeed represented by the Tristan chord with its puzzling question marks – the definitive seal of all operas of the Romantic period and, at the same time, a radical precursor of the musical modern age.
It is with this pioneering dialectic and its meandering routes to the present that the students of the department approach experimental projects in ways that are as distinct as they are controversial. In their artistic works, they formulate potential answers to the scenic-musical world designs of Wagner, which always harbor latent disintegration of the world view.
It is these very paradoxes that the artists tackle in their broad-ranging projects. In various different performance and media constellations, in diverse scenic-spatial stations from which musical installations and sound collages arise, developing out of the latest technology and graphic musical scores – multifaceted superimpositions from pop, video game music, the sounds of nature, general noise and minimal music become a reflected space of resonance of Wagner’s acoustic image worlds.
Ultimately, all these differentiating experimental arrangements have one thing in common: In complex, condensed art forms, Wagner’s dramatic moments are elevated – becoming something immediately surprising, an unforeseeable now.
Scenic spaces, objects, costumes, light, video and sound all come together here to create entirely new constellations for the purposes of a current project focusing on a utopian “Gesamtkunstwerk”. Visitors are warmly invited to encounter the artists and their works. In this way, not least the observers themselves also become actors as they begin their tour.
Projects summer 2014
»Psychotropikum«, dance piece for two dancers, approx. 12 min.
»wetter.gif«, interactive spatial installation
»forcing and feeding«, soft sculpture
»| to float |«, sound installation
»Fenster« (Windows), spatial installation
»UND- Endlichkeit« (IN- Finity), installation/sculpture
»they see them objects«, video installation
»Über die Wupper gehen.« (Biting the dust.), spatial and sound installation
»Tequila Sunrise«, installation
Lena Elisa Dinse
»Hell is your private creation«, spatial installation
Kim Lotte Stöber
»Weltatem« (The world’s breath), walk-in spatial and sound installation
»Sehnsuchtssuchmaschine« (Search engine of longing), mobile, walk-in spatial and sound installation
»soli t and i«, spatial and sound installation
»Desoli 440i«, costume exhibition
»Ornament und Verbrechen« (Ornament and Crime), costume
Yuko & Ivana
»kissing the frog«, costume
»Faust I und II« – Annual show 2013
The thematic orientation of the Stage and Costume Design department for the summer semester 2013 was Goethe’s »Faust I and II«. The huge dimensions of the dramatic cosmos of Goethe’s Faust mean it cannot be limited to »the thin thread of one sole enduring idea«, in the poet’s own words.
It was Goethe’s dramatic life’s work and, at the same time, a kind of literary legacy during his lifetime, the edition of which he also deliberately withheld from the social world around him.
Goethe’s Faust is the model of an artistic masterpiece with a grand plan behind it right from the start:
»But here too it was not about going directly from the gargantuan to the gargantuan, but rather the whole was made up of parts, occurrences, partial sophistications, from which the work, aside from the hugely scheming monologue, initially began in earnest. Auerbach’s Cellar, Gretchen Tragedy, una poenitentium; so many left-hand incursions could hardly be foreseen, yet they change the original plan and, in doing so, the substantial direction of the original material.« (Ernst Bloch: Raffael ohne Hände [Raphael without hands]. In: Spuren. Frankfurt, 1985, p. 92).
Faust’s crucial question: “Now whither shall we go?” is answered by Mephistopheles: »As best it pleases thee. The little world, and then the great, we’ll see.« Faust and his artistic environment became the starting point for impressive exploratory journeys and intensive experimental studies. New situations arose for »Faust I and II« in various visual, differentiated stations with a huge variety of individual styles and points of view. Diverse scenic-spatial, performance and media constellations were researched, created and staged.
Space, objects, costume, light, video and sound come together to form contemporary »Gesamtkunstwerks«, with the observer becoming an actor.
Mephistopheles’ motto: »Formation, transformation / Eternal mind’s eternal recreation« (V. 6285/86)
Projects summer 2013
Elena Thirza, Rachel Herold
»Ye wavering forms draw near again as ever«, spatial and sound installation
»Fuge« (Gap), dance performance, video
»Shelter from the storm«, spatial installation
»halberstickt« (half suffocated), costume object
»things to know about gretchen«, video/sound installation
»Alchemie« (Alchemy), spatial installation
»Weltenwandler« (Transformer of worlds), spatial installation
»Hochgebirg« (High mountain), choral performance with spatial/sound installation, approx. 15 min.
»Returns«, spatial installation with video image
»The ravens have returned.«, spatial installation
»Helen's garments dissolve in mist«, spatial installation
Lena Elisa Dinse
»Meerkatze« (Guenon), costume
»Ego«, staged costume
»Faust I + II«, Rauminstallation
David Gonter und Sabine Born
»falco goethe«, environment and performance
Alban Berg »Wozzeck« – Annual show 2012
Interactive sound spaces / Staged situations based on Alban Berg's »Wozzeck«
The thematic orientation for the summer semester 2012 was Alban Berg’s opera »Wozzeck« as a preview for the Georg Büchner anniversary year in 2013.
Students drew inspiration from the fascinating soundscape of the expressive music and the nightmarish drama of Georg Büchner to undertake impressive exploratory journeys. With this as a starting point and an artistic environment, intensive experimental processes took shape. Diverse scenic/spatial/performance/media constellations were researched, created and staged.
What emerged were new situations based on »Wozzeck« in various visual, differentiated stations. Space, objects, costume, light, video and sound come together to form »Gesamtkunstwerks«, with the observer becoming an actor. On an artistic-technical level sensors, for example for heart rate, light and movement, serve as interfaces.
HfG Offenbach annual show art prize – Mattis Kuhn
»We awarded the first prize to Mattis Kuhn for his work ‘Herz Woyzeck’, which isolates the heart of the Woyzeck material in a dual sense – the drama by Büchner, the destiny of the historical figure Johann Christian Woyzeck, and the opera by Alban Berg – and brings it into a scenic situation from whose intensity it is hard to tear oneself away. At the same time, this work treads new ground in the overlap between performance and theater, installation and music: Schönberg’s twelve-tone system meets a heart rate monitor, prefabricated sounds meet musicians playing live, a body meets its own abstraction, text meets image. The subject matter here is also an experiment with the legacy of the “Gesamtkunstwerk”, which does not aim to mask the differences between the individual media in a false unity, but rather aims to do justice to the relevant individual logic of the media, doing so precisely in and through the connections between the media.«
Prof. Juliane Rebentisch
July 10, 2012, on the occasion of the award ceremony
Projects summer 2012
»Gewächshaus der Musik« (Greenhouse of music), interactive spatial/sound installation
»Herz Woyzeck« (Heart of Woyzeck), interactive spatial/sound installation, HfG Offenbach annual show art prize
»you're fine«, sound installation with projection
»LOVE A FUCKING OPEN WOUND«, sound installation with record player
»andadox«, interactive spatial/sound installation with projection
Lena Elisa Dinse
»Grüße vom Berg« (Greetings from the mountain), interactive spatial/sound installation
»immer zu, immer zu« (always, always), interactive spatial/sound installation
»Experiment«, interactive costume/sound installation
»Warten auf dich / Aspettandati« (Waiting for you), interactive spatial/sound/light installation
»under pressure«, interactive spatial/sound installation
»Hauptmann (Captain)«, performance/costume
»Christian«, sound object
Medea - Annual show 2011
Medea project – I. My. Medea.
The thematic orientation during the summer semester 2011 was dedicated to an ancient project: staged situations and spaces relating to the myth of Medea.
In associated reference to texts by Euripides, Heiner Müller and Christa Wolf, various scenic/spatial/figurative/installation/performance/media constellations were researched, created and staged. New, other journeys to/with/from Medea in various virtual/differentiated stations. These works take our present into the ancient world, whereby the cosmos of the Medea texts is re-evaluated: as if the routes to and from Colchis on the trail of the ancient heroes were being rediscovered, as a memory of the potential future.
Projects summer 2011
»Horst«, staged spatial situation with performance
»Lass mich« (Leave me), treehouse
»Ein Flattern_Zufallsname« (A flutter_random name), dance performance with costume and interactive sound
»Die Bewusstwerdung Medeas« (The self-realization of Medea), interactive spatial installation
»Liebe eines Provinzmädchens« (Love of a provincial girl), spatial object
»Thronfolge« (Line of succession), spatial installation with sound
»DO YOU REMEMBER DO YOU NO I DON’T«, video with sound
»Medea al dente/Medea Zusammenbruch« (Medea al dente/Medea meltdown), installation
»Der goldene Hasendraht« (The golden chicken wire), spatial/sound installation, text: Mattis Kuhn, speaker: Karolin Stegemann (Creusa), Christoph Bahr (Jason)
»Ich hätte Kolchis nicht verlassen sollen« (I should never have left Colchis), performance
Caroline Ströhle, Maylin Habig, Rebecca Bussfeld
»Massenvernichtungswaffen helfen Trennungsschmerzleidenden Kunststudenten; Also dir nicht! « (Weapons of mass destruction help art students suffering from the pain of separation; so not you!), installation with film
»Lichtung« (Clearing), spatial installation
»13 x Temporär« (13 x temporary), audio installation, 10l ice blocks, wood, active loudspeakers, loudspeakers, pond liner
Werner Fritsch: »Nico. Sphinx aus Eis« – Annual show 2010
»Driver, where are you taking us …?« Jim Morrison
»n_ico_n factory«: staged situations and costumes, interactive sound/light installations and performance
n.ico.n/factory is a project based on the play “NICO.Sphinx aus Eis” by poet Werner Fritsch.
Werner Fritsch relocated his dream plays about Nico, a pop icon by the name of Christa Päffgen between the 1960s and 1980s, to a scenic life of the imaginary present, which ends where it actually began: in the middle of the final part of a famous song by the band “The Doors”, in which Jim Morrison evokes the “wasteland” that takes us to a no man’s land of the future.
Driver, where are you taking us …?
The text includes the voice of the deceased Nico, who was in and out of Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York. She was a model for Chanel and an actress for Fellini. Warhol made her a singer in the band »Velvet Underground«.
The students’ works tackle the various different aspects of the quintessential life of a pop icon, as well as an emancipation process defined through destruction and death. The 16experimental projects go beyond the literary template, realizing pictorial, musical-interactive and theatrical scenarios. They are expeditions to the distant 1960s, through whose aesthetic findings the products of the present-day culture industry and their reception are still shaped. In the experimental laboratory known as Fabrik the artistic personality is put to the test, as was once the case in Andy Warhol’s Factory model.
Sabine Born / David Gonter
»I shot Andy Warhol«, environment and performance with sound, performing artist: Emilia Neumann
WooYeon Chun / HeyJoo Jun
»spielt mein Pianist (D-E-A-D D-E-A-D)« (my pianist plays [D-E-A-D D-E-A-D]), interactive light and music sculpture
»the beautiful fall«, video sculpture with sound
»bewegte bilder« (moving images), interactive object
»Schau nicht zurück« (Don’t look back), light/sound object
»Original seit 1965« (Original since 1965), environment and sound
»Hades im Kopf« (Hades in my head), environment with sound
»different colours made of tears«, sound/light installation
»Schwesternkonzept ’87« (Sisters concept ’87), interactive light object
»IKOMAMA«, costume object
»Wer quetscht Fleisch nun zu einem Klumpen Gefühl zusammen« (He who now squeezes flesh together into a clump of feelings), staged figure
Lena Elisa Dinse
»Gewebe« (Tissue), staged object
»Feuer im Hades« (Fire in Hades), burning sculpture with sound
»I’ll never look into your eyes again«, video sculpture with sound (headphones)
»Augen aus« (Eyes out), video with sound
»Fassen« (Grasp), costume object
Rinaldo opera by G. F. Handel – Annual show 2009
Stations based on »Rinaldo« by G. F. Handel
A baroque theater project
An entirely different, in-the-now Journey to Jerusalem: Staged images and spaces as live acts. With sung scenes and arias from seemingly sunken times. Directly referencing our present.
»Rinaldo« opera by G. F. Handel
Semester project within the framework of the Hessische Theaterakademie HTA
Sabine Born, Wooyeon Chun, David Gonter, Hye Joo Jun, Hyewon Kim, Xue Liu, Teresa Rinn, Caroline Stauch, Maria Wiebersinsky, Linnan Zhang
In cooperation with the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, Musical Theater department (Prof. Hedwig Fassbender, Prof. Stefan Bastians), Performance (Prof. Marion Tiedtke) and Contemporary and Classical Dance (Prof. Dieter Heitkamp)
Arias from »Rinaldo«
Performance in cooperation with singing and dance students at the University of Music and Performing Arts
Opera production of »Rinaldo«
Katharina Wiedenhofer / Victoria Söntgen
Xue Liu, Hye Joo Jun, Sabine Born, Maria Wiebersinsky, David Gonter, Linnan Zhang
Linnan Zhang, Caroline Stauch, Teresa Rinn, Wooyeon Chun
A production by the Hessische Theaterakademie HTA: Study courses in singing/musical theater (Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, Prof. Hedwig Faßbender, Prof. Stefan Bastians), direction (Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, Benedikt von Peter), contemporary and classical dance (Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, Prof. Dieter Heitkamp), dramaturgy (Goethe University Frankfurt, Prof. Hans-Thies Lehmann), HIP (Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts) and set design (Offenbach University of Art and Design, Prof. Rosalie)
Premier: October 25, 2009
Guest performance at the Handel Festival at Staatstheater Karlsruhe
Performance on February 24, 2010