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

Nina Zoller


Julia Naunin

Music dramaturgy

Dr. Wolfgang Hofer

Lighting design

Jan Hartmann (Lighting Director at Frankfurt Opera House)

Costume production

Berit Mohr

Theater make-up

Antje Schöpf (Chief make-up artist at theater company Städtische Bühnen Frankfurt)

Buehnenbild 2013 pic 33

Projects 2013/14

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. 

Buehnenbild 2014 pic 15


Interactive spatial installation, Tour 2014

Nils Wildegans

Projects summer 2014

Johanne Schröder

»Psychotropikum«, dance piece for two dancers, approx. 12 min.

Nils Wildegans

»wetter.gif«, interactive spatial installation


»forcing and feeding«, soft sculpture

Lucia Bushart

»| to float |«, sound installation

Lucia Bushart

»Fenster« (Windows), spatial installation

Yunkyung Min

»UND- Endlichkeit« (IN- Finity), installation/sculpture

Carla-Luisa Reuter

»they see them objects«, video installation

Ivana Bischof

»Über die Wupper gehen.« (Biting the dust.), spatial and sound installation

Veronica Trebini

»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

Ricarda Bechstein

»Sehnsuchtssuchmaschine« (Search engine of longing), mobile, walk-in spatial and sound installation

Mattis Kuhn

»soli t and i«, spatial and sound installation

Judith Altmeyer

»Desoli 440i«, costume exhibition

Carla-Luisa Reuter

»Ornament und Verbrechen« (Ornament and Crime), costume

Yuko & Ivana

»kissing the frog«, costume

Buehnenbild  2014 pic 47

Fenster (Windows)

Spatial installation, Tour 2014

Lucia Bushart

Buehnenbild 2014 pic 17

Über die Wupper gehen. (Biting the dust.)

Spatial and sound installation, Tour 2014

Ivana Bischof

Buehnenbild 2014 pic 3


A dance piece for two dancers, approx. 12 min.

Johanne Schröder

»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)

Buehnenbild 2013 pic 20

falco goethe

environment and performance

David Gonter and Sabine Born

Buehnenbild 2013 pic 25

Fuge (gap)

Dance performance, video, Tour 2013

Johanne Schröder

Projects summer 2013

Elena Thirza, Rachel Herold

»Ye wavering forms draw near again as ever«, spatial and sound installation

Johanne Schröder

»Fuge« (Gap), dance performance, video

Veronica Trebini

»Shelter from the storm«, spatial installation

Carla-Luisa Reuter

»halberstickt« (half suffocated), costume object

Laura Robert

»things to know about gretchen«, video/sound installation

Maylin Habig

»Alchemie« (Alchemy), spatial installation

Ricarda Bechstein

»Weltenwandler« (Transformer of worlds), spatial installation

Mattis Kuhn

»Hochgebirg« (High mountain), choral performance with spatial/sound installation, approx. 15 min. 

Jungyun Bae

»Returns«, spatial installation with video image

Nils Wildegans

»The ravens have returned.«, spatial installation

Caroline Ströhle

»Helen's garments dissolve in mist«, spatial installation

Lena Elisa Dinse

»Meerkatze« (Guenon), costume

Julia Mack

»Ego«, staged costume

Laura Brunner:

»Faust I + II«, Rauminstallation

David Gonter und Sabine Born

»falco goethe«, environment and performance

Buehnenbild 2013 pic 8

Hochgebirg (High mountain)

Choral performance with spatial/sound installation, approx. 15 min., Tour 2013

Mattis Kuhn

Buehnenbild 2013 pic 1

Ye wavering forms draw near again as ever

Spatial and sound installation, Tour 2013

Elena Thirza and Rachel Herold

Projects 2011/12

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. 

Buehnenbild 2012 pic 24

you're fine

Sound installation with projection, Tour 2012

Lucia Bushart

Buehnenbild 2012 pic 2

Herz Woyzeck (Heart of Woyzeck)

Interactive spatial/sound installation 

Mattis Kuhn

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

Johanne Schröder

»Gewächshaus der Musik« (Greenhouse of music), interactive spatial/sound installation

Mattis Kuhn

»Herz Woyzeck« (Heart of Woyzeck), interactive spatial/sound installation, HfG Offenbach annual show art prize

Lucia Bushart

»you're fine«, sound installation with projection

Caroline Ströhle

»LOVE A FUCKING OPEN WOUND«, sound installation with record player

Laura Robert

»andadox«, interactive spatial/sound installation with projection

Lena Elisa Dinse

»Grüße vom Berg« (Greetings from the mountain), interactive spatial/sound installation

Elena Herold

»immer zu, immer zu« (always, always), interactive spatial/sound installation

Elena Herold

»Experiment«, interactive costume/sound installation

Veronica Trebini

»Warten auf dich / Aspettandati« (Waiting for you), interactive spatial/sound/light installation

Ricarda Bechstein

»under pressure«, interactive spatial/sound installation

Linnan Zhang

»Hauptmann (Captain)«, performance/costume

Nils Wildegans

»Christian«, sound object

Buehnenbild 2011 pic 21

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.

Buehnenbild 2011 pic 17

Projects summer 2011

Sabine Born

»Horst«, staged spatial situation with performance

David Gonter

»Lass mich« (Leave me), treehouse

WooYeon Chun

»Ein Flattern_Zufallsname« (A flutter_random name), dance performance with costume and interactive sound

Nils Wildegans

»Die Bewusstwerdung Medeas« (The self-realization of Medea), interactive spatial installation

Maylin Habig

»Liebe eines Provinzmädchens« (Love of a provincial girl), spatial object

Lucia Bushart

»Thronfolge« (Line of succession), spatial installation with sound

Caroline Ströhle

»DO YOU REMEMBER DO YOU NO I DON’T«, video with sound

Veronica Trebini

»Medea al dente/Medea Zusammenbruch« (Medea al dente/Medea meltdown), installation

Mattis Kuhn

»Der goldene Hasendraht« (The golden chicken wire), spatial/sound installation, text: Mattis Kuhn, speaker: Karolin Stegemann (Creusa), Christoph Bahr (Jason)

Elisabeth Wendt

»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

Johanne Schröder

»Lichtung« (Clearing), spatial installation

Lukas Sünder

»13 x Temporär« (13 x temporary), audio installation, 10l ice blocks, wood, active loudspeakers, loudspeakers, pond liner

Projects 2009/10

Buehnenbild 2010 pic 7

I shot Andy Warhol

Environment and performance with sound

Performing artist: Emilia Neumann

Sabine Born, David Gonter

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. 

Buehnenbild 2010 pic 4

»Schwesternkonzept ’87« (Sisters concept ’87)

Interactive light object, Tour 2010

Teresa Rinn

Buehnenbild 2010 pic 20

»Wer quetscht Fleisch nun zu einem Klumpen Gefühl zusammen« (He who now squeezes flesh together into a clump of feelings)

Staged figure, Tour 2010

Maylin Habig

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

Linnan Zhang

»the beautiful fall«, video sculpture with sound

Xue Liu

»bewegte bilder« (moving images), interactive object

Heywon Kim

»Schau nicht zurück« (Don’t look back), light/sound object

Caroline Stauch

»Original seit 1965« (Original since 1965), environment and sound

Nils Wildegans

»Hades im Kopf« (Hades in my head), environment with sound

Caroline Ströhle

»different colours made of tears«, sound/light installation

Teresa Rinn

»Schwesternkonzept ’87« (Sisters concept ’87), interactive light object

Lisa Klinger

»IKOMAMA«, costume object

Maylin Habig

»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

Estella Domincovic

»Feuer im Hades« (Fire in Hades), burning sculpture with sound

Mattis Kuhn

»I’ll never look into your eyes again«, video sculpture with sound (headphones)

Mattis Kuhn

»Augen aus« (Eyes out), video with sound

Elisabeth Wendt

»Fassen« (Grasp), costume object

Buehnenbild 2009 pic 13



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

Buehnenbild 2009 pic 9


Make-up by David Gonter

Opera production of »Rinaldo«

Musical Direction:

Fausto Nardi


Stefan Bastians


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


Verena Noll


Eva Wagner

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)

Theater Rüsselsheim

Premier: October 25, 2009

Guest performance at the Handel Festival at Staatstheater Karlsruhe

Performance on February 24, 2010