Karin Schäfer

Karin Schäfer

Karin Schäfer, born in Mödling, Austria, [http://www.kulturburgenland.at/kuenstler/db/310/biografie biography] at "Burgenländische Landesregierung, Künstlerdatenbank" (Burgenland Government culture database, in German)] September 21, 1963 is a performing artist and the head of the "Karin Schäfer Figuren Theater - Visual Theatre Productions" company. After studying puppetry arts with "Harry V. Tozer" at Barcelona's "Instituto del Teatro" and working in Spain for several years, she returned to Austria in 1993.

Based on classical puppetry techniques, the artist developed a special art form she calls "Visual Theatre", integrating visual arts, fine arts, music, dance and "new media" rather than classical puppetry. She cooperates with renowned artists from many genres, focusing on visual impact and abstaining from words in order to appeal to her audience from different countries, cultures and ages.


Karin Schäfer grew up in Vienna and Neusiedl am See. She went to Spain in 1987 to study puppetry arts with Harry V. Tozer [DaSilva, Ray, "The Marionettes of Barcelona:" Harry Tozer and His Tricks of the Trade.] [Daniel S. Keller, [http://www.jstor.org/pss/335894 JSTOR] , "Historical Notes on Spanish Puppetry" (paid access site).] at the "Instituto del Teatro", Barcelona. [WP on Institut del Teatre (Spanish)]

* 1989 founded puppet theatre "Per Poc" together with "Santi Arnal". The first self-designed production was "Piccolo Forte Pianissimo". [http://www.theaterspielplan.at/index.php?pagePos=52&id=25368 "Karin Schäfer"] biography (www.theaterspielplan.at — German).] They toured Spain, France, Germany and Belgium until 1993.

* 1991-1993, she also collaborated with Spanish puppeteer "Jordi Bertran" creating "Poemas Visuales" in 1992 and toured France and Spain. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=W8VOg3LZJPYC&pg=PP4&sig=MPjITQtAjI_p1FA9VXHGRB_ar1A#PPP58,M1 "Annuaire du spectacle de la communauté française de Belgique"] , page 56, on two shows in Belgium in 2003 (French), ISBN 2872824804]

* 1993, at Vienna, she created and directed the expressionist dance performance "Über das Marionettentheater" "(On Marionette Theatre)" after an essay by Heinrich von Kleist which had a run of 6 weeks in Vienna and was subsequently invited to renowned international festivals in Austria, [ [http://www.figurentheater-wels.at/imago2004_2mario.html Elke Krafka] on marionette theater in German speaking countries, and on the Kleist essay (German).] Germany, France, Greece, Italy, the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and to the International Festival of Experimental Theatre in Cairo [ [http://www.cdf-eg.org/Arabic/exp_theater/index.html Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre] Note: Data from 2000 forward.] .

* 1993-1994, collaborating with "Schneck + Co Theatre for Children", she designed and built the marionettes for "Post für den Tiger", [Janosch, "Post für den Tiger" (en: A Letter for Tiger), ISBN 978-3-407-76046-3 (translation by Anthea Bell)] toured Austria and presented the show on ORF.

* 1994, "Poemas Visuales" earned the jury prize at the "Cannes International Theater Festival".

* 1997, she premiered "Stringtime" at "dietheater" [sic] , Konzerthaus, Vienna which was presented until 2007 at international festivals all over the world (Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, Cuba, Pakistan and Mexico). Also in 1997, she co-produced with "Kabinetttheater" "Wir drei die zwei einzigen" on a text by "Max Gad" which premiered at the Vienna Künstlerhaus.

* 1998, she co-produced Peter and the Wolf with Barcelona's "Per Poc" theatre.

* 2000, her new show for adults "Twice upon a time" opened the "Kleist-Festspiele" at Frankfurt (Oder) It has been invited to international festivals in fifteen countries on four continents. [ [http://web.mac.com/figurentheater/deutsch/twice_upon_a_time_-_irish_times_16_09_2004.html The Irish Times] on "Twice upon a time" (2004-09-16).]

* 2001, she presented "Peter and the Wolf" at the Konzerthaus, Vienna together with "Per Poc" (Barcelona) and the "Wiener Kammerphilharmonie" (Vienna Chamber Orchestra), directed by "Claudius Traunfellner".

* 2002, she premiered "home@anywhere", a show for adolescents about the live of young people in Pakistan, based on her experiences and interviews made in two journeys to Lahore, Pakistan, and the Thar Desert at the border between Pakistan and India.

* 2002, she premiered "Rose Dorn" after Tchaikovskys Sleeping Beauty, together with pianist "Ingrid Marsoner" in Konzerthaus, Vienna, followed by invitations to the "Istanbul Puppet Festival" and to Santa Maria Island.

* 2003, she conceived "PannOpticum", a biannual International Festival of Visual Theatre in "Neusiedl am See," and since is its artistic director. [ [http://pte.at/pte.mc?phrase=&pte=030606035 PannOpticum 2003] (Pressetext Austria; German)] [ [http://web.mac.com/figurentheater/deutsch/festival-presse-standard-17042007.html PannOpticum 2007,] by "Der Standard" (2007-04-27; German).] [ [http://web.mac.com/figurentheater/deutsch/festival-presse-kurier-16062007.html similar] , "Kurier" (2007-06-16; German)]

* 2004, she produced "Da ist der Wurm drin" based on the famous painting ". ["Theater: Da ist der Wurm drin!" "Der Standard" archive (2006-07-18; German; paid access site)]

* 2005, in co-production with "Cordula Nossek / Dachtheater" she showed "Skywalker", about a fictive meeting of the first two women in space (Valentina Tereshkova and Sally Ride; in reality, their excursions were twenty years apart.), at "Dschungel Wien, Vienna's theatre for young audience" in Museumsquartier. [ [http://www.dachtheater.com/en/skywalker/ Skywalker] (dachtheater)] [ [http://pagesperso-orange.fr/unima/UniAustria_21-05.pdf] Mitteilungsblatt Zentrum Österreich, May 2005 (German)] Same year premiered Pictures at an Exhibition, an homage to the works of famous artists of the 20th century, with original music by Modest Mussorgsky together with Austrian pianist "Christopher Hinterhuber", at Konzerthaus, Vienna, and subsequently performed in European concert halls and museums such as the "Salzburg Museum of Modern Art" and the Philharmonie Luxembourg. [ [http://www.kulturgericht.at/kommentare/nachgeschenkt/mitteninsherz.html www.kulturgericht.at] on "Pictures at an Exhibition" (2005-10-12; German)] [ [http://web.mac.com/figurentheater/deutsch/festival-presse-kurier-14052007.html Christopher Hinterhuber performing in "Pictures at an Exhibition"] (Kurier 2007-05-14; German).] See [http://www.figurentheater.at/english/theatre.html figurentheater projects] .] [ [http://www.bmeia.gv.at/kultur/kf-madrid/aktivitaeten/kalender/2007/figurentheater-karin-schaefer.html Theatralia, Madrid 2007] (Information on Austrian government website, 2007).]

* 2006, a co-production for the ISAF "World Sailing Games" on lake Neusiedl; "Wind und weiter" (en:Wind and Beyond), a nonverbal multimedia theatre performance for the multinational visitors. This show will be staged in a completely new version together with experimental musicians from the institute for transacoustic research in Vienna and receive its premiere at the Vienna Concert Hall - Konzerthaus Wien - in October 2008.


Karin Schäfer has performed in 28 countries on four continents, by chronological order: Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Andorra, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia/Montenegro, Turkey, Russia, Belarus, Egypt, Korea, Pakistan, Kenia, Mexico, Cuba, Luxembourg (and, of course, in Austria).

The Artist won first prize at the "First International Festival of Solo Puppeteers" at Łódź, Poland in 1999 [ [http://picasaweb.google.com/visualtheatre/AwardsKarinSchFerFigurenTheater/photo?authkey=9XgGx5vqRag#5228144417209700882 Certificate Festival Łód 1999] ] and was awarded "Best Performer" of same festival in 2003 [ [http://picasaweb.google.com/visualtheatre/AwardsKarinSchFerFigurenTheater/photo?authkey=9XgGx5vqRag#5228144191409903042 Certificate Festival Łód 2003] ] . Together with "Santi Arnal" and "Jordi Bertran" she won the prize of the jury of "Cannes International Actors’ Performance Festival" in 1994. In 2003, "Stringtime" was awarded "Best Foreign Performance of the Year" at the "Festival International de Teatro de La Habana" in La Havana, Cuba. [ [http://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/bmeia/media/3-Kulturpolitische_Sektion_-_pdf/425_newsletter_02_2004.pdf kultur.newsmaaV, Februar 2004 (PDF)] ] [ [http://www.cniae.cult.cu/Premios_Villanueva2003.htm Premios Villanueva 2003] (Spanisch; gescheckt 2008-07-08) ] [ [http://picasaweb.google.com/visualtheatre/AwardsKarinSchFerFigurenTheater/photo?authkey=9XgGx5vqRag#5228144342903975666 Certificate Premio Villanueva] ] [ [http://picasaweb.google.com/visualtheatre/AwardsKarinSchFerFigurenTheater/photo?authkey=9XgGx5vqRag#5228144106412726482 Communication of the Austrian Ambassador] ]

;Future projects

* 2009 Tour with "Pictures at an Exhibition" in China.
* 2010 International tour with "Rock.ok.o – ein Schau!Theater unter Röcken", a play on biography and works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.


External links

* Official [http://www.figurentheater.at/english/start.html "Karin Schäfer Figuren Theater"] Website (English version).
* [http://www.figurentheater.at/deutsch/galerie.html figurentheater.at] Gallery (difficult to be accessed from the English version).
* See also [http://pagesperso-orange.fr/takey/FrameTite.html Takey's websites on puppetry] (English, Spanish).
* [http://www.institutdelteatre.org/diputacio/opencms/system/modules/org.iteatre.web/web/ca/index.jsp Institut del Teatre]

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