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The City Ghettos of Today: Uninhabited Island

This installation and performance constitute the sixth stage of the trans-European project The City Ghettos of Today: Exploring the Memory and Present Day Reality of Migrant Communities in European Cities.

At the heart of the project The City Ghettos of Today is a desire to redefine and reexamine the concept “ghetto” in the context of today’s closed migrant districts. Through artistic creation and sociological research, we aim to create a space in which to examine and discuss the multiple stories emanating from Europe’s migrant “ghettos”. How do we talk about “ghettos” today? Is it possible – and even necessary – to redefine the word in a manner that more accurately reflects the multiple realities that constitute our contemporary urban landscapes? What role do “ghettos” play in constructing a European identity? What factors contribute to phenomena of “ghettoization” in contemporary Europe? What are the dynamics that contribute to the implantation of migrant communities throughout Europe today and how do they connect to the collective memory of Europe’s past?

The City Ghettos of Today entails a series of workshops open to local communities in different European cities – Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp. Run by artists and cultural actors, each workshop installment will conclude with an art installation and public debate on the project’s themes in each of the cities listed above. This European collaboration will conclude in Warsaw in December 2014 with a large-scale installation-performance and debate that will bring together materials culled from each of the participating city workshops. The project unites artists, cultural actors, academics and social workers in order to explore the broad themes of “ghetto” and “migration districts” in participating European cities. The City Ghettos of Today reflects the interdisciplinary dimension of the Strefa WolnoSlowa foundation, which combines academic and theoretical methodologies with practices of artistic and cultural creation. Through artistic reflection and intellectual research, this collaborative project seeks to unravel the complex and problematical theme of “migrant ghettos” in contemporary Europe, paying particular attention to various definitions and visions of ghettos within the contexts of Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp.

The City Ghettos of Today in Berlin: Uninhabited Island

November 4 – 13, 2014

Uninhabited Island situates The City Ghettos of Today in the Berlin site-specific context of a rapidly changing city, from the “Cinderella” of European capitals back in the 1990s to the present “place to be”. The focus will be placed on the urban and social changes which are currently affecting the city, such as gentrification and the resulting displacement of low-income inhabitants, often including those with a “migration background”. Former immigrant and poor districts often associated with the idea of “ghetto”, like Kreuzberg or Neukölln, have received unprecedented hype and developed into magnets for tourists and real estate investors during the last five years.

Over the course of this, these districts, once the furthest limits of West Berlin and now central districts in the reunified German capital, have been increasingly populated by a new wave of immigrants. These newcomers, primarily from comparatively rich Western countries, active in the creative industries and often using English, not German, as a working language stand in stark contrast both to the pre-war German residents of Kreuzberg and Neukölln as well as the first wave of post-war immigrants, coming primarily from Turkey through a guest worker program established by West Berlin.

How do these distinct groups see themselves today? How do they see each other? Can they even communicate? 25 years after the Fall of the Wall, Berlin is still an island. An island full of existing inhabitants and constantly arriving new inhabitants. An island whose international glamorization and hyping in recent years have radically transformed living conditions in these previously impoverished, primarily migrant districts in the form of unsustainably increasing rental costs. An island that everyone wants to obtain or defend a piece of. The “struggle” for the island will be examined with representatives from these various groups through laboratories and workshops.

The Berlin-based part of the project is organized in cooperation with English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, OnElf Theater and Performance Collective, European Alternatives and Tanz der Kulturen e.V.

  1. Artistic Workshops: Creating Uninhabited Island

Beginning on November 4, the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today from Poland, Italy, Finland and France together with the local partners English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts and OnElf Theater and Performance Collective will invite an heterogeneous group of participants based in Berlin, old and new Berliners, from Germany and from beyond, to work and reflect on the changing living and social conditions in the city. Starting from the stories and biography of the participants as a representative “sample” of contemporary Berliners and in a provocative relation with one another, a collective, controversial and complex portrait of the city will be created and strategies and desires for a common future will be rehearsed.

The results of this collective undertaking will be presented on Thursday, November 13 at 8:00 pm at English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center.

Workshops will be led an artistic project team consisting of: Pietro Floridia (Cantieri Meticci, Bologna), Alicja Borkowska (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Daniel Brunet (English Theatre Berlin | IPAC), Elena Basteri, Christian, Willhelm and Johannes Kup (OnElf Theatre and Performance Collective), Mehmet Ballikaya (Tanz der Kulturen), Linda Fahssis (Cie Check Points, Paris), Tomasz Gromadka (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Piotr Mikuć (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Marek Płuciennik (Ptarmigan, Helsinki), Alejandro Olarte (University of Arts of Helsinki – Center for Music and Technology)


  1. Debate: Gentrification? It’s the Art, Stupid!


When: November 8, 2014, 4:30 pm

Where: English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965, Berlin

Moderated by sociologist Baris Ulker of Technical University Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies, artists, activists and academics will discuss Berlin, gentrification, social and urban change as well as the role of the artist as both catalyst of gentrification and as producer of alternative spaces and counter narratives of the urban and social environment.

Participants: Baris Ülker (Technische Universität Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies), Elena Basteri (Onelf Theater and Performance Collective Berlin), Renata Włoch (Sociology Institute of Warsaw University), Daniel Brunet (English Theatre Berlin | IPAC), copy & waste, Michelle Teran, Helga Dressel (Co-curator of the project Haus der 28. Türen),


  1. Spotlight on the Installation


When: November 13, 2014, 8:00 pm

Where: English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965, Berlin

Admission to all events is free of charge.

This project is financially supported by the European Commission – Program Europe for Citizens and co-financed by the Evens Foundation

Logotyp_Europa dla Obywateli Logotyp_Evens Foundation

Ensemble Tuning

During this workshop we will explore various ways of tuning ourselves to the living organism of the ensemble. How can we collectively develop a physical language of communication?

We will investigate how the group can support and inspire the individual and how the inspiration of the individual can in turn contribute to the group. We will draw from Viewpoints, Ensemble Thinking, Action Theater and more.

Andrew and Liz have performed together at various venues around Berlin, including the Sophiensaele, ada Studio, ETB and K77 Studio. Andrew has studied directly with Mary Overlie and Anne Bogart (Viewpoints), and Nina Martin (Ensemble Thinking). He has been a member of the performance collective, Lower Left since 2002. Liz has worked in various physical theater and dance collectives since 1997, including Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin, Phfffft! Dance Theater Company (Viewpoint-based work) and Akropolis Performance Lab, a Grotowski-based performance company. She has been creating her own work since 2003.

Forum Theater

The workshop explores elements of identity using Augusto Boal’s games and Forum Theater. Forum Theater is an interactive theater form that aims at creating a forum for social change and empowerment in communities. The workshop focuses on the basic techniques of Forum Theater while it opens a platform for discussion and exchange. The workshop will also introduce a myriad of Boal’s classic games and exercises which create a playful, open environment that allows the ideas to be released. The participants will create their own Forum Theater scene work which will be facilitated by the workshop instructors.

Liz Erber is a dance artist and educator, with a background in dance, theater and music, who has been living in Berlin since 2008. She was born and raised in the United States. She is a certified Theater of the Oppressed Forum Theater facilitator.

Minna Partanen is a drama educator living and working in Berlin. She is specialized in applied theater and trained under Theater of the Oppressed pioneers in Finland. She’s used Forum Theater in the context of organizational development and innovation research at Lappeenranta University of Technology. She has facilitated numerous Forum Theater performances and workshops at upper secondary schools in Lahti and Helsinki, Finland.

Find Your Voice

The Find Your Voice Workshop is dedicated to helping people  learn to express themselves through their voice. It is my mission to pass on the joy of Your Voice, to increase the confidence of the individual whilst also focusing on the technical aspects of singing.  Participants can choose from a variety of styles – jazz, classical and contemporary, depending on their personal goals and interests.

Find Your Voice provides people with the opportunity to express themselves through music.

Two different Master Classes are offered:

For teenagers – it is suggested that participants bring along three options of music that they would like to work on and that they enjoy singing.  Music will also be provided.

For adults –  it is suggested that participants bring along three options of music they would like to work on and that they enjoy singing.  Music will also be provided.

Rose Nolan is a classically trained professional singer who holds a double degree Bachelor in Arts (music) and Science (psychology) from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She completed the Preparatory Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music in London (2006) where she was awarded an Alex Templeton entrance scholarship. During her time at the Royal Academy of Music, she held a William Gibbs Trust scholarship and was a resident alto scholar for St John’s Church in Hyde Park. She was one of five finalists who sang at the Sydney Opera house for the Metropolitan Opera Award in 2005.

She has an excellent understanding of how students learn and how to teach them effectively. She is familiar with the content of the AMEB, the ABRSM and the British GCSE and A Levels music curriculum.

Rose is currently teaching singing at Tagtigall Musikschule in Berlin. In 2011 she taught at the Karen Leonard Music School in Melbourne, Australia. From 2008 to 2011 she worked as a peripatetic singing teacher at Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington, London. She teaches a wide variety of styles including classical, jazz, pop, folk and blues. She has experience teaching singing, acting and music to people of all ages, from adults and adolescence to children and young children.


In August, Rose will be performing in Berlin’s Hof Klang festival in Sergey Khismatov’s Voice Quartet.  She is currently performing Il Festino by Banchieri in Berlin and has worked with UnterwasserOpera in both Berlin and Düsseldorf. She was a soloist for Surrey Opera’s end of year soiree concert and an Emerging Artist for Opera Danube where she performed, amongst other works, Brahms’ “Liebeslieder-Walzer Op. 52” at St John’s Square London and in their production of The Merry Widow. She covered the role of Cunaide in Surrey Opera’s production of Iernin and performed with Fernando Montano, soloist from the Royal Ballet, at the Cafe de Paris in London, as the headline act for the LUKAS awards which were presented by Vivienne Westwood.  Rose performed with Kiez Opera Berlin in their production of Insanity at the Stattbad in Wedding.

Rose performed and toured the role of Orlofsky from Die Fledermaus and also the role of Nancy in Albert Herring for Surrey Opera; which also appeared in the Canterbury Festival (Review from December issue 2011 of Opera Magazine “[Paul Sheehan] was partnered by a delicious Nancy in Rose Nolan, who sang with rich-toned relish, acted with poise and sensitivity, and looked exquisite.”) She has performed the role of Mercedes with Co-Opera Co. UK for their Carmen covers production and was a member of the 2011 Buxton Festival Company UK where she covered and performed scenes from the role of David in Handel’s Saul with conductor Harry Christophers. She performed the role of Tessa from The Gondoliers for Surrey Opera UK and covered it for Opera Australia.

Rose was invited by the 70 piece Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra on a concert tour through numerous cities in China.  She performed the role of Oreste in La belle Hélène with Lyric Opera of Melbourne (online review from Theatre People: “Other standouts in the large company include a cheeky Rose Nolan singing up a storm in the ‘pants’ role of Prince Orest”). She covered Adalgisa in Norma with Grange Park Opera UK and spent the previous year singing with Scottish Opera in numerous productions. She performed the role of Sara in Roberto Devereux in Spain and worked for two years with OzOpera (Opera Australia), touring Australia performing Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Review from The Age “Indeed, the singing at times is breathtakingly wonderful. Rose Nolan plays Hansel and her voice is rich and silky with mellifluous tones.”).

In Melbourne, she regularly led her own jazz band which played at various venues such as The Hilton Hotel, The Carlton Crest Hotel and held various residences such as an 8-month residency at the Stork Hotel in Melbourne’s Central Business District.

Rose regularly works with Opera Australia.

Matthew Toogood is an Australian conductor currently working at the Komische Oper Berlin.

He has conducted a range of symphonic and choral music, but it is in opera that his true passion lies. Since completing his Masters of Music in Conducting in Melbourne, he has conducted performances of Puccini‘s Turandot, Tosca, La Boheme and Madama Butterfly and Verdi‘s La Traviata, Macbeth and Nabucco. His great interest however is in the operas of Strauss and Wagner.

Since joining the music staff at the Komische Oper Berlin he has conducted performances of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and the Puppet Show Der gestiefelte Kater (Puss in Boots), conducting the backstage orchestras of  Strauss‘ Der Rosenkavalier, Mozart‘s Don Giovanni, Wagner‘s Die Meistersingers von Nürnberg and assisting on Reihman‘s Lear, Dvorak‘s Rusalka, Janacek‘s Cunning Little Vixon and Prokofiev‘s The Love of Three Oranges. As a repetiteur he has worked on over thirty opera productions, from Monteverdi‘s Orpheus to Porter‘s Kiss Me Kate to Strauss‘ Salome.

Matthew was a semi-finalist at the 2011 Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition and winner of the 2007 Stonnington Symphony Conductor Prize.

He has participated in master classes with Jorma Panula, Colin Metters, Johannes Fritzsch, Christopher Seaman, Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Geoffrey Lancaster. He completed his Master’s degree with John Hopkins OBE in 2008.

Carpe Diem | Improv Theater

“CARPE DIEM” is the fascinating essence of improvisation. It’s the latin expression for “SEIZE THE DAY”.

In this workshop we’ll play several games that will introduce you into the mood of improvisation.

Here is a short list of improv principles we’ll experience:

  • PLAY! Enjoy the moment.
  • TRUST. Trust yourself. Trust your partner. Trust your intuition. Trust the moment.
  • LISTEN with every part of your being: LISTENING is the WILLINGNESS to CHANGE.
  • SAY “YES”. Accept offers.
  • SAY “AND”. Bring a brick to the scene instead of a whole cathedral. Build together.
  • LIVE IN THE MOMENT! Experience your senses.
  • MAKE YOUR PARTNER LOOK GOOD! And both of you will look wonderful.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE. Less is more.
  • DARE. TAKE RISKS. Allow yourself to explore beyond your comfort zone.
  • FAILING is the only way to learn. Have a good attitude towards it.
  • RELAX and HAVE FUN !!!

Improvisation is interdisciplinary. It can open up new visions in creative experiences as well as in business and personal relationships.

Tune your senses, power your intuition and let the adventure begin!

The IMPROPRIATE team has been working together since 2012.

Robert Rodgers is a performer, stand-up comedian, acrobat, director, writer, clown. He had the privilege of attending Keith Johnston’s Improv classes. He has performed and toured with Cirque de Soleil. He is a long form improv performer specialized in the style of Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, Film Noir with Scratch Theater, Four on the Floor, San Francisco. He teaches and directs in Germany, Amsterdam, and in Paris. You can find more info at his personal page:

Javier Avila learned improv by doing performing weekly shows with Comedysportz Berlin and Impronauts. He recently began doing improv in German as well. He regularly offers improv workshops in Berlin. Javier’s philosophy: If you put passion and creative thinking on top of an analytical mind, the sky’s the limit. Learning step by step is his specialty. His approach is very systematic; isolating the different skills for training purposes and putting them together afterwards.

Michela Bellino bumped into improv theater in 2007 and it was love at first sight. Besides improv theater in any forms, she has attended classes on acting, playback theater, psychodrama, commedia dell’arte, clown, expressive reading, play reading, playwriting, screenwriting, comedy writing, storytelling, burlesque, voice technique, dubbing, singing in Italian, France, Spain and Germany. She is author of several short movies and documentaries. Michelle regularly offers workshops in improv, storytelling and voice lab in Berlin.

Hula Hoops, Performance and Choreography

In this workshop we will cover all aspects of the hoop. We will begin by learning and refining fundamentals technique including: how to spin the hoop on all parts of the body, how to dance with the hoop, the fundamental maneuvers for transitioning planes, and of course a few flashy tricks to impress your friends.

Then we will get creative with the hoop developing some choreography which we will later have the opportunity to perform! No experience is necessary, only a good attitude.  If you are already a hooper, I will provide you with advanced maneuvers to keep you challenged and moving forward. If you are brand new, I will provide you with the basics. Open to all levels. Hoops provided.



Write Your Life

We all have a story to tell. The art is in the telling.


The events that have most profoundly shaped our lives can become a springboard for creating compelling and dramatic stories for the stage. This writing workshop will introduce participants to techniques specific to the process of this unique form of theater. These include basic dramatic structure, the three narrators, the transformational arc, creating strong characters and finding the theme in your life experience. All participants will be required to write and read their work aloud.

Frederick Johntz is a screenwriter, director and story-consultant from Los Angeles. He has taught at UCLA, The American Film Institute, Hollywood Film Institute, Promenade Playhouse, Travis-Johntz Studios, Die Tankstelle, Actors Space and Lucid Body Space Berlin. He has developed and/or directed a number of one-person Shows that have been performed in Los Angeles, New York, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and elsewhere. He has directed theater in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Berlin. He has worked on numerous films, ranging from studio feature films to independents. He most recently directed Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Actors Space Berlin and Verlängertes Wohnzimmer in Berlin. His film The Last Cemetery in Berlin is scheduled to go into production in the fall of 2014.

Fairytales in English – The Frog Prince

“A promise is a promise. . .”

A princess learns to look beyond appearances when the man of her dreams turns out to be… a frog! Will she pucker up to the slimy toad, or let love hop away?

This fairytale of “The Frog Prince” is acted out by one actor, who in a very moving performance, acts, dances and sings all the different characters in the play. It is especially suited for children with limited vocabulary, as they get to participate in telling the story.


This fairytale is followed by a workshop including fun games, music and movement.  The children have the chance to react to what they saw in the play before and are encouraged to use the English language too express themselves.

Florian Korty studied theater and film acting in Sydney, Australia and graduated with an advanced diploma in performing arts. In  2013 his one man show An Aussie Affair was part of the international  Sydney Mardi Gras Festival.  Florian has been part of the Galli Ensemble Berlin since June of 2013 where he performs up to seven shows a week including story acting and workshops in English. Florian performs at schools and kindergartens all over Berlin including the Metropolitan school in Berlin-Mitte.

Lucid Body

Our bodies are home to our emotions and reflect our deepest character. The Lucid Body technique is dedicated to enabling the growth of the human being through a safe and deep psycho-physical process of introspection, exertion and mental challenge.

This process has been developed as an aid to the actor in need of breaking out of habitual body in order to develop a clear vehicle for anybody. The renowned Lucid Body technique has helped shape award-winning performances for both film and stage.( Oscar for Lupita Nyong’o  in 12 Years A Slave) The key to all character is in the body. Expand your pallet, play roles you never thought possible.

 Monika Gossmann was born and raised bilingually (German and Russian) in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. At the age of six she moved with her family to Germany. After high school, she underwent three years of training as a singer, dancer and musical performer at the Contemporary Dance School in Hamburg. From 2003 until the summer of 2007, she studied acting at the University of the Arts Theater in Moscow (partner school of Harvard University’s ART program). During her training she performed at the Moscow Art Theater as Anna Petrovna in Chekhov’s Platonov and the Moscow Theater for music and film in the musical Chicago. Monika is a member of the Moscow Theater CDR. She has performed with the Tiger Lillies Circus and at many German theaters, notably as Lady Milford in Kabale und Liebe and as Miss Julie in Miss Julie. Monika also starred in the TV films Artdetektiv Mozart and Judgment Day both of which were aired on the first program of Russian television. Monika has also performed extensively on German television (SOKO, Coast Guard …). After studying acting in Moscow, Monika traveled to Los Angeles for three months to further develop her range of acting techniques (Method Acting / Meisner) and practice her English. In New York, Monika met Fay Simpson (director / Lucid Body Technique practitioner / Yale Drama/ NYU Tisch). Monika trained in the Lucid Body acting technique and a Lucid Body Trainer and opened her own Studio in 2014, the LUCID BODY room berlin. In 2013 ,she directed the play  Stripped by Stephen Clark and is recently working on her new project TY-SON.

Archetypes and Status

Our lives and art are represented by the universal characters of archetypes (king, lover, fool, to name a few) and by the interplay of status.

Learn to access these archetypes through worksheets and exercises, and how to apply their attributes through improvisation. Discovering archetypical behavior can give you more creative options in everyday problem-solving and as a performer. Participate in storytelling exercises that reveal how status and character intertwine.

Brian Kapell is the Executive Director and Artistic Director of ComedySportz Berlin. He was also the co-founder and General Manager of Spirit Yoga Berlin. He began working in ComedySportz in 1985, and was instrumental in bringing the form to many cities, including CSz Washinton D.C., where he established the Laughing Lizard Lounge Comedy Club. He has 2 BA degrees from UW-Madison (Theater- Acting Specialist and Communicative Disorders) and an MFA (in Theater Management) from Cal. State University- Long Beach. He worked for many years in the medium of theater for the deaf, culminating in the production of the revival of Big River on Broadway, which was nominated for a Tony Award in 2003. He has been producing comedy improvisation in Berlin for 9 years, performing and teaching almost every week. His current projects are in bringing CSz to the Public School System, and offering ComedySpricht, which utilizes comedy improvisation as an English-language-learning platform.