Sophienstrasse 18
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Vanessa Stern & Team: La Dernière Crise - Frauen am Rande der Komik – Sophiensæle | Independent Theater in Berlin

Saison 24/25

Vanessa Stern & Team:
La Dernière Crise - Frauen am Rande der Komik

Vanessa Stern & Team:
La Dernière Crise - Frauen am Rande der Komik
Auf Deutsch - in German

The ladies show up every two months at nine in the evening. Crisis is their cultural capital, and they celebrate it until it achieves a cult status. Comedy as an autobiographical excess, overproduction of worthless facts and taking hostage of despair – all this is stirred and shaken, exploited and used, and at the end there are sandwiches!

Vanessa Stern invites women to examine the comedic value of their crises in front of a live audience. An experimental evening that doubles as a bar!  

featuring Lony Ackermann, Anika Baumann, Karla Nina Diedrich, Ursula Renneke, Maiden Monsters, Orit Nahmias, Bärbel Schwarz, Vanessa Stern, Laura Tratnik

SCENOGRAPHY Plate & Böttcher

Special thanks to Kostümkollektiv and our media partner taz.die tageszeitung.

photo © Dietmar Schmidt

VANESSA STERN, actress, founder of Krisenzentrum für weibliche Komik, has worked continuously since 2011 within the framework of her project Heulen kann jede - weibliche Komik in der Krise at Sophiensæle. Her productions Das Kapital der Tränen and Die Umschülerinnen oder Die Komödie der unbegabten Kinder were each nominated for the Friedrich Luft Prize and her theatre film Sleeping Duties - Probleme sind eine gute Lösung was nominated for the nachtkritik Theatertreffen in 2021. She regularly produces episodes of her large comedy lab show format La derniere crise - Women on the Edge of Comedy at the Festsaal der Sophiensæle.

URSULA RENNEKE has been a freelance actress since 2000, mostly in Berlin. In 23 years, she has facilitated 55 theatre productions at independent stages, municipal and state theatres, as well as 30 film productions for cinema and TV. In 2017, she founded "zePPra", with which she supports productions of the independent performing arts and, in addition to her teaching activities at Berlin drama schools, organises acting courses. She has worked with Vanessa Stern for over 10 years on stage and in front of the camera, under extreme conditions: including off Spitsbergen, in Schiller's crypt, on horseback and without free time. &

MAIKA KNOBLICH (1986) is a performance maker, performer and lighting designer. Since 2009 she has formed the performance duo Quast & Knoblich with Hendrik Quast. She has been working as a lighting designer and dramaturg since 2010, among others with Olympia Bukkakis, Emmi-Lou Rößling, Barbara Schmidt-Rohr, SKART, Vanessa Stern, Karol Tyminsk and Jeremy Wade. She studied at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen (B.A. 2010) and at DasArts (now DAS) in Amsterdam (Master 2013) and is a feedback coach for the DAS Feedback Method (feedback in artistic processes). Portfolio:

ANNA ALSHEVA studied German at the National Taras Shevchenko University and followed an acting training at Misha Kostrov's Actors Studio. She has performed in improvisation theatre Chornyi Kvadrat and ProEnglish Theatre, among others. After her biggest premiere in March 2022 could not take place due to the war, she is happy to be back on stage. 

ELSA BRABENDER, who has lived in Berlin since 2013, is a psychotherapist specialising in psychoanalysis and family therapist. Until 2013, she taught German, history, politics and psychology in Tübingen and trained trainee teachers as a subject leader for educational psychology. From her painful experiences as a former 68-year-old, she rejects all dogmatism. It is important to her to fight against forgetting and repression and to critically examine the current political and social situation.

Ulrike Hentschel studied social sciences and education in Bochum and was a teacher in North Rhine-Westphalia. She has lived in Berlin since 1987. She studied theatre education at the University of the Arts and taught until 2020. In the meantime, she travels a lot, takes photographs, reads and writes.

GERHILD ARJES studied psychology in the 1970s, then worked as a research assistant and later as a psychotherapist with couples and individuals for 35 years. She has meanwhile hung up her profession, sings passionately in the women's choir the "Fixen Nixen", reads contemporary literature quickly and a lot and loves to sink into play with her grandchildren. In search of profound nonsense, she has landed on the stage.

SUSANNE STALLMANN left the school service for good shortly after her tenure as a joyless teacher of arts and crafts in Hesse at the end of the 1970s and then tried her hand at various jobs: restaurant assistant, secretary, tour guide. In 1983, as a member of the tingling off-theatre group "Preddy Show Campany" in Berlin, she found her late joyful destiny and meagre but regular earnings. After that, she and a colleague founded the artists' agency Rampensau, which she helped run until retirement. She fills her free time with political activity with the "Omas gegen Rechts" ("grannies against the right"), with travelling, and with participation in changing choir and theatre projects in Berlin.

BARBARA WÖLFLE, nurse, has been in retirement since 2015. Born in 1949; the FRG and the GDR were founded in the same year. Her choice of profession resulted from her desire to earn her own money and leave the confines of provincial Bavaria behind. Years of exhausting back-breaking work followed; recreational breaks in nature and garden, children and family breaks and singing in the choir. Inspiration and life support came from working on poetic texts in calligraphic style and playing with words and fairy tale images. She really finds time to cultivate these hobbies now that she has been allowed to get off the hamster wheel of the working world. Being on stage as a comic old woman will be a new experience.

DIETMAR SCHMIDT, literary scholar at the University of Erfurt, has worked as a dramaturge with Vanessa Stern since 2012. Book publications include: The Physiognomy of Animals. From the Poetics of Fauna to the Knowledge of Man.

EIKE BÖTTCHER lives in Berlin and came to stage design via architecture. In recent years he has worked with Vanessa Stern, Bernadette LaHengst, Zachary Oberzan, Eva Löbau, Ligia Lewis, Clement Layes and Lunatiks, among others. His hobbies are designing sailboats, playing the trumpet and cycling.

JESSICA BRAUN is a costume designer, art therapist and globetrotter. After studying costume and stage design in Hamburg, Barcelona and London, she first worked as a stage and costume designer and lighting designer for the independent theatre scene in Barcelona. She has lived in Berlin since 2005 and works internationally as a freelance costume designer for film and television and recently also for the theatre again with great pleasure.

EVA-KAREN TITTMANN works in the independent scene, at permanent venues and for a wide variety of institutions as a freelance cultural manager. She has worked with Vanessa Stern for many years.

JANNE LILKENDEY has been working as an assistant director and dramaturg for Vanessa Stern since the beginning of 2022. She gained the necessary versatility through her involvement in the youth theatre Meine Bühne, through part-time jobs at the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, the Goethe Institute Addis Ababa, KiKa and as a student assistant. She is doing her doctorate in the literary studies programme: "Texte. Signs. Medien" in Erfurt and is co-editor of the magazine LIT ERA TUR.

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