Biographical-Documentary Theatre

This workshop takes the participants’ narratives as the starting point for the artistic process. We will focus on personal and practice-oriented research to put the biographical material in a socio-political context, and to test methods of fictionalization.

Biographical-documentary theater addresses the individual life story in social context and takes the participants' narratives as the starting point for an artistic process. The goal of this process is to create new spaces of perception opened up by the friction between reality and fiction. The methodology of biographical-documentary theater is interdisciplinary and combines exercises from the fine arts, creative writing, Feldenkrais teaching and object theater.

This workshop deals with the content, methodology, and aesthetics of the biographical-documentary theater. The focus here lies on a personal, practice-oriented research: Play your favorite song and tell your story, invent a drawing system to write down your memories, and write without interruption and evaluation. The participants also learn methods of research-based working in order to put their biographical material in a socio-political context and to test methods of fictionalization. These ways of working reveal possibilities for further development in different artistic contexts.


This workshop is interdisciplinary, thus it would be desirable if participants with both artistic, scientific, and pedagogical background took part in it. Participants with personal interest are welcome as well.


Day 1:

  • Practical and theoretical introduction to the biographical-documentary theater with video examples
  • Biographical improvisations: word exercise, object, and mapping

Day 2:

  • Biographical improvisations: song and creative writing
  • Research-based work
  • Methods of fictionalization

Day 3:

  • Scenic improvisations
  • Development of interdisciplinary formats
  • Evaluation and individual outlook

Gudrun Herrbold is a freelance theater director and lecturer in theater education and performance.
She studied German Philology, Philosophy and Political Science in Cologne, studied Drama in Berlin and New York and holds Master of Arts from the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts. 2007 to 2010 Professor of Art in Action at the University of Fine Arts Braunschweig, since then teaching at various universities and institutes (for example University of the Arts Berlin, Social Pedagogical Institute Berlin). Since 1998 numerous biographical documentary theater projects, e.g. in Berlin at the Volksbühne, at the theater Parkaue, at the HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, at the Deutsches Theater and at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken.

Run period:
07.08.2019 – 09.08.2019
Course time:
10. am – 5. am
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 280

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

For further information please contact: