Biographical-Documentary Working Methods in the Context of Art

This Workshop takes the participants' narratives as the starting point for an artistic process. The focus is on a personal, practice-oriented research to put the biographical material in a socio-political context and to test methods of fictionalization.

Biographical-documentary working methods are known in a wide variety of artistic disciplines, especially in the visual and performing arts. Installations by Tracey Emin and Christian Boltanski, performances by Josef Beuys, Christoph Schlingensief, Marina Abramovic or theater productions by Rimini Protokoll: they all use biographical and documentary working methods in their artistic practice. Especially with regard to equal opportunities and diversity, the biographical-documentary way of working is very constructive, since no prior knowledge is required. Therefore, this interdisciplinary workshop is aimed at both professional artists and non-professional interested parties of all ages.

In the practice-based workshop, concrete methods are conveyed that generate and artistically research biographical-documentary material. The focus here is on the methodology of creative writing, working with objects and body-based performance. The biographical experiences that are “written” into the bodies become the starting point for scenic improvisations and choreographies.

Participants in the workshop will also have the opportunity to reflect on their individual biographies in a socio-political context, to look at it from multiple perspectives and to try out fictionalization strategies. These working methods can be tested collectively in the seminar and modified and designed for individual artistic practice.




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 in groups Development of interdisciplinary formats

Day 4:

scenic presentation Evaluation and individual outlook


Prior application requirements (f.e. assignments to complete)

Participants should have prior knowledge of theater work. In principle, however, participants from different artistic and scientific professions can take part

Gudrun Herrbold is an actress, theatre director and lecturer in theatre education and performance. She studied German, philosophy and political science in Cologne, acting in Berlin and New York and Art in Context at the UdK Berlin. 2007-2010 she was professor for Art in Action at the HBK Braunschweig, since then she teaches at the UdK Berlin and other universities and educational institutes. She has been realising biographical-documentary theatre projects since 1998.

Run period:
25.09.2023 – 28.09.2023
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 380

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

For further information please contact: