2018 was another exciting and productive year for Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg (Actors Rep) and we look forward to a great 2019.
In March we began a residency at Bamhaus, the creative industries co-working space in Dommeldange. We presented our June production, Anne Nelson’s THE GUYS, there in June. This was the culmination of a multi-year desire to produce this beautiful and moving play about a New York City firehouse Captain seeking out a writer to help him memorialise the men he lost in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.
The production featured Actors Rep Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst and Artistic Associate Peter Zazzali, who travelled again from the US to work with us. Probst, Zazzali and Artistic Director Erik Abbott, who directed the show, were all living in New York at the time of the attacks.
THE GUYS was met with acclaim (and tears) from critics and audiences alike. Thank you to all who came to see and support the production and to the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kansas (where Zazzali is an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair) for granting him leave to come again to Luxembourg.
In July and August, the Actors Rep production of Abbott’s solo play, #WTF HAPPENED? ON THE PHENOMENON OF TRUMP, was revised and revived for three performances in Luxembourg (at Café Rocas) before travelling to Kansas City, Missouri (US), to be presented in the Kansas City (KC) Fringe Festival. The revival, again directed by Christine Probst, was enthusiastically received by audiences and critics in Luxembourg and KC, and it was named one of the Festival’s ‘Best of Venue’ shows. #WTF HAPPENED? is now Actors Rep’s most-seen production.
For the festive season, we once again presented our holiday (almost) classic, DEAR SANTA…, for six public performances (at Café Rocas) and for two private events, one at Arendt House in Kirchberg (where we produced BIG BOYS in 2017), and the other at Brasserie Bosso in the Grund for the Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ILCC).
This year’s production was directed by the wonderful Matilda Hansson (with tech support from Mayalani Moes). Probst and Abbott reprised their roles as the married couple writing letters to Santa, planning the annual celebrations with their extended family, and reviewing their gift list.
Audiences again loved the show and we as a company had a terrific time doing it.
At your company or association’s holiday event?
It’s never too early to plan.
Get in touch and we can meet to discuss bringing this theatrical burst of seasonal cheer right to you.
In November we presented a playwriting workshop, THE GREAT LUXEMBOURG PLAY BAKE-OFF, based on the ‘Bake-Off’ workshops popularised by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel. In the workshop (led by Abbott), participants were given a list of ‘ingredients’ which they used in plays they wrote over a course of a few days. It was great fun and the performing world now has a few new scripts!
So what is Actors Rep doing in 2019?
We are still in the planning stages for the coming year — looking over a few of the many many plays we’d love to produce, considering possibilities for workshops and classes, and as always, comprising our wish list, which is very much the same as it has been: increasing our financial support and finding affordable space(s) for performance, rehearsals, administration, storage, etc.
As of the end of 2018, we have, with sadness, had to end our residency at Bamhaus. The costs of continuing were simply no longer viable. We are deeply grateful to the team there — Ben Barnich and Christian Muno — and the other creatives who make it their home for their help and encouragement. We hope it may be possible at some point to return.
Professional theatre requires extensive resources. Almost everyone in the business — almost everywhere — continually scrounges to scrape together enough for the next project. We are no different. Our limited resources mean that we mostly produce small cast productions with correspondingly limited technical requirements.
We have embraced these limitations and have worked to hone an artistic aesthetic focused primarily on acting and directing and the production of strongly theatrical (and frequently new) writing. This year we honoured the ‘repertory’ part of our name by reviving two of our most popular shows. We believe the results are as artistically solid as any — that we have created and that we continue to create excellent professional theatre out of very little.
The responses from our audiences validate that belief again and again.
We are, however, always willing to work with more. A stronger financial footing would allow us to plan further in advance, to consider bigger projects, to approach potential collaborators — and to apply to join the Luxembourg Theater Federatioun.
So if you know of a space that is potentially a good fit, please get in touch.
If you want to contribute to our continuing commitment to delivering passionate, professional, thought provoking English-language theatre to Luxembourg audiences, please get in touch.
We need your help to continue the work no other theatre company in Luxembourg is doing.
Thank you for your support and for a great 2018. We hope to see you at the theatre again soon!
First Meeting: Thursday, October 18 / 7.30pm (19.30) – 10.30pm (22.30)
Second Meeting: Saturday, October 27 / 10am (10.00) – 4pm (16.00)
At Bamhaus: 18A / 18D rue de la Cimenterie, L-1337 Luxembourg-Dommeldange
What is a ‘Play Bake-Off?’
In 1984 a group of playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize winning Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive, The Baltimore Waltz, Indecent), met in a New York City loft to ‘complain’ about their careers. In frustration, they decided to create a ‘formula’—a recipe for what might make a successful new play. They came up with a list of ingredients and went home, each to write a play in 48 hours using those ingredients. They called it ‘The Great American Play Bake-Off’.
Vogel has since led numerous ‘Bake-Off’ events and inspired many others to do the same.
Now Actors Rep is bringing the idea to Luxembourg.
The ‘Play Bake-Off’ exercise is for playwrights of all levels who want a fun opportunity to write a new play just for the joy of doing it.
Participants will meet twice.
At the first meeting, we’ll talk about plays and playwriting, do a short writing exercise to awaken our writing muscles, and will be given a short list of ‘ingredients’for a new play. We’ll then go away and write a play, using all the ‘ingredients’ on the list.
We’ll meet a second time and share our work, read scenes aloud, enjoy the work, and share our experiences with the process.
Playwright / actor / director Erik Abbott will facilitate the Bake-Off.
Please join us!
Cost: 75 €
Registration and information: ActorsRep.Erik@gmail.com
Great conversation today with Marina Lai on ARACITY Radio — Christine Probst and Peter Zazzali, the actors in our upcoming production of THE GUYS, by Anne Nelson, along with director Erik Abbott, talking about the show.
Actors Rep regrets to announce that we must cancel the Actors Lab PLAY 2 Series of workshops that was scheduled to begin Thursday, 15. March 2018.
Actors Rep is a very small non-profit professional theatre company. Our experience has shown that we cannot present workshops and classes without the minimum enrolment needed to cover the costs of offering them. Unfortunately, with PLAY 2, we fell short of the minimum number needed.
We’re very sorry, as we were excited about this new section of workshops. We will offer a section of classes or workshops later in the year. We also plan at least one short (one- or two-day) workshop in 2018.
Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg Actors Lab
PLAY 2: A Series of Six Workshops
Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg (Actors Rep) announces its Spring 2018 Actors Lab offering, ‘Play 2’, a series of six workshops taught by Actors Rep Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst.
Christine Probst, Actors Rep Associate Artistic Director and Instructor for the PLAY 2 Series of Workshops
Actors Lab is a place to experiment, succeed, fail, laugh, cry, whisper, scream, twist and shout. Actors Lab will once again focus on the need to play and how we can use play more as actors and as non-actors.
We invite anyone who wishes to explore the personal creative self to come and play with us.
Actors need to be in full access of childlike curiosity and an ability to play (also very helpful for non-actors), to find the truth of self and eventually the characters.
This series of workshops will explore play as another way of finding truth.
Actors Lab continues with The Play Series. The first of The Play Series focused on opening, experimenting and playing, and we will continue opening, experimenting and playing.
Play 2 Series will also begin to dip into the play as a structure as well as an action. The Actors’ Lab series Play 2 will focus on ‘The Play’—that is, the theatrical play. We will explore and delve into scene and character work through play. This series of workshops is reserved for experienced students.
If you would like to participate in this series you must submit a CV or have previously participated in a prior Actors Lab acting class or workshop.
We will work with several different kinds of texts and play with how one can find a character through play. These workshops will be physical, so please come prepared to move.
‘The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.’ – Carl Jung
When and Where:
Thursdays: 15, 22, 29 March / 12, 19, 26 April 2018 / 7:30pm – 10:00pm
Cost for class (six sessions): 300 €
We have confirmed that the PLAY 2 series of workshops will be at
18A / 18 D rue de la Cimenterie (Old ArcelorMittal site)
Contact Actors Rep for more information and to register: ActorsRep.Erik@gmail.com
We hope that 2017 has been a good year for all of you.
It was an incredible year for Actors Rep in many ways.
And it is all thanks to you, our committed, enthusiastic audiences, supporters, friends, and fans.
This year we were able to engage with English-language audiences and communities more than ever before.
For the first time, we produced three shows:
#WTF HAPPENED? ON THE PHENOMENON OF TRUMP (September) BIG BOYS(November) DEAR SANTA… (November / December)
Combined, the audience totals were our best ever. More people saw an Actors Rep show this year than in any of our five years of producing passionate, professional thought-provoking English-language theatre in Luxembourg.
Take a look at the small photo gallery of pictures from those productions on our website:
Additional pictures are also on our Facebook page.
What You Had to Say
Audiences loved our 2017 shows — and so did the critics:
‘Absolutely stupendous!’ – Wendy Winn, Chronicle.lu (#WTF Happened?) ‘The audience leaves breathless… and having been highly entertained.’ – Duncan Roberts, Delano (#WTF Happened?) ‘A thoroughly entertaining evening.’ – Jess Bauldry, Delano (Big Boys) ‘You’ll walk home wondering just what you’ll be asking Santa for.’ – Sarita Rao, Luxembourg Times (Dear Santa…)
New Faces and a Favourite Collaborator Returns
We were privileged to work again with Peter Zazzali (left, below), who travelled from the US to direct Dear Santa…, and, for the first time, Luxembourg actor Maximillien Jadin (right, below), lit up the Actors Rep stage in Big Boys. Leslie Fischbach also came on board as an invaluable Assistant Director for Big Boysand Dear Santa…
Jill Robertson Kibbey designed the wonderful props and set for Big Boys, and Jess Arlingdid the terrific graphic designs you saw on our posters, flyers, programmes, and Facebook banners.
And Deirdre Wolohan and e2advance continued the terrific work on our website.
We couldn’t have done it without any of them.
Classes and Workshops: Actors Lab and Guest Instructor
Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst (left, below) taught four sections of classes delving into the Development of Truth in Acting, Play for the Actor, and Vocal explorations. Keep an eye out on the website for new classes coming soon!
We presented an ‘Impulse Training’ workshop with the great Cologne based actor, director, and acting, comedy and Improv trainer Hans Kieseier (right, below).
Lëtz Go Local!
In March (in Ettelbruck) and again in October (in Luxembourg) we had a stand at ‘De Lokale Maart’, a recurring event presented by lët’z go local. Dozens of people stopped by, chatted, learned about Actors Rep and signed up for our email list.
We look forward to participating in more ‘Lokale Maarts’ later this year!
Ready, Set… Live!
Finally, we were honoured to be onstage at Delano’s final ‘Delano Live’ event of the year with the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, as well as being featured with them in their cover story on professional English-language theatre in the Grand Duchy.
Onward into 2018!
We have big plans for the coming year.
In June, we plan to produce Anne Nelson’s extraordinary and profoundly moving play The Guys, about a New York City firehouse Captain who loses eight men in the September 11th attacks. Paralysed by his grief and shock, he enlists the help of a journalist to help him write memorials for his lost comrades.
The New York Post described The Guys as ‘a generous, sad, touching play about the braveries of grief’.
The Guys will feature Peter Zazzali and Christine Probst and will be directed by Erik Abbott.
We’re also planning an autumn 2018 show, to announce by spring.
After an enthusiastic reception from public performances and a corporate Holiday party at State Street in Kirchberg, We will revive Dear Santa… during the 2018 holidays. We will host a few public performances and the show will also be available as an entertainment for your company or organisation’s holiday event.
Look for details about booking the show for your holiday event in late summer.
On the Road?!
Also in the summer, we hope to present #WTF Happened? in two theatre festivals in the US.
Applications have been submitted, and we are eagerly awaiting to hear back — fingers crossed!
Resolutions for 2018 and Beyond:
We are committed to continuing to deepen our connection to the Luxembourg English-speaking community.
But we need your help.
Professional theatre is expensive to produce. We rely on ticket sales, of course, but those box office receipts cover only a fraction of the costs of producing professional theatre, even for a small company such as Actors Rep. The rest comes from grants and donations – including individual contributions.
We were very fortunate in 2017 as we saw our contributions from corporate and individual sources rise – allowing us to present our fullest schedule of programming in our history.
Still, the financial challenges are steep.
Would you consider making a contribution to help us continue that success?
Drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org or ActorsRep.Erik@gmail.com) or phone (+352 621 304 916) and we can answer any questions you might have.
Our bank details are below.
It’s about the people.
Every production has people behind the scenes making what the actors do onstage possible.
Like all professional theatre companies, we are always looking for great actors, but we also need people whose passions may lie backstage in designing or building scenery, helping with costumes or props, or in administration or fundraising or publicity.
Actors Rep is committed to establishing a permanent professional English-language theatre in Luxembourg. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish towards that goal in the last five years.
You are the most vital part of the community which believes in and supports that vision.
What can you do?
Do you have fundraising skills? Get in touch. (Please!)
Can you help organise events to help us reach a wider audience?
Can you spend a couple of hours distributing posters and flyers?
Do you have a barn or other space where we can store things?
Do you have a space where we can rehearse?
Do you know of a space where we can perform? (Appropriate performance spaces are difficult to find and book and are always expensive.)
Do you have an idea of a play you’d like to see us produce? A focus for a workshop or classes you’d like to take?
There are so many ways you can be a part of the community we’re building and the vision we’re creating.
And of course if you or your company would like to make a financial gift to support us or to become one of our sponsors, please contact us.
Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg (Actors Rep) is offering an ‘Impulse Training’ workshop on 17 June 2017 with Cologne based actor, director and acting trainer Hans Kieseier.
The location is the Théâtre National du Luxembourg (TNL) Atelier space (166, avenue du X Septembre, 1940 Luxembourg).
It will run from 10am – 6pm, with a lunch break.
The cost is 125 €.
The workshop is open to ages 13 and up. It will be conducted in English and, as needed German, with a translator to assist with both English-to-German and German-to-English translation.
Kieseier’s description of the workshop:
‘The objective of this workshop is to allow our acting to become more alive by trusting our impulses. Impulses are understood as both inner and outer impulses, which lead us to an effortless reaction.
Such a reaction can express itself physically, emotionally and intellectually, transforming in turn into an impulse for the other performers as well as for us.
The result is discovering what to do next—acting without agony. Increasing our awareness of these acting “impulses” in our acting—in a fun way—is the focus of this workshop.’
Kieseier’s ‘Impulse Training’ workshop offers another opportunity for local theatre artists to gain experience with and training from international theatre artists. Kieseier’s career spans over thirty years as a professional actor, director and actor trainer in theatre, improvisation and comedy, as well as acting in television and film. He has performed, trained and / or taught in his native Germany, Canada, the UK and the US. A full bio is below. The workshop provides a rare chance for Luxembourg theatre artists to learn and benefit from a renowned and passionate international artist
Actors Rep has recently focused on increasing educational opportunities for the Luxembourg theatre community, first offering a workshop with Dr Peter Zazzali, in October 2016. Dr Zazzali, an actor, director, actor trainer and Associate Professor in Theatre at the University of Kansas, came to Luxembourg to direct our October 2016 production, The Fever.
Since January 2017, we have offered two sections of acting classes through our Actors Lab, with Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst. The first section ran from January – March and the second began in late March and continues till early May. A third section is planned for the autumn.
To enroll, contact Actors Rep Artistic Director Erik Abbott: ActorsRep.Erik@gmail.com
For further information, visit our Facebook page.
Hans Kieseier: Biography
Hans Kieseier is a Cologne based actor, director and acting trainer. He studied Acting and Improvisation with Keith Johnstone, Bill Mockridge and Alan Mariott; Movement Theatre with Wolfgang and Anne Tiedt; Theatre Direction and Creative Writing with Mark Travis; and Jazz Dance with Janco Jancolini, Ballet with Carl Inox and Tap Dancing with Uli Datzer.
Since 1994, as both a performer and director, he has been a company member of Cologne’s famous Stunksitzung, which is performed live before over fifty thousand people every year, and is seen on the WDR television network by tens of thousands more.
He has worked as an actor at Cologne’s Theater Tiefrot, Comedia Colonia, Kammerspiele, Theater am Sachsenring, and the Gloria Theater, and was a founder and member of the Blackbox theatre company. Early in his career he was a performer in the company at Bonn’s renowned improvisational theatre, Haus der Springmaus.
Kieseier was in the feature film Unter Frauen and has appeared in television shows including SOKO – Köln, Unter Uns, Danni Lowinski, Alles was zählt and Cobra 11.
Kieseier has directed for Haus der Springmaus, the legendary Cabaret Theatre DISTEL in Berlin, the Theater im Kloster in Bornheim, the Zartbitter youth theatre in Cologne, the Sissi Perlinger Cabaret in Munich, The Pantheon in Bonn, the Theater am Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, as well as cabaret, comedy shows and stand-up for, among others, Cordula Stratmann, Ingolf Lück, Peter Vollmer and Mark Welte.
He was a coach for the pilot of the highly successful improvisational sit-com Schillerstraße on the SAT 1 television network and was a dramaturgical advisor during its first season. He has also done improvisation, comedy, moderating and / or acting coaching for Comedy Central, the RTL-TV (Germany) shows Frei Schnauze! and Chartbreak Hotel, as well as the WDR-TV shows Annemie Hülrath – Der Talk and Kleine Cordula Stratmann Show.
For several years Kieseier has taught acting and comedy at the Stagepack Sommerakademie as well as countless workshops in acting, directing, improvisation and comedy for professionals, young performers, teachers and others. He has coached comedians, actors, cabaretists and students in theatres, productions, television and Vereine.