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Interview with Wolfgang Hauck, Director, Artist and Actor of “Die Stelzer – Theater on Stilts”
2013-11-15 | global context, friends, interview, theatre

Wolfgang Hauck and Mayor of Yilan (Taiwan)

During the celebration of Cardboardia National Holidays personages of Cardboardia are always discovering something unusual! For example, on the Tyran’s Day of Giant Creatures in Taiwan nobody expected that Tyran of Cardboardia would meet an amazing person – Wolfgang Hauck, the homeopathic doctor (just like Tyran’s mother) and, at the same time, the Director of the Die Stelzer Theater from Landsberg am Lech, Germany.  

This Theater represents a unique combination of classical theater, outdoors environment and actors performing on the stilts. Within the Die Stelzer’ prospective streets turn into a classical theater scene, where the audience turns out to be a part of performance rather than mere observers. Like Cardboardia the Die Stelzer Theater travels and implements creative projects in different parts of the world. We have asked Wolfgang Hauck to tell us more about recent performances and current projects.

ML (Mayya Lobova): Please tell us about your recent experience in Taiwan?

WH (Wolfgang Hauck): It was the second time we came to perform in Taiwan, so we already knew how the audience reacts and how to integrate our performance into the Festival format. This time we had only three performers. All performers were dressed in beautifully decorated costumes of  spirits.  One of the performers had a beautiful large white attire which also symbolized spirituality and magic. During the performance all of us went between the viewers acting and at the same time entertaining the crowd. 

ML: What was your performance about?

WH:  Briefly speaking: two women, one man, a bit of jealousy, love and happiness with a culmination and conclusion. We have also added some live singing, as some of our group members are singers. At the culmination point the man character was supposed to give a rose to one of the ladies. We played this moment with the public by letting them vote on this.  The reaction of the audience was amazing: our play was immediately seen as a story. It was very well received. We also loved a lot to march with the giant figures of Cardboardia. Since we could always play together under build “living pictures". 

ML: Sounds great! One of your presently ongoing projects is called Rheingold (you can see the video from the 2010 Rheingold tour below). What is the main story behind it? 

WH: This story began in 2008. We produced an extensive play Rheingold – "The Gods laugh out loud". It is based on a classical libretto by Richard Wagner's (Das Rheingold) which had to be rewritten in order to be adapted to the stilt performance in a public space. The history and conflict in the play go to contracts, intrigue, deceit and power. Briefly, the Rheingold poses question of choice between love and money. But this is done in a mystical atmosphere inhabited by gods, giants and dwarves all moving on the stilts between the viewers.

Since the very first performance Rheingold received very positive feedback from the audience. We went on tour two times and performed in Germany, France, and Italy. All tours were very successful and with the help of Rheingold we were able to show that theater on stilts is more than just an ordinary street theater.

ML: Amazing indeed.  It became known via the Tyran of Cardboardia that aside from Die Stelzer Theater you also work in homeopathy. In relation to this, how do you manage to combine your work at Die Stelzer and homeopathy?

WH: The theater work and the homeopathy are two parallel activities for me. The knowledge of homeopathy comes to help when our team travels and anyone from the team needs help. As you know good health is really important for successful performance especially if one is performing on the stilts.  

ML: Sounds incredible, Wolfgang. Thanks for sharing creative thoughts and providing us with the insides of your performances. On behalf of Cardboardia I would like to wish you and the Die Stelzer Theater new projects, new tours and wider audience.





“Rheingold – The Gods laugh out loud”. Video from the 2010 tour

Open-air theater Licca Line. The event was arranged on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the town of Landsberg am Lech, June 2012

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