German puppeteer and teacher of puppetry arts. A graphic designer by training, Albrecht Roser learned the construction of string puppets from Fritz Herbert Bross. He recognized the artistic potential of new design principles developed by that point in time. He became a puppeteer with his creation, in 1951, of a new clown puppet, Gustaf. His string puppet performance, Gustaf und sein Ensemble (Gustaf and his Ensemble), took him on tours around the world from 1956. His puppets are of a very high artistic and technical quality, built according to the laws of kinetics, and are “aus dem Schwerpunkt gespielt” (played from the centre of gravity). The important thing for Albrecht Roser is not just the animation of lifeless material but giving the puppet a soul – a creative unit composed of the puppet, the puppeteer and the audience. The virtuosity and depth of his shows for adults have been acknowledged with numerous awards.
With the intention of establishing puppetry as an art form, Albrecht Roser, together with Werner Knoedgen, set up in 1983 the Studiengang Figurentheater (Course of Studies in Figure Theatre) at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart). He also participated in the founding of the FITZ! Zentrum für Figurentheater (FITZ! Centre for Figure Theatre) in Stuttgart.
Since his stay in the United States where he was a lecturer, he was even more firmly engaged with various foreign schools in the training of future puppeteers. For that purpose he founded in 2001 the Internationale Institut für Marionetten – Bau und Spiel – Albrecht Roser (International Institute for String Puppetry – Construction and Performance – Albrecht Roser). He also conceived new shows, some involving artists from other disciplines. He played Gluck’s Don Juan in 1988 and Die Geschichte vom Soldaten (The Soldier’s Tale) by Igor Stravinsky in 1993 together with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (International Bach Academy in Stuttgart). He also produced performances for television and film.
Albrecht Roser was president of the professional organization Verband Deutscher Puppentheater e.V. (VDP) from 1968 to 1978, and from 1979 to 1982 was president of the UNIMA Centre Germany. As one of the most renowned puppeteers of Germany, Albrecht Roser has contributed greatly to the recognition of puppet theatre as an art form.
- An seidenen Fäden. Clown Gustaf ist 50! Eine Dokumentation [On Silken Threads. Clown Gustaf is 50! A Documentation]. Gelsenkirchen: Studio Albrecht Roser Stuttgart, 2001.
- Roser, Albrecht. Gustaf und sein Ensemble [Gustaf and His Ensemble]. Gerlingen, 1979.