German figure theatre. The Kobalt Figurentheater was founded in Berlin in 1975 by Kristiane Balsevicius and Silke Technau, both teachers and researchers in the field of puppetry arts. They were joined by Stephan Schlafke in 2000. Spontaneity, poetry and visual humour are featured in shows for children that aim to strengthen the confidence of young viewers.
Among the first shows of the company for adults, the parody Zasper (1984) was a modern reflection of the glove puppet and the character of Kasper. Then ensued original adaptations of classic and modern literature (Witold Gombrowicz, O’Brien). In Liebe und das ganze Theater (Love and All the Trimmings, 1998), the artists worked with collages. Later, they experimented with opera (Rigoletto, 1996, The Barber of Seville, 2003).
Finger puppets and glove puppets, marottes and shadows, as well as masks and effigies continue to be at the centre of their theatre research. The company has toured throughout Europe. Its members work as directors, teach, undertake research and write for publications specializing in figure theatre.