German touring theatre. The company was founded in Stuttgart in 1986 by Sigrun Kilger (b.1963) and Hartmut Liebsch (b.1960). The two founders studied between 1983 and 1987 “figure theatre” at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart). The name of their company, Materialtheater announces the type of programme they offer. By freely using form and content of common objects like eggs, cereals, puppets, sculptures, etc., the performances emerge from the materials used. The plot is not based on psychology but on art, improvisation and association.

The playful interaction of people and material, performance and puppet works with breaks, exaggerations, abstractions, and distancing involving multimedia effects as in the plays Das Frühstücksmärchen (The Breakfast Fairy Tale, 1986) featuring coffee maker, cups, egg cups, rolls, etc., or Paradise Now (1992). The contents range from topics of a personal nature to relevant reflections on contemporary society. The characters, often clowns, play with humorous and slapstick elements as in the plays König Übü (King Ubu, 1998) and Warten auf Bill Gates (Waiting for Bill Gates, 2002).

The director and actor Alberto García Sánchez joined the company in 1997. Working together with Annette Scheibler, Astrid Griesbach and actress Mirjam Goldschmidt has also been important for the success of the Materialtheater Stuttgart.

(See Germany.)