German university with courses in puppetry. The Studiengang Figurentheater has existed since 1983 and is a department of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart. The term “figure theatre” combines here Materialtheater (material theatre), object theatre, and puppets. This course is intended to encourage and support the individual artistic process and offers the dramatic experiences needed for this journey. Learning happens for the most part by doing. All of the scenic elements and means of expression are designed and manufactured by the students; plays are produced and performed for an audience.
In the course “Materialtraining” (Training in Materials) the range and potential of various materials and characters are studied and their animation techniques taught. In the course “Sprache des Figurentheaters” (Language of Figure Theatre) students work not only on their voice and breathing but also on the various languages (sign, body, phonetics) of the puppeteer, on the material used and the union of the two. In the course titled “Bildnerisches Gestalten” (Artistic Design), usually in the context of a project, the goal is to design and produce different means of expression as well as the figures themselves. The course “Körpertraining” (Body Training) teaches the basics of drama and acting, including from a psychological perspective. In addition, individual classes in history, aesthetics and dramaturgy for figure theatre, set design, children’s theatre, mask theatre and clowning are offered.
An entrance exam is required; the duration of studies is eight semesters and upon graduation a national diploma is granted.