Markus&Markus are a theatre collective from Hildesheim, Germany. Lara-Joy Hamann keeps everything in check, both artistically and organisationally. Katarina Eckold produces, films and edits all the video material, as well as being responsible for images in general. Markus Schäfer loves communicating, coming up with ideas and performing. Markus Wenzel prefers working out things by himself in a dark room somewhere, but he’s also been known to write the occasional text and to perform.
All four are passionate investigators, and as part of Markus&Markus, the team have created a unique form of political theatre, one that combines a grammar schoolboy’s anal-ness with a radical kind of imperfection.
Their performances completely dissolve the border between theatre and reality and have helped spark public debates. Each project starts off with a stage of intensive research, whose results are then edited together into films. These video projections in turn form the cornerstone of their live performances. Markus&Markus are not interested, however, in reproducing reality, instead they focus on the ways in which the stage and reality interact – fact and fiction are closer together in their productions than even in Jonathan Frakes’ “Beyond Belief“ TV series!
Markus&Markus have created performances for the Stückemarkt of the Berliner Theatertreffen, the Freischwimmer Festival and for Theater der Welt. Their productions have been invited to numerous festivals: Frankfurter Positionen, Impuls Mülheim a.d.Ruhr, Spielart München (Munich), Premières in Karlsruhe und Strasbourg, Fast Forward Braunschweig, Perspectives Saarbrücken and Best OFF Niedersachsen. They have also toured internationally: Stage Festival Helsinki, the Ibsen Festival at the National Theatre in Oslo, the Singapore International Festival of Arts and Something Raw in Amsterdam.
They have received the following prizes: the George Tabori Förderpreis, the Jury prize of the “Best OFF − Festival Freier Theater der Stiftung Niedersachsen”, the Jury Prize of the Kapitalismusschredder Festival. Since 2016 they have been receiving funding from the Niedersachsen Ministry of Science and Culture. In the summer semester of 2017 they held a lectureship at the Braunschweig University of Art.
Katarina Eckold was born in 1976 in West Berlin. She studied Theatre Studies/Cultural Communication at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Following several assistant directorships, she went on to direct productions with the group wirsindnichtdiecd. In 2008 she completed a degree in sound and video design and went on to study Scenic Arts at the University of Hildesheim. With Markus&Markus, Katarina’s main roles are as camerawoman and editor, as well as doing all the animation, sound and video-design. Katarina also plays in Berlin’s football league with Ariane Hingst.
Lara-Joy Hamann was born in Hanover, Germany in 1989. She studied Cultural Sciences and Aesthetic Practice in Hildesheim and managed the Turkish-German theatre there. She spent 2011/12 in Amsterdam at the Hetweem Theater working on a comparative study on the funding structures of free theatres in the Netherlands and Germany. Between 2013 and 2017 she worked as production manager at the Sophiensaele in Berlin. With Markus&Markus her roles are those of conceptionist, translator, production manager and as Ann Klage. On top of this, Lara-Joy Hamann still very much enjoys telephone pranks.
Markus Schäfer was born in Reutlingen in 1983. He was an actor in the ensemble at the TheaterTotal in Bochum. He studied Scenic Arts in Hildesheim, whilst at the same time producing numerous theatre productions. He started working as theatre director in productions that brought together people with disabilities, professional actors and young people. His roles at Markus&Markus include those of conceptionist, author and performer. Markus Schäfer can trace his family back to Friedrich Schiller via the Marbach line.
Markus Wenzel was born in Leipzig in 1988. He worked as a theatre pedagogue at the Landestheater in Altenburg and as assistant director at the Schauspielhaus in Leipzig. He then went on to study Scenic Arts at Hildesheim University.He has held numerous roles in diverse theatre collectives such as cobratheater.cobra and “sehr sehr frei nach…” and between 2011/12 he managed the intercultural German-Turkish theatre in Hildesheim. He has been working with Markus&Markus since 2011 as conceptionist, author and performer. On top of that, Markus Wenzel always has to press on a soap dispenser at least three times before he feels that he can get enough soap out of it.
Manuela Pirozzi was born in Nuremberg in 1980. She studied interior design at the University of Applied Sciences (FH) in Mainz and set and costume design at the Technische Universität in Berlin. Since 2007 she has been working as a freelance set designer for theatres in Aalen, Bremen, Berlin, Darmstadt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe and Zurich. She has also worked for the Theatertreffen in Berlin as well as for the Biennale – Neue Stücke aus Europa in Wiesbaden. She is a founding member of Theater 3D, a mobile children’s and young people’s theatre group. She was the set and costume designer for Markus&Markus from 2012-2015. On top of all of that, Manuela Pirozzi can understand Neapolitan.