Theatre Language Studio
Theatre Language Studio Frankfurt is an English-language production company and theatre school in Frankfurt am Main. Since 2009, TLS Frankfurt has been fortunate to host well-attended English theatre shows in large and small venues around Frankfurt, to great audience acclaim as well as teaching acting and improvisation to an extraordinary diversity of international students. In February 2015, the doors were opened to a permanent space in Bornheim, Petterweilstrasse 66.
Through the context of theatre, TLS attempts to teach and understand the universal human stories that drive all of us as citizens of the world.
We believe that theatre itself is its own language that transcends culture. In the multicultural expat city of Frankfurt, this is a useful tool that brings people from all different countries together in a unique way. Our name was directly influenced by the work of Augusto Boal, a theatre director and activist for human rights in his quote, ‘All human beings are Actors. The theatrical language is the most essential human language.’
The Theatre Language Studio Frankfurt aspires to creatively meld together art and learning by producing high-quality English language theatre productions that echo universal truths and make a contribution to community, alongside a theatre language school where barriers to context are broken down and bridges of communication are built.
Using theatre itself as a language to create high-quality affordable theatre productions, be it classic works, newly created pieces, improvisation, or other forms of performance art.
Using the Theatre Language Studio’s Theatre as Language method of pedagogy in the English language to train students of all ages and backgrounds so that they are able to communicate more widely on the global stage.
Creating an interdependent community of artists who are mutually concerned with promoting the benefits of a pluralistic society and creating a place for minority voices.
All human beings are Actors. The theatrical language is the most essential human language. – A. Boal
TLS Frankfurt strives to open up dialogue about the role of theatre, English and the global society in which it resides. We tackle a number of different types of projects to achieve that goal.
TLS Frankfurt is the home of FITS, Frankfurt’s popular premiere English language improvisation troupe, performing short and longform improvisation theatre for audiences monthly. TLS also holds improvisation courses for adults and children, with the hope of improving communication and integration of communities. Improvisation is theatre for everybody. The raw material of improvisation is the honest expressions, experiences and passions of the performers and audience. It is immediate theatre. As a bonus, good improvisation is built on conquering fears and working collaboratively in an accepting environment. Theatre Language Studio believes that if people can improvise together and laugh together, they can do anything together.
Additionally, TLS produces English language theatre productions. An artist-driven company, TLS Frankfurt tries to find innovative angles and new ways of telling stories through unique staging or multimedia practices. TLS Frankfurt also nurtures young actors, writers and directors, and works with other organisations and its neighbours to bring theatre to a wider audience through its education courses and programs, attempting to teach and understand the universal human stories that drive all of us as citizens of the world. TLS explores and innovates, diminishing the line between actor and audience to create a more accepting, more creative community, via its one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences.
The founding members of TLS Frankfurt, (from L to R) Abigail Paul, Antonia Kitzel, Rene Becker, Susanne König and Paul Domineske
The 2015-2016 Organising Committee
Abigail Paul – (Artistic Director) Abigail has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance (University of Central Florida, 1998) and a Master’s degree in Mass Communications (University of Leicester, 2010). Abigail is an actress (Dickens by Candlelight, The Letters), theatre director (The Foreigner, Wasp, Eleemosynary) improviser (FITS improv comedy, Rebel Chicken), and trainer. She has studied improvisational theatre all over the world, notably iO Chicago and Second City Chicago.
An active member of the Applied Improvisation Network, she has given seminars on incorporating theatre techniques for purposes beyond the stage to schools, businesses and organisations all over Germany since 2001. You can find out more about her at abigailpaul.com.
Rene Becker – (Producing Director) Rene has a BFA in Theatre from Nazareth College of Rochester (1998). In 2002 Rene joined the newly created DAP Ensemble, a group of Directors, Actors and Playwrights from the New School’s Actors Studio, serving as their Producing Director for almost 2 years. Since moving to Frankfurt in 2007, she has been acting, improvising and teaching, as well working on a literacy project aimed at bilingual children, Storytime with Rita Storee.
Rene has studied improvisation with iO Chicago, Imprology, the Maydays, Fabio Marcioni, Lee White and Anundpfirsich. She is one half of the comedy improv duo Rebel Chicken, and a member of FITS Improv Comedy since its inception.
Susanne König – Susanne’s English theatre career started at university, both onstage and behind-the-scenes. With TLS, she has acted in plays such as the La Ronde Project and Death in Heels. Susanne assistant directed The Foreigner, directed The Sneeze for The Chekhov Project, Belarusian Dream Theatre and in Play-in-a-Day 2015. She designed and directed the shadow puppets of A Grimm Tale. Backstage experience includes stage management, props design and photography.
Susanne is also an avid improviser, having been a member of FITS since 2010, Susanne has trained with iO Chicago Europe and with renowned improvisers from Canada, the UK and France. Susanne holds an M.A. in French literature (Paris IV Sorbonne), a teacher’s degree in English/French, and currently works in clinical research.
Margot Mittler – Margot began acting as a teenager. During this time she also sat on the Waterford Youth Drama organising committee, directed a movement piece and produced a short film. In London, she played roles such as Abigail Williams in The Crucible, and Anne Page in Merry Wives of Windsor. She also attended acting courses at The Poor School and with Milfid Ellis and Nancy Bishop.
Margot has been performing with TLS since 2011 appearing in A Grimm Tale and The Foreigner. She has also performed in Shakespeare Anyone and most recently directed as part of Play-in-a-Day 2015. She joined the organising commitee in 2015.