news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A Remarkable Trip

Robert Wilson's The Black Rider
Photo by NYNYNY on Flickr
ROSS MANSON: Sigrid Herzog directed me in a show in Toronto in 1989 (Big and Little, by Botho Strauss). Her approach — and that of the German team surrounding her — opened a window for me on a whole new way to make theatre. I visited her in Munich the next summer, and she was kind enough to set up theatre tickets for me to see the best work on at the time. I saw Robert Wilson's work in Hamburg (The Black Rider: amazing), and Berlin (Orlando: dreamlike), Peter Stein's work in Berlin (Roberto Zucco: astonishing), Tankred Dorst's work in Munich (Kaspar: the audience booed the director, deservedly so), and Klaus Maria Brandaeur on stage in Vienna (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: utterly bizarre). We also took a drive to her famous brother's house in the Austrian Alps, and spent the night. I got to hang out with her and Werner (who asked me my opinion of Donald Sutherland, and fed me an Austrian farmer snack of onion leaves, black bread and dark wheat beer — delicious).

I was a 20-something Canadian actor dropped into an elite of theatre and film in Europe. The trip blew my mind open, and set me on a course that I am still on today. It showed me that one never knows where things might lead.

Sigrid is worth meeting, and worth learning from. She is now one of the leading educators in the german theatre system. There are a few spots left in her class (but only a few). This opportunity will likely not come again.

Visit for more details on Sigrid's course, Body & Imagination, and other classes at the Volcano Conservatory. To register, email

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