Homecooking – Neues aus der diasporischen Küche

Simone Dede Ayivi und Kompliz*innen – Co-production with Sophiensaele Berlin and Theaterformen Festival Hannover. 2021.

  • Photo by Renata Chueire

Simone Dede Ayivi and her accomplices are firing up their ovens. They’ve come together to cook, having gathered recipes, shopping lists, entire cuisines – and, indeed, kitchens. And all of this along with the accompanying stories about family relationships and processes of separation, culinary assimilation pressure, fake fufu, the hummus paradox and kofta exoticism. They are taking a stand against the German aversion to caraway and garlic, hacking the potato system and opening up a few storage jars. They present hard-to-digest issues as light fare and lift the lids on each other’s lives and histories. Together they are writing the theatrical cookbook of their culinary migration heritage and asking: what will we be cooking tomorrow?  

In “Home Cooking”, Simone Dede Ayivi stands as a performer in the kitchens on the stage. People from the most diverse communities, generations and places share their stories and recipes in video and audio plays. 

The music and sound design for this piece builds a lot on sampled, edited, and processed cooking- and eating noises. The sound system is a basic 4.1 surround set up. However, there are also 4 transducers directly mounted on various surfaces of the set-kitchen. Those are mainly used as hidden speakers for the voice recordings (to create intimacy and a specific sense of space), but also for sound effects and to make the construction vibrate and resonate. 

Concept and performance: Simone Dede Ayivi / Set design, costume: Charlotte Pistorius / Video: Jones Seitz / Dramaturgy: Bahar Meriç / Sound design, music: Johannes Birlinger / Lighting: Susana Alonso / Production assistant: Selma Böhmelmann / Set design assistant: Yasmin Alt / Production management: ehrliche Arbeit – Freies Kulturbüro / Technical production: Gefährliche Arbeit / Publicity photos: Kornelia Kugler / Press photos: Renata Chueire / Cooks: Atiye Altül, Jeff Hollweg, Dan Thy Nguyen, Nadia Shehadeh und Efia / Translation: Anna Galt / Surtitles: Yvonne Griesel

Co-production: SOPHIENSÆLE, Festival Theaterformen / Funded by a basic subsidy from the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, the HannoverStiftung and by the Fonds Darstellende Künste through funds from the Federal Commission for Culture and Media


Staatstheater Mainz. 2020.

  • Photo by De-Da Productions

“Bodybilder” (transl. “Body Images”) was originally planned as a live performance by the young dancers of the Staatstheater. Due to the Corona Pandemic we decided to instead shoot this short film about bodies, body images, social media.

Bodybilder pt1 (music only)
Bodybilder pt2 (music only)
Bodybilder pt3 (music only)
Bodybilder pt4 (music only)


Von und mit: Milena Breideband, Sara Bursac, Royem Gültekin, Elena Horne, Katrin Kia, Sarah Kia, Nele Wegerle

Künstlerische Leitung: Marina Grün
Konzept und Choreografie: Marina Grün, Katelyn Skelley
Sound- und Musikkomposition: Johannes Birlinger
Video: De-Da Productions
Fotos: De-Da Productions
Kostüme: Ronja Bendel
Text „ich passe hier nicht rein“: Sarah Kia
Assistenz und Interviews: Veronika Regler

Weitere Teilnehmer*innen in der Recherchephase: Charlotte Buchner, Christina Dithmar, Lena Faber, Carolin Zheng Grau, Julia Marx, Nora Mitra, Matilda Oelmann, Jonna Öhl, Lilian Öhl, Anna Ryschka


Madhouse. Helsinki. 2020.

  • Photo by Venla Helenius

This performance-essay about parks was conceived by Venla Helenius and Milka Luhtaniemi. The sound design consisted of a 8.1 surround arrangement, the base being recordings of spoken word, both in Finnish and English. Additionally, I worked with live loops of Livia Schweizer’s flute playing. The material for the composed parts of the sound design also consists mainly of sampled flute sounds. We were happy to use Tatu Nenonen’s self-built subwoofer (which also served as part of the set design with a summer-meadow growing on top of it).

An edit of the ending of Tyyntyimen. This piece is originally 12 minutes long. During most of it the space is empty of the performers.

Concept, texts, performing, spatial design: Venla Helenius and Milka Luhtaniemi
Lighting design and spatial design: Sofia Palillo
Sound design and composition: Johannes Birlinger
Flutist and improvisation: Livia Schweizer
Voice over: Aino Lintunen
English translation: Eve Lahikainen

Wer Werden

Staatstheater Mainz. By Hannah Biedermann & Ensemble. 2020.

  • Photo by Andreas Etten

In this research-based performance about questions of personal future, professions, identity, I worked with 4 tape recorders on stage. The sound design was the result of a meticulous choreography of playing back different tapes by the performers. On the tapes were pieces of music relevant to themselves but also edits of interviews with children and other experts as well as composed sound design and music by myself.

Deformation (using various text-snippets from youtube videos)

Perfect Family

Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf. By Hannah Biedermann & Ensemble. 2019.

  • Photo by Thomas Rabsch

“Perfect Family — Eine Glücksforschung von Menschen mit Behinderung.”
By Hannah Biedermann und Ensemble. Premiere 2019. Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf. Music and Sounddesign: Johannes Birlinger.

Alberts Tango
Allein und frei
Größe: 1,49
Ronsdorfer Straße

My Money My

Ballhaus Ost Berlin. Kompanie Kopfstand. 2016.

An interactive performance about money, being rich, being poor, injustice and fun. Created by Kompanie Kopfstand, based on extensive research including three workshops with young people.


Trau Dich

Kompanie Kopfstand. On tour since 2013. Germany wide.

“Trau Dich” has been commissioned by the German ministry for family, health and social as part of a campaign to prevent sexual abuse on children. After a long research period that involved children as experts, the play premiered in March 2013 in the Renaissance Theatre Berlin. It has been on tour through theatres nation wide ever since, reaching more than 250.000 children. We have additionally given a lot of talks and presentations around applied theatre in general as well as art and child-protection specifically.


A “Kompanie Kopfstand” Production • Directors: Annina Giordano & Christopher Gottwald • Text: Tina Müller • Video: Sonya Schönberger • Stage Design: Michael Ottopal • Music: Johannes Birlinger • Theatre Pedagogue: Charlotte Baumgart • Performers: Julia Bihl, Lisa Scheibner, Julian Hackenberg, Johannes Birlinger, Charlotte Baumgart, Johanna Malchow, Helge Gutbrot, Marcus Thomas, Adrienn Baszo • Technical Crew: Michael Ottopal, Denise Potratz, Tobias Nöthen, Lasse Schwank