Helgard Haug is an author and director.
She had already been accepted for studying marine biology but instead decided to study Applied Theatre Studiesin Giessen.
There, she began to work within collective structures and together with Marcus Dross and Daniel Wetzel she developed a project series of which the piece “At what lux do Wurst and Schumacher turn on the light?” is a part of. In it, they turned the work of the engineers of the network control station Frankfurt into a theatre play: highlight and catharsis occurred in the same moment when the street lights of the whole city were switched on.
From 1998 on, she created additional works in the fields of photography and fine arts, alongside the performative projects. Within that context she collaborated with a perfumer to recreate the smell of the Berlin U-Bahn station Alexanderplatz, which people were then able to pull out of a vending machine called “U-deur”.
The first collaborative work with Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel took place in 2000, when they invited four old ladies over 80-years old to the stage to create the work “Crossword puzzle pit stop” about acceleration and deceleration.
Two years later, the three of them founded Rimini Protokoll and have since been working under this label in changing constellations. They first gained greater media coverage with the work “Germany 2”, the copy of a whole session of the German Bundestag with 200 inhabitants of the city of Bonn.
With five experts on central European manners of death they staged the work “Deadline” and in “Sabenation – go home and follow the news” they reconstructed the bankruptcy of the Belgian airline Sabena in Brussels.
For the staging of works like “Wallenstein”, “Karl Marx: Das Kapital, Erster Band” or “Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf Band 1&2”, Haug and Wetzel brought together experts from different political and social environments. Arranging their biographies and their relationships to the works offered new perspectives and additional ways of perception. When they were awarded the Mülheimer Dramatikerpreis in 2007, it started a wide debate about new authorship and post-dramatic theatre.
More works, luring the audience from the theatre into the city, were made, like “Call Cutta in a Box” - a live performed phone call from a call centre in India, or “General assembly” – a parasitic intervention on the occasion of the assembly of Daimler AG stock holders. In “DO's & DON'Ts”, Helgard Haug, together with Jörg Karrenbauer and Aljoscha Begrich, invited the audience into a truck which had been transformed into a moving auditorium. The work allowed for a look into the set of rules of our urban living through the eyes of children and teenagers.
In April 2019, Haug staged “Chinchilla Arsehole, eyey”: in focus are three protagonists affected by the Tourette syndrome who put the theatre through a stress-test.
Since 2000, she also created multiple audio plays, many of which developed within the context of Rimini Protokoll's theatre works but also often in collaboration with Thilo Guschas and others.
Helgard Haug and Rimini Protokoll have been awarded many prizes for their work. They received the FAUST theatre award in 2007. In 2008, Rimini Protokoll were chosen for the European Theatre Award in Thessaloniki. The complete works of Rimini Protokoll were given the silver lion at the 2001 41stTheatre Biennale in Venice.
The multiplayer video installation “Situation Rooms” was also given the “Excellence”-award at the 17thJapan Media Arts Festival.
The piece “Quality control” was nominated for the Mülheimer Dramatikerpreis in 2014 and awarded with the audience prize.
Helgard Haug has also been awarded multiple times for her audio plays: amongst others she received the 2008 War Blinded Audio Play Prize for “Karl Marx: Das Kapital, Erster Band”.
In 2014, “Quality control or why I don't push the “clear throat”-button” was given the ARD Audio Play Award and the German Schallplattenkritik Award, as well as the ARD Audio Book Award in 2015. She and Thilo Guschas were honored with the ARD Audio Play Award 2019 for "Chinchilla Arschloch, waswas".
Besides her artistic work, Helgard Haug regularly works as a juror and lecturer. Amongst others, this included the Christoph-Schlingensief visiting professorship for play research at Ruhr University Bochum, the Danish School of Performing Arts, the Zurich University of the Arts, the University of Hawai'i, the Iuav University of Venice, the Berlin University of the Arts, the Film University of Babelsberg and BAS in Norway.
In 2012, Rimini Protokoll were appointed to the first poetic lectureship for drama in Saarbrücken.