Stages of Work


ein offener Umbau

Project Types

  • Performance

“Let the audience know you’re not doing magic, but you’re working, friends.” (Bertolt Brecht)

They are the first to come and last to go. They work in secret, solve problems and run the show – stage technicians work where others seek entertainment.

In their new performance, Swoosh Lieu take a look behind the scenes, turn the backstage area into a showroom and bring the work and its crew onto the stage. Together, they dismantle and shift the paradigms of work and artistic production, examine the various facets of an unrestricted and fully flexible work environment, while particularly focusing from an aesthetic point of view on the theatre as a workplace.

The rigging is lowered and cables installed. After the show is before the show. This evening’s spotlight is on Mousonturm’s technicians and their tools, as the experts of theatrical magic share their knowledge and talk about their professional experiences.


The craftsmen and technicians at the Mousonturm have truly earned this tribute. But "Stages of Work" wants more. That's why Swoosh Lieu formulate their piece as a grand allegory: equating the operation of a theatre with sailing the high seas. (…) Last but not least, the performers read texts from a teleprompter using binoculars while seated at the technicians desk, like naval officers on the bridge. Blow up a sail using ventilators. Lower the lamp fixtures like masts of a schooner. Provide accompanying video images and sounds: surf, seagulls, rough seas, written texts that add to the thoughts about work, division of labor and compulsion. Monitors are arranged like the skyline (of Frankfurt) as seen from out at sea, lights pulsating in rhythm with the music. Very imaginative, clever and sensual.

Marcus Hladek, Frankfurter Neue Presse 24/04/2014

Project Details


  • Johanna Castellconcept, stage
  • Katharina Pelosiconcept, sound, performance
  • Rosa Werneckeconcept, light, performance
  • Juliane Krembergconcept, video, performance
  • Friederike Thielmanndramaturgical consultant
  • Frank Max Müllerdramaturgical consultant
  • Zina Matheketechnical assistant
  • J.F. Schmidt-Colinetstage design assistant
  • Lina Laetitia Blattintern


In collaboration with the technicians of the Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm. A production by Swoosh Lieu, co-produced by Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm. Supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Frankfurt am Main, the Women’s Bureau of the City of Frankfurt am Main and the Cultural Alliances Program of the Allianz Cultural Foundation.

Project History