what we do
Ulua(k) Teatro (formerly Impronta Theater) was founded in 2015 in Berlin, Germany by four women from across Europe – Amelie Seib (Italy/Germany), Cat Gerrard (UK/Poland), Heleen Klooker (Germany) and Nerea Ariznabarreta (Basque Country) – who met while training at devised, collaborative performance-making school LISPA.
Bringing together their four different artistic and personal voices, Ulua(k) work to share vital stories and to explore the power of non-verbal storytelling, that comes from and runs through the body, that moves us and brings us closer together. They work primarily with masks, puppets and objects: all incredibly powerful and potent forms, which invite the audience to suspend their disbelief, to join their imaginations with the performers and create something together. Playing multiple characters, transforming spaces, singing together and puppeteering: Ulua(k) creates an intensely theatrical and live performance. Ulua(k) works with a respect for tradition but a curiosity for how to keep these performance forms keep evolving and relevant to an audience now.
Each performance is devised, created from scratch in a long, collaborative process with Ulua(k)’s core members and other associate artists. All the company’s masks are made by Amelie Seib.
Ulua(k) have been supported and commissioned by The Little Angel Theatre, UK (“Puppetry Pop-Up Rabbits”), Deep Roots, Tall Trees, UK (“The Man Who Planted Trees”), and Comune di Griante, Italy (“Impronta Cabaret”). They work closely with Arropaineko Arragua of the Basque Country, their longest standing supporter and now the company’s core production partner. They have roots going down particularly in the Basque Country and also Berlin, Germany where the majority of the core company are based.
Ulua(k) comes from the Basque word for howl(s). In the Inuit tradition it also refers to an ulu, a woman’s knife.
WHO WE ARE
Amelie is a physical theatre performer, mask maker and tour guide living in Berlin, from South Germany, with strong connections to Italy, where she grew up. She is Ulua(k) Theater’s principle mask-maker.
From her early bilingual start, she developed a love of travelling and languages. She travelled through South America for three years, where she learned Spanish, entered the world of street theatre performance and discovered traditional Andean storytelling and masks. She trained in devised, physical theatre at CABUIA Teatro in Buenos Aires, Argentina and at LISPA in Berlin, Germany.
Amelie trained in mask-making in Buenos Aires under the renowned Alfredo Iriarte (2014), learning the craft of papier maché and leather. She continued her formation with Matteo Destro in Italy (2018). Coming to live in Berlin in 2016, her research continues, through training with Hotel Courage (2016), Familie Flöz (2017) and making masks for various companies, including Kazibaze Theater.
Amelie’s love of languages and their social context is a constant. She currently speaks five languages fluently (German, Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese) and is learning Euskeras. She mixes her love of languages with her love of the history of place. Amelie is strongly connected to the Italian community in Berlin, performing as a bilingual Italian/German storyteller.
Heleen is a theatre-maker, clownand psychologist based in Berlin.
She trained at „Bont´s International Clown School“ and „LISPA“and has learned mask-making and mask play with members of Familie Flöz, whom she currently working with as assistant director.
In 2011 Heleen co-founded clown ensemble Fam.Fatale which toured the streets of Germany and France. In 2013 Heleen co-established the international clown network Bumba, a space of theatrical exchange and creation in Cologne. After finishing her theatrical training at LISPA, Heleen has collaborated with different international performance-projects. In 2017 she joined the devising physical theatre-ensemble Labor für Kreatives Theater based in Vienna/Austria
Since 2017 Heleen is exploring the field of directing and has been working as assistant director for Gardi Hutter and Family Floez.
Heleen is interested in combining different art-forms, placing her body at the center of her work and constantly researching to find new ways that go beyond traditional performance conventions. She aims to create bridges between her as an artist and the audience, so that her audience becomes a collaborator.
She also works to create bridges between her psychology studies and her artistic work. As a psychologist, in the fields of Clinical, Anthropological and Intercultural Psychology, she has worked with many different groups of people using creative theatrical methods such as imagination and movement training. She is interested in how theatrical methods, especially masks, can contribute to a playful form of therapy. She likes masks as a way of creating a form of language that can express themes and situations that cannot easily be expressed with words. Especially the simpleness of masks and its playful way of expressing archetypical basic human needs and behaviors have conquered Heleen´s artistic hears.
Nerea is a performer, clown, pianist and teacher.
She works internationally and in her home of the Basque Country, where she often works in the Basque language and with other local companies and artists.
She has been training and studying theatre, body expression, dance and music for many years. She trained at “Taller de Artes Escenicas” (Vitoria), “Bont’s International Clown School” (Ibiza), LISPA, Inazio Bereziartua music and dance conservatory and at the University of Physical Activity and Sports.
She has always been fascinated by form and the connection between different performance disciplines.“Somewhere, Maybe Here” is a project that has made her interested in film and theatre and that has made her open up as a musician. This interest in joining music and theatre led to her creating in the Basque Country NAITA produkzioak in the Basque Country and one of her latest creations through NAITA is the musical storytelling "As diverse as beautiful" as well as an expressive musical theatre adaptation of “The House of Bernarda Alba” with international company Calor.
In 2008 she co-founded company Zurrumurru Antzerki, which she ran for nine years and with whom she began diving into storytelling and finding the pleasure of performing in theatres of the Basque Country ("Clownstrophobia in the field" andon the streetsof Spain with various productions such as "The flea circus”).
She continues her career collaborating in various productions with various ensembles such as Laurentzi Producciones, Lekim Animaciones, Compañía Muyuyay, Zurrunka Teatro,En La Lona with which she perfromed"Exodo" (Czech Republic, France, Belgium and Malaysia).
In 2017 she was consultant director with Zurrunka Teatro, Karrikako Traperuak and Perrunizate. She also teaches, including: at the prestigious Internacional Laboratory YindeYan; for children in Arropaineko Arragua; running a weekly course of Theatre for adults in Banarte Antzerki Taldea; a weekly course of clown for empowerment of women (in association with the Zarauz Equality Department); and teaching music for children and adults.
Cat is a performance-maker, storyteller, puppeteer, director and teacher from London, based in Berlin. She trained at Drama Studio London before falling head-first into the devising, physical theatre world and subsequently graduating from LISPA, where she now teaches.
Cat has always been in the thrall of story. She trained with renowned storyteller Ben Haggarty of the Crick Crack Club and mythologist Martin Shaw at the School of Myth. In 2010 she founded storytelling company TailSpin, which she has been Artistic Director of ever since.
Cat has toured Europe with solo work and with various puppetry, storytelling and physical theatre ensembles, including Theatre Témoin and Pandvani 108. With Theatre Témoin’s Cat launched her puppetry career with 5-star show The Fantasist.
Cat is constantly pushing her own craft and performance conventions, creating cross-arts hybrids that best speak to a broad contemporary audience. She explores a different relationship with the audience: one that is more reciprocal, gives real creative agency and is often in alternative spaces. She invites you off the path, where the owl hoots and the badger scuffs.
Cat has been a teacher and facilitator for many years. She has been exploring the depths and heights of voice, text and telling - as a practitioner and a teacher - since 2010, colliding her cross-arts interests with a movement towards wholing. Cat joined the LISPA staff team in 2016.
Ulua(k) ASSOCIATE ARTISTS
MARIANO HURTADO BRAVO
IDOIA RUIZ DE LARA
Maider Illana – MANAGING Director, Arropaineko Arragua; Amaia Gabilondo – Managing Director, Garaion Sorgingunea;
Alessio Negro – Set Designer, Clown