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The Martin E. Segal Theater Center presents

Conference of the Absent

At the Segal Theatre Film and Performance Festival 2024

A film by

Rimini Protokoll (Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel) / Film By Expander Film (Lilli Kuschel and Stefan Korsinsky)

Performance Art

This film will be available to watch online on the festival website May 16th onwards for 3 weeks.

About The Film




French, German, Portuguese and others, with English subtitles

Running Time



Year of Release


There is a crisis! And in times of global crisis, it's all about global cooperation. Nevertheless, this time the crisis is being dealt with locally - on behalf of the world: at a conference that no one needs to book a flight or mount a train for. A performance to which the invited experts and speakers do not appear physically, but are represented by local people who only receive their script at the beginning of their presentation. In CONFERENCE OF THE ABSENT, the audience observes people from their own city as they take on the identity of an absent conference speaker.

Completely without CO2-emissions and bad Skype or Zoom connections, but with all the performative means of the theater, the contributions and contradicting theses on the consequences of globalization will be delivered into the theater space - and settle them within it.

The advantage of not being there - not having to be everywhere at all - becomes a joint play that can be experienced anew every evening. At the center of this game are people who become carriers of ideas and playfully acquire both biographies of experts as well as their thoughts. In this way, absence becomes an added value because it creates space for new enrollments and unexpected perspectives. Ghostwriters and speechwriters, co-authors and directors at the same time, Rimini Protokoll turns documentary co-authorship into remote directing.

Concept / Text / Direction: Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel
Video- and Light design: Marc Jungreithmeier
Sound design: Daniel Dorsch
Research / Dramaturgy: Imanuel Schipper, Lüder Pit Wilcke
with the voice of: Nadja Stübiger
and thee prompting voices of: Henriette Hölzel, David Kosel, Hans-Werner Leupelt und Karina Plachetka
Cooperation political-cultural education: Dr. Werner Friedrichs
Production Management: Epona Hamdan
Production Management touring: Vera Nau, Monica Ferrari
Dramaturgy Assistance: Sebastian Klauke
Directing Assistance: Lisa Homburger and Maximilian Pellert
Stage Assistance: Maksim Chernykh
Production Assistance: Federico Schwindt
Technical Director Touring: Joscha Eckert, Bodo Gottschalk, Marc Jungreithmeier
Sound Operator Touring: Aaron Ghantus, Fabian Tombers

A production of Rimini Apparat
In co-production with Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) and Goethe-Institut.

The concept creation was funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Film By Expander Film (Lilli Kuschel and Stefan Korsinsky)

About The Artist(s)

Rimini Protokoll (Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel) / Film By Expander Film (Lilli Kuschel and Stefan Korsinsky)

Rimini Protokoll:
Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel founded the theatre-label Rimini Protokoll in 2000 and have since worked in different constellations under this name. Work by work they have expanded the means of the theatre to create new perspectives on reality.

Rimini Protokoll often develop their stage-works, interventions, performative installations and audio plays together with experts who have gained their knowledge and skills beyond the theatre. Furthermore, they like to transpose rooms or social structures into theatrical formats. Many of their works feature interactivity and a playful use of technology.

Expander Film
Lilli Kuschel and Stefan Korsinsky are co founder of the internationally operating Berlin based film label Expander Film.
They aim is to produce documentaries and artistic projects which explore new paths in form and content.

Besides their film and music video productions Expander works in close collaboration with various artists for video and film projects shown in exhibitions and museums around the world, accompanies projects for cultural institutions, contributes features for television, develops stage design and video in theatre plays.

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