Time really does fly! As we approach the 5-year anniversary celebration (make sure to stop by at the centre on Saturday, October 30th), we continue to highlight businesses that thrived at the LiLi Centre. Today we have the opportunity to discover more about Charlie Hartmann and the Lucerne World Theatre Company.
Charlie trained to become a film director in Paris but veered into theatre where she worked as a stage manager and producer before directing plays in Germany, France, America and Switzerland. Theatre has always played a role in Charlie’s life and she continue to share this passion with her community.
What was the idea behind your project?
My father was a screenwriter, therefore, the theatre had always been part of my life. Growing up I was constantly involved in this field. As the years went by, wherever I moved, it always came with me, it is a part of who I am. I created the Lucerne World Theatre Company in 2011, because I felt that there was a need for an English-speaking theatre group where people could improve their acting skills and explore creativity together.
I’ve always found acting to be an honest and open art, as contradictory as it may sound. What is even more interesting, it is in a constant process of change. Actors learn to adapt to the crowd, or they may say the same lines over one hundred times but the feeling and the emotion is likely different each time. I believe this form of self-expression is very much needed in our community.
How did the LiLi Centre help you make it a reality?
The theatre group had been up and running for 5 years with no fixed home, we were renting spaces wherever possible and storing our growing collection of costumes and props in our own homes. When the idea of the LiLi Centre came up it seemed like a logical collaboration. Having our own permanent space made things a lot easier.
What are your successes?
There have been so many. For one thing, it is incredible to witness the change in the people I’ve worked with over time. I see people coming out of their comfort zones, becoming more comfortable with who they are, gaining confidence, exploring their creativity, and having fun.
Of course, we have had many successful productions over the years. In normal times we put on two shows a year. Usually, a children’s Christmas show and then a production for adults which we showcase at FEATS, (the Festival for European Anglophone Theatre Societies). We manage to do this without much budget and with a very small team. Over the years we have created several memorable productions: “The Gruffalo” in the forest, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in an empty swimming pool for example; as well as productions which we have written ourselves: Under the Sea, A Dragon’s Tale and this year’s production, The Twisted Tales of a Toothless Monster.
How does the future of your project look?
On November 27 & 28 we will be performing our children’s production of “The Twisted Tales of a Toothless Monster” at the Wartegg Aula. This is a fun play where we ask the question: what if the Big Bad Wolf of fairy tales was misrepresented and is actually a good guy? (Tickets can be purchased HERE.)
Furthermore, next May we will be performing in Luxembourg at FEATS.
What do you wish for the LiLi Centre?
The LiLi Centre plays such a vital role for so many people in providing a safe space for them to come and get information, learn and network. I can only wish it continued success and growth!