Stage Work

Yvette Coetzee, born 1976 in Pretoria, South Africa. 1996-’99 Acting studies (bilingual: English/ Afrikaans) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), completed with cum Laude, receives the Ruth Peffers Prize for most promising student in UCT Performing Arts Dept. Performs as a Puppeteer in THE CHIMP PROJECT with Handspring Puppet Company at international theatre festivals in France, Switzerland, South Africa and Germany.

Since moving to Berlin in 2001, she has created theatre pieces in various capacities: 1. BERLINER JAMMERWETTBEWERB (concept, director) or the First Berlin Whining Contest was a semi-improvised spoof in Theaterdiscounter Berlin. ENDSTATION ECHTZEIT (concept, artistic director) was an interdisciplinary theatre experiment about the accelleration of modern life with actors, puppeteers, dancers and musicians. Text: Thomas Melle. Director: Eike Hannemann. In co-operation with FITZ! Stuttgart, Schloss Bröllin, Theaterdiscounter & FFT Düsseldorf. Funded by Hauptstadt Kulturfonds. As a freelance actress she performed in WESTFLUG, director: Tobias Rausch, Flughafen Tempelhof; LA MAREA, director: Mariano Pensotti, Hebbel am Ufer and ÜBER DAS VERSCHWINDEN, director: Philip Ruch (to name a few).

In her work, Yvette pursues a theatrical language that incorporates various artforms. She’s often performed solo pieces, e.g. UNSERDEUTSCH (acting, collaboration in developing the piece), director: Nicola Unger. Premiere: Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Performances in Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Theater Zeebelt, Den Haag; Kampnagel and Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Societaetstheater, Dresden, Stadttheater Bremerhaven, Münchner Stadtmuseum und Theater Erlangen. Many of her solo shows were self-penned, like FAR-OFF SIGHTINGS OF FASCINATING PEOPLE IN THE BIG CITY and NO PALM TREES. NO LIONS. NO MONKEYS.

Die Wahl der Fantastischen Möglichkeit.

Far-Off Sightings of Fascinating People in the Big City.

There is a man who wants to know everything, and a woman who secretly strews flowerseeds.

Another woman has a snowman in her freezer. There is a man who is looking for the woman with the gap between her front teeth, who he fell in love with on the U9. That was years ago. There is a man who loves his goldfish, a man who is afraid of little birds, and there is a stony faced man. There are over 3.4 million people in Berlin.

Written and perfomed by Yvette Coetzee.
Director: Hendrik Mannes.
Music: Niklas Zimmer, Adam Lieber.
Video: Tyson Cross.

Performances in Stadelhofen Zurich, FIDENA Bochum, Int. Figurentheater Festival‚ Nürnberg/ Erlangen; FFT Düsseldorf, FITZ Stuttgart, Westflügel Lindenfels Leipzig, Zeitraum EXIT Mannheim, Thespis Festival Kiel, Sozietaetstheater Dresden, HAU2 Berlin.

“The South African, Yvette Coetzee, makes her wonderfully absurd subway tale come to life with charm and wildly overboard fantasy. Wonderful, in the best sense of the word.”

Nürnberger Nachrichten

“They take the subway day in and day out, but never reach their destination. City-dwellers searching for love, for meaning, for companionship… Coetzee tries to break through this urban thicket. She enters into the depths of the Berlin subway and the human soul. Her theatre fairytale dissects the state of city people who are willing but unable to couple up in a very nuanced way, and holds a mirror up to our anonymous society.”

Nürnberger Zeitung

Keine Palmen

No Palm Trees. No Lions. No Monkeys.

If one is born “white” in Africa, paging through the family albums can raise a lot of uncomfortable questions. 

Yvette Coetzee, author and actress, sets out to look for the answers. In 1904 her great-grandfather from Hamburg travelled to the colony that was then “German South West Africa” (now Namibia) to fight as a soldier in the Herero War. The war lasted until 1908 and is known as the first genocide of the 21st century. Afterwards, he bought a farm West of Windhoek, where Coetzee’s grandmother lives to this day amongst ‘her’ black farm workers. The 89-year old woman speaks German, watches German tv, and tries to keep ‘her German culture’, which she only knows through her parents, alive.But times have changed. Many white farmers fear that their farms could be repossessed.

Written and performed by Yvette Coetzee.
Director: Anne Hirth.
Set Design: Alexandra Süßmilch.
Costumes: Marlen Melzow, Alexandra Süßmilch.
Sound Design: Mathias Klütz.
Light: Peter Göhler.
Technician: Oliver Szewc.
Production Manager: Katja Kettner.

Performances: Cheb (Czech Republic), FFT Düsseldorf, 16. Int. Figurentheater Festival‚ Nürnberg/ Erlangen, Theater Unter’m Dach, Berlin, Imaginale Festival Stuttgart, “Blickwechsel” Festival Magdeburg, Lindenfels Westflügel Leipzig, Internationales Figurentheaterfestival München. Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste; FB Kultur des Bezirksamtes Pankow.

“This is a powerful play and a timely production, taking new steps towards creating a dialogue between Germany and Namibia.”

Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Former Namibian Ambassador in Berlin

“This is a powerful playCoetzee’s theatre is radically subjective. Her investigation into her own history focuses on a dark chapter in German history, which is rarely spoken about. With charm, sometimes an acidic humour and a horrific undercurrent, Coetzee and her director Anne Hirth have staged it remarkably casually. This great art was rewarded with great applause.”

Rheinische Post

“A piece that moves through different phases of personal history like the shedding off of a skin, thereby also always revealing the history of the Germans in Namibia. The audience watches them fencing themselves off from the country they grew up in. It is neither exclusively a personal recount, nor is it a historically didactic lesson. That the audience is captivated by the piece for over an hour, testifies to an impressive, subtle performance and a strong script under the directing of Anne Hirth. ‘No Palm Trees. No Lions. No Monkeys.’ is impressive theatre that should be performed not only in Germany, but also in Namibia..”

Magazine of the German-Namibian Society