Hamlet, Ophelia and the others, 2017

Cornelia Rainer and Stephan Lack sensitively achieved the text, Rainer's production is full of much more than just successful images. (Der Standard) weiterlesen

"Hamlet, Ophelia and the others" discovers the spiritual life of childhood. [...]

Director Cornelia Rainer and author Stephan Lack have largely shifted the text into modern language, simplifying the plot. [...]

Through Hamlet's story, they also tell of the (everyday) pains of adolescence: of feelings, misunderstanding, rejection, not ... (Die Presse)
The story of Hamlet, Shakespeare's danish prince, from the view of the young. The text from both the original and the Schlegel translation has been skilfully complemented with simplified youth-friendly dialogues and passages, which begin with "imagine". Imagine you have never seen a Shakespeare play in the theatre. In that case, this version is probably a very good easy introduction. (Der Falter) zurück

Maramba by Paula Köhlmeier, 2016

Maramba is hard stuff that very good theatre is made of. Director Cornelia Rainer leaves the openness of the original in the play, while combining threads and leaving them also loose and scattered in the room. The actors are direct, they are directly human and raw. In short; they are terrific. (Vorarlberger Nachrichten) weiterlesen

The director of "Maramba by Paula Köhlmeier: a talent for happiness?" has transposed the author's forty-seven prose plays into the stage world through the means of the theatre, has transformed them into fascinating, multi-layered, speedy, polyphonic languages, and has staged all of this wordy universe in alternately breathless, yet silent, reflexive mono-dialogues. (...) With Paula's narratives, we, the audience, become aware of the fact that with each story, our vision in the Theater des Alten Hallenbads is less blurred and that we are witnesses to, I must say at this point, the genius and significant staging of Cornelia Rainer. (Zeitschrift für Kultur und Gesellschaft)

The director Cornelia Rainer makes Köhlmeier's stories spacially tangible. As with polishing fruit, the processing is not a necessity, but more gesture. It fills that which is polished with appreciation and hope. (Der Standard)

Just as Paula Köhlmeier's texts portray the small and great attempts of human beings in laconic, concise, straightforward and direct language (...), so does today's director Cornelia Rainer (also born in 1982) fragment all the 47 prose stories of the Maramba anthology into an experimental, one-and-a-half hour long theatrical collage with five actors, who in monologue and dialogue move across the entire upper floor of the Altes Hallenbad, between the spectators' stalls and distributed stage island to LiveSound of instruments and technology, which mirror and enrich the staging through video sequences on four screens, while delivering such an intense performance that the audience offered up enthusiastic applause after Saturday's premiere. (Volksblatt Lichtenstein)

Cornelia Rainer manages to keep the audience's concentration for more than an hour and a half, through quick dialogues and through radical expression of emotions. (Die Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung) zurück

The Diamond of the spirit king, 2016

"Beautiful inner theatre with Raimund. Cornelia Rainer directed 'The Diamond of the Spirit King as a Psychodrama.' (...) Rainer shows everything, the sinister fairy tale in which political satire flashes before us, without losing the cheerful veneer of summer theatre." (Die Presse, print edition). read more

"A bit of Spring glow in the summer breeze (...) There is talk of a successful start of a new era thanks to Gutenstein's Spring Glow." (R. Pohl, Der Standard)

"Folk theatre at its finest. Cornelia Rainer directed the play. And indeed with a keen sense of tempo and timing. Rainer has precisely honed The Diamond, she injects fun when the Raimundian characters take the wit of its creator too literally, but never forget the melancholy baseline in all of this happy sound. This is how the ensemble succeed, which is through a lot of enthusiasm for the work, which appear as soft sounds." (Mottinger) back

LENZ, 2016

"Cornelia Rainer brings Lenz to life. A discovery. Less a discovery of Jakob Lenz, whose work is indeed rarely performed, than of Cornelia Rainer. A young Austrian director is in France for the first time as guest director." (La Liberation) read more

"Full of good vibes. A detailed elaborate production, imaginative and talented, to which this young director invites the audience for Büchner's novella, without ever damaging anything. Cornelia Rainer is gifted, let there be no doubt that she represents a new generation of directors. The audience of the Festival d'Avignon knows this, and proves it to her." (Vaucluse)

"A stormy LENZ. Great theatre!" (La Provence).

"Cornelia Rainer praises LENZ' existential Crisis Under the benevolent gaze of Cornelia Rainer, Lenz has found in this production a worthy and posthumous rehabilitation." (Du théatre par gros temps)

With her production of "LENZ" Cornelia Rainer delivers an architectural highlight. In constant balance between intimacy and collective harmony. By moving back and forth between an existential search and an almost metaphysical thriller, she brings Lenz's stay at Steintal into the present day with logical production and stage design. (...) Cornelia Rainer takes time for characters to find relationships, defined by a remarkable strength whose personality is sometimes confused and ambiguous. (...) Her script is of rare mastery and attested, systematical search. And everything is music. From the roller coaster to the plates and chairs until the evening ends with the dummer's grand finale. Then silence. (Rick et Pick)

"A great return to a rough past and a journey of our time. The agony of an author caught in his existential questions. That is the alluring, mysterious proposal and at the same time the tireless attitude of young, sharp-eyed director Cornelia Rainer, theatre woman and of the music, which speaks to the confessions of the soul and the obligations of every citizen in his respective era, regardless whether the end of the 19th or the early 21st century." (

"Meticulous work on a perfectly arranged stage." (Rhinoceros)

"Young Tyrolian Director presents a production that offers the mind to the highest peaks. Cornelia Rainer has created an adaptation of the brightest and most alluring texts. The result is remarkable. There is a great vitality in the production .This director is worthy of keeping an eye on because her Lenz is a perfectly composed performance. Mastering the spectacle, keeping everything in line, the use of live music from Julian Sartorius, the reconfiguration of the strage, which symbolises mountains and agony of the poet, make this show a success." (Kourandart)

The theatrical portrait of the poet "LENZ" by Cornelia Rainer.was also celebrated enthusiastically. Commissioned by and premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 2012, it was also enjoyed in German in Avignon. (General Anzeiger Bonn)

"The actors complement each other wonderfully, enjoy their work and act with an ease and naturalness that make up for the heavy, sad topic and give life to it." In just 100 minutes, Lenz' fate is compressed and is told in an entertaining and touching way in a concentrated atmosphere. (Hamburg Dramaturgy) back

Pünktchen and Anton, 2015

"Tot, don't stare romantically. Splendid play: Erich Kästner's 'Anna Louise and Anton' in the Burgtheater's Kasino. Rainer delivers the Wiener Burg with a work reminiscent of the spirit of the crazy film-Dane Lars von Trier. She risks a lot and wins everything." (Ronald Pohl, Der Standard) read more

Vienna - A spectre is haunting Erich Kästner's children's classic Anna Louise and Anton. The spectre of upheaval. On the one side, there is Anna Louise' (Adriana Gerstner) unbelievably rich family. The Pogges owe their fortune to the manufacturing of walking canes. Anton, on the other side, lives with his sick mother who is making ends meet by needlework. Social barriers do not matter to children. Cornelia Rainer, born in Lienz, appreciates this. Her Kästner adaption for children from age seven onwards is staged in the high, spacious Kasino-building on the Schwarzenbergplatz.

The big city air of Bertolt Brecht
Her Kästner breathes the invigorating big city air of Bertolt Brecht. Instead of laboriously constructing the Pogges' apartment, she has had the floor plans of the rooms outlined in white tape. Trier's "Dogville" sends kind regards. (Stage: Sarah Haas). On the opposite side dwells Anton's anguished mother (Dunja Sowinetz). In between the poet types and pontificates. Martin Schwab is the most charming stage manager in a cut away. He is not above embodying domestics, or lighting a fire of rebuke as Anton's teacher.

Epic theatre for the little ones
By treating the children like mature viewers, she pulls off a splendid feat: No tot is staring romantically. One has to persevere. Two and a half hours are no trifle. But one is acquainted with significant beauties. There is the household of the Pogges who are drowning in money. The man of the house (Dirk Nocker) is practically prancing on a high wire of exhaustion, at his side is his over excited wife (Christina Cervenka). Epic theatre for the little ones? It's possible if you can do it. Cornelia Rainer and her team accomplish this in no time. (Der Standard, Ronald Pohl)

"Children's theatre is seldom as clever and heart-warming" (Kurier)
"Erich Kästner would surely have rejoiced. Because with the stage adaption of the stage classic Anna Louise and Anton Cornelia Rainer succeeds to proverbially square the circle. Great cinema for the little ones."

Director Cornelia Rainer has shortened her version of Kästner well and lovingly, and added other works such as "Lotte and Lisa" and biographical details from Kästner's life and transferred all of this gently into the present time. It is another advantage that older people can delight in a play about plays. And social criticism delivered without being hammered home to you, is the trump card of this two-and-a-half-hour (including interval) production which convinces without bombastic effects. Apartments or streets are implied by floor plans and few set pieces (beds, desks, fridge, benches or flatscreens) and Sarah Haas (stage and costumes) also relies on the audience's imagination. And Erich Kästner- true-to-life- adorable Martin Schwab as slips into many roles and guides as stage manager through the events. Rich and Poor, Good and Evil- Kästner's plea for a paradise which is appropriate for children and liveable for everyone is shown to advantage by a confident children's orchestra. The acting is very sophisticated: especially Adriana Gerstner- the actors of the children's roles vary- is a very gripping, exuberant and likeable Anna Louise. Florian Klingler as Anton and Merlin Milinci as Klepperbein prove themselves to be very talented modern kids. My compliments to all the participants. (Kurier)

"A bridge built through time." (Tiroler Tageszeitung)
The young spectators (starting age 7) proved themselves continuously attentive throughout the two and a half hour evening, including breaks, and in the end were thoroughly awed. Having no effects can seemingly can make the biggest impact after all.

The young audience that came to the Burgtheater-Kasino Saturday night for the premiere of Erich Kästner's "Pünktchen und Anton" might not know Lars von Trier's "Dogville" let alone floor plans for apartment buildings much less apartment outlines. However it is certain that Cornelia Richter's staging demands fantasy which is a pleasant contrast to children's theater frequently overloaded by the scenography.

No, this is no "Schneekönigin" ("Ice queen") as Annette Raffalt worked tirelessly with plenty of pomp pompously slogged on the stage of the Akademietheater last year. The upper class flat in which Pünktchen and her stressed parents live is marked out on the black stage floor using white duct tape; there is a hint of a kitchen from a fridge likewise the living room from a dining table and the nursery from a bed with a provocative flat screen above it. Even the road in front of the parental house is simply called "Straße" ("Street"). A plain casino wall provides the background.

The director, born in Lienz 1982, provided the children's book classic's staging of 1931 with a gentle facelift, and yet did not necessarily haul the setting into the present. Admittedly, Anton and his friend Klepperbein use a smartphone to ascertain the phone number of Pünktchen's father, they beg for euros and get upset when all they get is 50 cents, but these are the only references to the present day. The rest stays timeless anyway: the rich are doing well, the poor and the ill not so much. Children are "good" by nature and innocently connect and build bridges despite the social classes (at least in an ideal world).

Thus Pünktchen, neglected by her nanny Fräulein (Miss) Andacht, stands by her friend Anton who has to take care of his sick mother and tries to earn money by selling second-hand shoes and shoelaces on the street. And since Pünktchen's parents are too busy to read bed time stories or to go horse riding with her anyway, she crams the horse riding gear, the books and expensive designer clothes into a bag and tries selling them on the street. The character of the writer, sitting in the middle of the stage at a desk with a typewriter, who introduces the story-line and even enters into a meta-dialogue with the protagonists, is holding this concise plot together.

Martin Schwab plays that warm-hearted seemingly all-knowing man full of benevolence and tending towards to slight clumsiness. Schwab also gallantly features in several supporting roles such as the rendez-vous of the housekeeper Berta, or as the policeman. In fact, the director of the Burgtheater Karin Bergman explained that Christina Cervenka initially had to fill in for Sylvie Rohrer who became ill two days earlier and who was originally cast for Pünktchen's mother. Despite the short notice Cervenka plays the aloof mother who is constantly stressed by social engagements in a fashion so convincing, that her husband on stage, Dirk Nocker, struggles to fully get into his role of the unkind patriarch. Adina Vetter as Fräulein (Miss) Andacht is the opposite of the general notion of a nanny as her lack of interest in the child almost matches the mother's. She rather takes the little girl out with her where Pünktchen trails along with Anton while Fräulein (Miss) Andacht spends her time with her dubious friend Robert (Robert Reinagl). Adriana Gerstner and Florian Klingler make a confident and lively young couple - even though one slightly doubts their social divide.

The dark atmosphere that is not only due to the stage design (Sarah Haas) is reinforced by Rainer's use a youth orchestra that is involved in the play time and again. The young musicians using a cello, a bassoon and a trumpet deliver a solid musical performance and neatly fit into the altogether compelling ensemble. In spite of the abundance of text and the urgent request for fantasy the young spectators aged 7 and above proved themselves continuously attentive throughout the two- and- a - half hour evening, including breaks, and in the end were thoroughly awed. No effects seemingly can make the biggest impact after all.(Tiroler Tageszeitung)

"A touch of theater bliss: Erich Kästner for everyone" (Falter)
It is quite unfair that Pünktchen gets to live in the finest part of the city while Anton lives in the shabbiest one. To make ends meet for his mother and himself Anton even has to work in addition to going to school."Anton's mother did not live, she sewed", it says at one point. All the better that Pünktchen gives him a hand, especially since her nanny has better things to do than looking after the child. Cornelia Rainer adapted the children's book classic "Pünktchen und Anton" by Erich Kästner for the theater. Children play the children. Martin Schwab is a good-natured writer with a white beard who is leading the way through the story and the music is played by a youth orchestra. A beautiful production that relies upon a strong model and is good fun. For children starting age seven. (Falter)

"Theater play full of relish." (News)
"Only the best for children." That was the statement that Matthias Hartmann once used for the children's theater opening in the Burgtheater. This concept is working extraordinarily well, even though there has been a change in management: the young director Cornelia Rainer presents, using only little technical support, Erich Kästner's novel, 'Pünktchen und Anton' from 1931 as an exciting educational play. Martin Schwab as commenting poet starts the play, which ends up in a raging gangster chase. The Story of the rich girl Pünktchen and the poor boy Anton, is cleverly transported into present times. Pünktchen, as the daughter of stressed-out businessmen provides her with a flat screen TV but leaves her utterly alone with her nanny. Anton grabs his friend's smartphone in emergency situations. The child actors Adriana Gerstner and Florian Klingler do a great acting job in the well directed ensemble.

"Hip, new teaching play for children." (News)
The stage is dark. White lines on the floor mark the rooms of the wealthy manufacturing family Pogge's mansion. Somehow, this reminds one of the 'Dogma'- movement by Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier. In this vein, stage designer Sarah Haas delivers the ideal scenario of Cornelia Rainer's interpretation of Kästner's novel. Pünktchen (Adriana Gerstner), the daughter of a wealthy businessmen and Anton (Florian Klinger), the poor child, who earns money as a street vendor for his sick mother, are children of the present. Pünktchen is bored in front of her flat screen TV. Anton is making calls with his mobile phone and uses Google.

With only few means like lighting, noises and costumes, the rooms become metro stations or a theater, setting the stage for a play within a play.Cornelia Rainer places the character of a narrator (Martin Schwab) in the center of the play, who takes the forms of several characters. He is simultaneously the axis that the plot revolves around. In brief dialogues and short scenes the story develops into some kind of action-thriller toward the end of the two-and-a-half hour play.

There are only positive things to be said about the precisely guided ensemble. Brigitta Furgler stands out from the ensemble as the housekeeper Berta. Christina Cervenka was a last-minute fill in for Sylvie Rohrer as the role of Mother Pogge, who became ill shortly before. She filled the role impeccably. In his role of the stressed-out father Pogge, Dirk Nocker is an ideal partner for her. Dunja Sowinetz as Anton's sick mother is acting with just the right amount of drama. Adina's cousin as the nanny Miss Andacht and Robert Reinagl as a crook complete the play in the best possible way.

"Time – a scarce commodity." Children play the lead characters in Pünktchen and Anton at the Burgtheater Vienna. (Wiener Zeitung)
The masterful embodiment of the child actors Adriana Gerstner (Pünktchen) and Florian Klingler (Anton), the confident, likeable performance of Martin Schwab as Kästner's alter ego, as well as the children's orchestra of thirteen guarantee a delightful evening of theater evening for children from seven years and up, including a happy ending.

There's one thing that children from poor and rich families have in common: their parents barely have time for them. Adults constantly work – either for sheer survival or to spur on their careers. This is the insight that Cornelia Rainer's entertaining performance of Erich Kästner's children books classic 'Pünktchen und Anton', in the Burg-Spielstätte Kasino at the Schwarzenbergplatz, is about.

Just like in the movie 'Dogville', there are ground floor plans and city maps drawn on the stage floor. Only a few set pieces like a large and a small fridge, illustrate the differences between Pünktchen's mansion world and Anton's poor circumstances. Kästner lets a feeling of justice arise from the friendship between the children from two opposing social backgrounds. The criminal offence is rather a framework plot. (Wiener Zeitung)

"Little children, big problems." (European Cultural News)
Far from adhering to children's and youth theater cliché, this is an exciting performance with its inspiring moments.

"There is no good unless one does it." Erich Kästner's famous words are also the final words in this production of "Anna Louise and Anton" – now on stage at the Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz, venue of the Burgtheater.

Responsible not only for stage direction but also for a new dramatization of the novel is Cornelia Rainer. Her version introduces the character of "the writer", who represents none other than Erich Kästner himself. The author who literarily shaped at least two generations of children is recently resurfacing on the cultural scene. Partly, this is due to his social criticism, notions which also appears in "Anna Louise and Anton". In the 1931 novel he lets two societal classes clash. The wealthy family Pogge with their sheltered daughter, nicknamed "Pünktchen", meet Anton and his mother. The latter has had an operation and spends much time in the hospital, leaving her son alone in their rundown apartment. Rainer uses multiple diiferent casts for the children's roles.

At the premiere Adriana Gerstner and Florian Klingler took on the parts of the protagonists. Adriana made a magnificent and lively Anna Louise, impossible to keep in check by either her family or the nanny, Miss Andacht. Adina Vetter, who played the nanny, was able to showcase her comedic talent with this role. Her mispronouncing of the start of words throughout the play was very amusing indeed! The way the characters are exaggerated helps us understand Anna Louise's troubles and suits the whole ensemble well. Dirk Nocker is convincing as Anna Louise's tense father. With his constant asking for his pills he annoys the housekeeper, Mrs. Berta (Brigitta Furgler) frequently. Sylvie Rohrer, who should have played his wife, became ill two days before the premiere. She was spontaneously replaced by Christina Cervenka, who had assisted in the production as a child mentor. Her performance seemed anything but improvised: Every gesture and sentence was spot-on, whether her character was plagued by migraine, hurrying to the theater, concerned for her daughter, or giving good advice to her husband.

This performance did not only prove strength of nerve, but also her theatrical qualities. Outstanding is the acting of Martin Schwab. He portrayed the writer among many other roles. Be it the watchman or the homeless, the chauffeur or the nurse, he is acting out with so many different personalities is a joy to watch. No more does he need than a change of tone or a small attribute to his costume to rekindle the magic of theater again.

Almost all of the stage was used by Rainer. The outlines of the two facing apartments are marked on the floor – a hint to the floor plan would be drawn on the floor later on. by Miss Andacht for her lover Robert. Dressed like a rascal and seducer of women with a hat, dress handkerchief and a pink jacket is Robert Reinagl. At the end of the performance he makes the children laugh heartily by wearing a completely different costume. About that, no more shall be revealed here. A tall refrigerator, a bed with linen, a big table with chairs and a black piano furnish the apartment of the Pogge family. By contrast, the apartment of the family Gast only has a small fridge, a single chair and a bed, even missing a mattress at the beginning. To highlight that they live in a bad area of town, a big black trash can is placed in front of their apartment.

The director starts off by telling the story at a slow and comprehensible speed. This serves well to help the audience get accustomed to all of the goings-on on stage. As both apartments are visible at all times, the simultaneous lives of the Pogges and Gasts can be followed in parallel. For Florian Klinger as Anton it is a fight for his and his mother's survival. With a fine sense for nuances the boy manages to portray the desperation and anxiety, only to give in to his youthful spirit when he and Anna Louise sprint wildly across stage. His fellow student and arch nemesis, called Klepperbein, maintains a different strategy in dealing with life in the big city jungle. Actor Merlin Miglinci walks up to his opponent with a rolling gait and scares even the adults with his first attempts at blackmailing, much to his own amusement.

"Not to consider the adults in children theater is short-sighted, Cornelia Rainer explained in an interview. Her new staging proves, as have her works before, that she cares about the young as well as their guardians. The insertion of a poem painting an image of the night time in the city turns into social criticism in Brecht-like fashion. While the children maybe only grasp its atmosphere, to the adults it speaks on more than one level.There are two elements in addition to the accomplished acting, however, that make this production something special: For one it is the idea to let a children's orchestra play live. Be it a speedy march, a waltz or a sad elegy.

They play on stage and sometimes even from the stalls. A piano solo can be found as well as a jazzier piece on the trumpet. These performances are done most professionally by the young musicians and have their unique charm. The theater thus becomes a complete artwork of live performing, including the music.

Moreover, Rainer manages with a trick to create a play within play situation. In it, the pace is quickened and one joke after another has the audience laughing. Humor and ingenuity also mark the scene in which Mrs. Berta has to call the police for help.Was taking in the Guests really a good deed for the Pogge family? Was it in the spirit of brotherly love, for which Erich Kästner called? Rainer does not say. It is up to the children to discuss with the parents on their way home whether or not they would have taken in Anton and his mother. Or, as a matter of fact, other needy families – and there are not few that would need help in our country these days. Far from adhering to children's and youth theater cliché, this is an exciting performance with its inspiring moments.

Another Rainer production for the young is scheduled for next season at the Burgtheater Kasino. Hamlet, Ophelia and the others. (European Cultural News) back

The Seven Deadly Sins, 2014

"The director took a reserved, sharp approach and had of course the satires of Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill at hand for the The Seven Deadly Sins." read more The story of Anna, a personality split in two, who has to earn money in American cities at the bidding of her family who want a house in Louisiana. Sin and virtue, false and real, forsakenness and foresight cannot be differentiated between where the market is in control. And love? Does it even exist? There is only oppression. And above everything there is desire.

On a slant in danger of collapsing and a set designed by Sarah Haas, Rainer demonstrates the bitter reality in a perfect scenic tone which is equally achieved in both performances by the excellent chamber orchestra Modus 21 under the precise and confident direction of Erich Polz. Mona Somm, a mix between Brünnhilde, Elektra and Lady Macbeth, amazes with an authentic timbre à la Weill and a Brecht-like atmosphere; Korinna Krauss is her best alter ego. The vocal quartet CantoSonor is well-tuned and exquisite in the malicious hypocrisy of the family, the ensemble is professional. (Tiroler Tageszeitung) back

The tale of the old man, 2014

Rainer directs the 50-minute spectacle with a rhythmic sensitivity. The four actors and three musicians impress with a strong and harmonious performance. read more The set designed by Fiammetta Horvat captivates through simple white sliders and a masterfully made video installation. (Wiener Zeitung)

The director Cornelia Rainer proves great rhythmical sensitivity in the 50-minute play. The performance of the four actors and three musicians was both consistent and compelling. Fiametta Horvat's stage design convinces with simple white, mobile screens and artistic use of video material. – Wiener Zeitung
memories of your future
Autumn makes its entrance at the "Dschungel" Wien, theatre for young audience, with a remarkable premiere which is part of the festival Wien Modern. The musical play "The tale of the old man" goes back to the literary fairy tale in Georg Büchner's Woyzeck, "Once upon a time there was a poor child", these moving lines about an abondoned child's quest, who longs for the moon and finds a piece of rotten wood, and looks for the sun only to find a dried sunflower. Cornelia Rainer from Eastern Tyrol (South Western Austria) directed the play. Interwoven in Rainer's libretto, the spectator discovers motives from Hans Christian Andersen or poems like Rilke's "Herbsttag" (autumn day), which are ambitiously translated by singers, actors and musicians of the theatre company Lux. Visual elements that resemble paper cuttings on transparent, mobile screens (Fiametta Horvat) repeatingly illustrate a long-silent old man's (Klaus Huhle) search for his past.

While he is a frightening disturbance for the family's idyll at the beginning, the mysterious stranger turns into a confidante onto whom reflections on the own finity, dreams and fears are projected. Not at least due to the music, which associates familiar and new sounds, the dedicated ensemble succeeds at this age-less children's play (recommended for 7+ years), that apparently impresses young and grown-up audiences alike. (Tiroler Tageszeitung)

"The tale of the old man" is a successful fusion of Georg Büchner's short tale and several motives from H.C. Anderson's work. It is a literary fairy tale, without simple moralities but animated by mystery and poetry. The narration focuses on the transitory and the peculiar state in which when old age and childhood converge (Junge Kritik)

The play conveys to children, that there are very dark secrets in the world of the adults, that may show themselves in small inconsistencies and contradictions in a supposedly intact environment. Part of these secrets is, that there are worlds falling apart for children past and present, what leaves a mark on them for the rest of their life; illusions hide how the moon can turn out as "a piece of rotten wood" and the earth can reveal itself as an "overthrown harbour". (Der Standard)

Top performers only, who all act and speak clearly, yet never overdoing it, and, in case of the family (Anna-Sophie Kostal, Tom Kofler, Florial Stanek), know how to perform the short vocals with extraordinarily nice voices. The "old man" Klaus Huhle mimes almost throughout the whole play in such an intense and touching way, that the audience can hardly help but feeling self-conscious (...) This material may not be amusing, there is no joyful message or happy end. Yet the little spectators, all between five and twelve years old, are captivated uninterruptedly through the 50-minute performance, and that is what matters. They are less interested in the great bigger picture than the visual details or requisites. After the final applause, numerous questions fill up the emptying room, showing that everyone has developed their own thoughts and connected the dots probably intentionally laid out by the performance. (musicaustriamagazin) back

Johanna, 2013

A wonderful play and four great actresses, so to speak, share a role but they multiply at the same time, and make the role of Joan universally relevant. They perform wonderfully together – whether in the scenes where they speak in synchronicity, or simply in common scenes, that are precisley timed, whether immersed in the ancient yet modern version, or the contemporary Johanna. read more
What is worth fighting for?
Very quickly the figure of the historical Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans) switches to a modern approximately 12-year-old girl named Johanna. Despite 600 years, several basic questions remain the same: Who am I? Who influences me? What do I believe? Where am I from and where am I going? And last but not least, why? Four are one and many at the same time. A kind of revolving stage is in the middle of the stage, where a woman lies. Three more are - in a very similar position - on other parts of the stage - outside the circle - on the floor. All of them are Johanna. which actually means that we meet two Joans, the Joan 600 years ago in France and Joan from here today.
You can't do anything and you must do everything
At the start we hear from the wings "wonderful" phrases unfortunately known by too many children and young people like "you can't, you're too stupid, too small, too big, too thin, too fat ...." and the like. Cut. Next Saying: "Tomorrow is a big day for you, where it will be decided whether you rise or fall!"
Against the background of the first humiliation caused by parents or teachers, Johanna questions what is and must be learned in school. "I wonder when I will be able to use the probability theory to calculate the probability of whether I really need it in life!" School knowledge is counteracted by the practical challenges of life, such as love and friendship. Or in the case of cover letters, where a theme is made of the requirements to be young and at the same time to have a lot of practical experience, as it is happening more frequently in the job market.
Beginning or mediocrity?
The departure of the self-confident, exceptional Joan of Arc, who prompted the French king to give her soldiers so that they could battle against the English is connected to today's Johanna, who wonders what is worth fighting for today? She almost resignedly states: "Mediocrity is the new religion!" and then she picks herself up again and cries: "Hello world, I want to change you". At this point, this sounds a bit ironic. After a discourse on religion and belief and philosophizing about realism and reverie she comes at last - like the mythical creature in the classic children's book "The little I am I" - in the end, she just wants to be herself. Johanna decides on the great day, to take up the fight for her life.
(Austrian Newspaper Kurier)

Brave Johanna captured Theatre Dschungel Wien.
To make the story of Joan of Arc tempting to the eleven- year-olds of today, sounds like no easy task. "I have thought about what she could be today. She stands for courage, self-confidence, hope, faith, self-determination. Suddenly I had a whole bunch of themes. And then it came very easily to me.," said Cornelia Rainer about her decision: "We bring Johanna into the present." The young director has taken over the project of the Dschungel Wien Theater on short notice from the author Holger Schober. The result is "Johanna", a monologue for four female voices. The premiere is on Thursday, April 25th.

Rainer on the wave of success.
2012 was a strong year for this lady of the theater, born in 1982 in Lienz /Tyrol. With her play "Lenz" she participated in the Young Directors Project (YDP) of the Salzburg Festival. "That was a incredible experience that I wouldn't have wanted to miss a single second of. The pressure there is completely different, the international attention too," Rainer said in an interview with APA. There had been reviews "ranging from not so good to enthusiastic." It didn't win the prize, but it was not a disappointment, she says. In the Fall followed Shakespeare's "The Tempest" at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt. "Every new play is always a next step. It goes on continuously.

2013 is dedicated to the children and young people's theatre.
This year Rainer works out children's and youth theater projects. After "I WANNA BE (MADE)", "Johanna" is her second play, written by herself for the theater Dschungel Wien. The focus is on thoughts of young women who are considering how it would be to break out of the straitjacket of the outside influences of school and family.They ask themselves: What is worth fighting for? What do I believe? What are my limits? What is important to me in life? They are based on the figure of Joan of Arc (1412-1431) who led the French against the English during the Hundred Years War, and who was captured and burned as a heretic. Cornelia Rainer lived and worked in France for some time, where Joan of Arc was given the role of a national saint. "In memory of Joan of Arc Le Pen and his political party Front National march on May 8th. Thereby she is highly associated with the right wing. I have intentionally omitted this aspect.

Historical Monologue for Kids.
Her play is performable as a monologue, but for the first performance she has split the role of Joan among four young actresses (Sophie Aujesky, Sophie Behnke, Anna Lisa Grebe and Louise Knof), explains Rainer: "I found it very fitting that four young women share the role because they themselves are in their way -. a counterpart to the voices that are heard by Johanna. "Zither player Karl Stirner provides the musical element of the evening. "Music is a core constant in my work," says Rainer, who studied classical singing and occassionally appears with the East Tyrolean music group Franui. 2014, the director hopes to be able to take on musical theater projects. Already for this Fall an opera for children and adolescents in the context of "Wien Modern" is in the works. (Austrian Press Agency) back

The Tempest, 2012

"In this seemingly fragile acoustic and visual space, Rainer goes without great effects in favor of the actors whom she makes the center of attention. read more Rainer relies on experienced actors who – especially Heinz Trixner and Heiner Stadelmann – repeatedly show their strengths." (Kleine Zeitung)

"In form, Rainer's production in historical costumes oscillates constantly between tradition and modernism; in content, it clearly concentrates on Prospero's process of self-discovery, his struggle for command over others as well as himself. In Rainer's interpretation this is a postulate for the power and force of the mind to create worlds: "We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our little lives are rounded with a sleep." (Standard)

"Heinz Trixner stands knowingly and resigned in the eye of the hurricane, seeming to have found the role of his life in Prospero." (Kärntner Tageszeitung) back

Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, 2012

"Brilliant "LENZ. "A star is born", one could say about Cornelia Rainer, albeit she has already accomplished a lot, directing at the Burgtheater-Vestibül and the Hamburger Thalia Theater. read more
Her "LENZ" impresses not only through its precision of background description, which brilliantly and musically accompanied by old tunes ('Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten'), but it is also an artistic synthesis which tackles an important era in Europe: imaginative but not overly intellectual, unsentimental but not sterile, light, harmonious, smart." (Die Presse)

"In her play 'Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz', Cornelia Rainer dares bring together George Büchner's novella and the life story of the poet Lenz to create something completely new. Her staging thrives on the belief in that theatrical moment which only emerges when drama, ambience, and music irreversibly intertwine – and the evoked past opens itself up to us, the future generations." (Peter Kümmel, member of the judgment panel of the Montblanc Young Directors Project)

"Rainer depicts – without fuss, but impressively and subtly composed – a life that shatters, because for wayfarers in search of homeland, finding a place is difficult if even possible. It was met with long and vigorous applause." (Salzburger Nachrichten)

"Cornelia Rainer with her dramaturge Sibylle Dudek not only brought the famous novella to the stage, but also developed with letters from Oberlin and texts by Lenz her own stage creation which doesn't pretend to be able to solve the riddle of what once drove the young genius, but instead gives an impression of his desperation and leaves him his secrets. Long applause." (APA)

"The staging showed, without ever being blatant, how hierarchy and poverty once functioned, even with good people. This was the trap that Lenz tried hopelessly his whole life to climb out of. The restless pariah collapsed and died on a street in Moscow in 1792." (Merkur Online)

"Cornelia Rainer's "LENZ" has one indisputable quality: It is very peculiar." (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

"A precise, epic, and telling production. A virtuosic schizophrenic study of a breakdown caused by order, father, and God." (Bayrische Staatszeitung)

"Rainer underscores her abilities by taking the ordinary, soup spoons and church goers, and from it creating a powerful theatrical staging. In the end – the pious family sends Lenz away, silently sipping from their endless potato soup, tidying up what has been ravaged, Lenz lies on the floor: dead, forgotten. This is where he already lies, when the audience enters the auditorium – in the shadows of a rollercoaster, with which the 30-year-old Cornelia Rainer, who is already quickly making ground as a stage director, soars." (Salzburger Nachrichten)

"Considering the many ridiculous directing trends today, Rainer's respectful approach in dealing with individual and topic is a blessing. She and "Montagnes" should be encouraged to continue down this path." (Merkur Online)

"There is no room for harmony in Lenz'S head. Everything there becomes an instrument." (Kurier)

"Music from the Romansh/Swiss group Schi-Lunsch-Naven added a lot of charisma to the performance; a sound installation by Sophie Hunger with live elements. When the percussionist Julian Satorius whirled through the stage using his mallets to turn the set into his instrument – those were powerful moments in the short evening." (Drehpunkt Kultur)

"The East Tyrolian director rightfully garnered thunderous applause for her compelling production." (SVZ) back


Guan Ming Daily Newspaper in Peking, by Xinag Sheng Fang

一台讲述中国故事,给奥地利学生励志的儿童剧,近日在维也纳博物馆区的儿童剧院上演,吸引了许多中小学生和家长。日前,我走进剧院时,门厅里挤满了跟着老师来的学生。 read more


纪阳的梦想是当舞蹈家,在中国上了6年舞蹈学校。学校严格的纪律和训练,使她实现了到维也纳深造的梦想。在维也纳她遇到了一群中小学生,纪阳给他们讲了 自己儿时的梦想和故事,也听了他们每一个人的梦想。纪阳告诉他们,梦想不能只停留在空想,而要从现在做起,实现梦想是一个不断努力、不断攀登的过程。

《我的梦想》的编剧和导演科内丽亚·赖纳说,她创作该剧的想法始于2005年她对台湾的一次访问。她参观了那里的一个京剧班,看到京剧班的孩子纪律严 明、学习勤奋,尤其是每一个学生的表演能力,给她留下深刻印象。回来后,她先忙于奥地利几个艺术节的工作,但创作一部儿童剧的想法一直没有放下。去年,儿 童剧的创作完成后,她亲自到维也纳各学校挑选学生演员并亲任导演。

她说,当时有人建议她从现有的儿童演员中物色演员,但她为了突出该剧 的教育和励志效果,决定从普通学生甚至是"问题学生"中挑选演员。参加该剧演出的9个学生,最小的7岁,最大的14岁,全部来自维也纳5所普通学校。其中 有3个孩子的家庭和教育背景较好,其他孩子均来自社会最基层,来自德语不是母语的家庭。9个孩子分别来自印度、菲律宾、塞尔维亚、中国、匈牙利、奥地利等 不同国家。


科内丽亚说, 他们从去年10月开始排练,到正式演出,共排练了约7周。当时最大的挑战是孩子们不能集中精力,总是在不停地玩手机。有的家长表示,其孩子可能患有多动 症,集中精力不能超过2分钟。其次是这些小演员都是首次上台表演,刚走上舞台时有点手足无措。当家长们看了演出后,许多家长不相信这是自己的孩子。小演员 列昂的家长激动得流下眼泪,感谢导演帮助教育自己的孩子,同时也流露出某种惭愧。这些小演员的同班同学看了演出后,也改变了原先的看法,看到了他们闪光的 一面。


本剧的特点是中国的文化元素多,有京剧武打、川剧变脸、民族舞蹈"长绸舞"、"扇子舞",还有太极拳等。在排练中,这些小演员对中国文化感到既新鲜,又 好奇,无意中改变了一些他们的日常习惯。正是这种兴趣,化作了学习动力,他们很快背下了台词,还学了几句中文。纪禹同说,要想让演出感染别人,先得感染自 己。小演员们在排练中改变了自己,在演出中汲取了力量,明确了人生目标,懂得了梦想要靠自己的努力去实现。

舞台上的纪阳已经6年没回中 国了,梦想实现后,她要回国了。然而,她已成为舞台下众多学生的偶像和朋友。许多看了她演出的学生给她的微博留言,感谢她带来了精彩的演出,更感谢她展现 的刻苦求学的精神。"阳,再见!"喊出了维也纳学生对纪阳所展现的"中国精神"的留恋。(记者 方祥生)

Xinhua, Tageszeitung in Peking

一部以"梦想" 为主题的儿童话剧《我的梦想》在奥地利首都维也纳的"维也纳丛林儿童剧院"上演。话剧讲述梦想和实现梦想的故事,受到小观众和家长老师们的欢迎。该剧导演 为柯内莉亚・莱纳。《我的梦想》以一位来自中国的舞者杨(Yang)的奋斗经历为主线,通过她与9位怀着不同梦想的孩子们的对话互动,表现为梦想奋斗这一 主题。剧中融合了京剧、武术、葫芦丝、扇子舞等丰富的中国元素,饰演Yang的是在奥地利学习舞蹈的中国留学生纪禹同,而小演员则都是没有任何舞台经历的 普通孩子。


新华社记者 徐 亮摄

Morning News at Xin Hua Shi Pin
Name of the broadcast: Xin Wen
Day of the broadcast: 12th of March, 2012, Zheng Dian

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Richard II., 2009

"The Monologue of a King is a suggestion and not a bad one. Brecht's old (and good) question game would ask, whether we can edit Shakespeare (Answer: Yes, whenever we can manage it!), is received extremely positively" (Deutschlandfunk). read more

"Monologue of a King is the subtitle of the script by director Cornelia Rainer and dramaturge Susanne Meister, who at the same time announce the concept of a great evening." (Die Welt)

"This one man is a very, large theatre around here." (Frankfurter Allgemeine)

"The very young assistant director at Vienna's Burgtheater Cornelia Rainer, who has been working there since 2005, has evidently instilled a lot of confidence in the Burgtheater, and not for the first time, Thalia Star Sven Eric Bechtolf, that he has risked such a feat. The Monologue of a King is a suggestion and not a bad one. Brecht's old (and good) question game would ask, whether we can edit Shakespeare (Answer: Yes, whenever we can manage it!), is received extremely positively". (Deutschlandfunk)

"It was a rousing reception: Sven Eric Bechtolf returned to the Thalia Theater after ten years away as Richard II. The former Burgtheater actor, Becholf, is so convincing that, there is sustained applause for his efforts." (Bildzeitung)

"The one-and-a-half hour evening inspired the spectators who followed breathlessly." (Hamburger Abendblatt) back

Exploded, 2009

"The infallible sense of tempo that Rainer demonstrates over ninety minutes as well as the amazing precision with which she directs even small scenes leaves no doubt: this is not the last you will hear of this director." (Nachtkritik) read more

"Cornelia Rainer is a young stage director whose theatrical sense of form builds the most beautiful hopes, always fills the stage with wit and reason, and who sometimes seems to know better than the author what she can and should do with every single character." (Der Neue Merker)

"Cornelia Rainer, who has been working as an assistant stage director at the Burgtheater for three years ventures on the loose text framework with a good ear for tempo and naturalistic dialogue." (Wiener Zeitung) back

Only One Face, 2008

"You rarely experience so much common breathing. Cornelia Rainer worked on this project with great respect and commitment. An evening that lingers in the memory. The entertaining opening of "Kunst aus der Zeit"ended with prolonged applause, Bravos, and a musical encore." (Vorarlberger Nachrichten) read more

"With all the alienation, even the costumes of the actors are discretely comical, the production appears so genuine, so touching, and so undisguised that the auditorium is completely quiet from the beginning." (Südkurier)

"Under the direction of Cornelia Rainer, the readings run the gamut of human emotions, but loss of a partner and nostalgia for bygone times are recurring themes. The texts are mesmerizing, enough to bring you to tears and then make you laugh out loud. "Nur ein Gesicht" is not an opera, nor is it a musical or a concert. What it is is vastly entertaining, enchanting and bittersweet." (Opera news online)

"The scenic concert «Nur ein Gesicht» was a touching opening to the contemporary program portion of "Kunst aus der Zeit". A wonderfully melancholic evening." (Allgäuer Zeitung)

"An extraordinary evening." (Schwäbische Zeitung)

There is a very fine line between laughing and weeping. In the context of the music, senior citizens from the Bregenz area, amateur actors, speak, partly from the auditorium, touching, sensitive texts which retrospectively condense to become moving stories of life and love." (Standard) back

Plus Null Komma Fünf Windstill, 2008

"Chatting a lot and saying nothing is also an art of its own. Young stage director Cornelia Rainer who already caused a sensation with the play Heimfindevermögen, written by herself, elevates the speechlessness without theatrical effects. A special evening at the theater." (Kronenzeitung) read more

"Cornelia Rainer interprets the successful play by Finnish playwright Maria Kilpi as an interplay of distance and closeness. The protagonists resemble speaking robots who engage in a fierce verbal exchange and still talk at cross purposes. Cornelia Rainer delivers a convincing Austrian premiere. Measured by the applause, the audience seems to have felt the same way." (Wiener Zeitung)

"plus null komma fünf windstill not only provides the weather forecast but also a panorama of concealment, of halting dialogues and of alienation between generations. In the narrow chairs in the Burgtheater Vestibül, the physical proximity to the person sitting next to you eventually becomes equally as constricting as the distance between the actors on stage." (Falter) back

Heimfindevermögen, 2007

"A convincing production, gently narrated in a tone full of simplicity." (Kronen Zeitung) read more

"Cornelia Rainer's text, made up of various conversations, often appears unwieldy due to the banality of daily routine, but at the same time it is quiet and poetic through metaphors of waiting and returning." (Wiener Zeitung)

"We do not want to give away too much but at the end Ms. Rainer comes out with a Rimini-like surprise. Good ending. Pigeons might not be that stupid after all." (Falter) back