Logo ITI Germany

ITI Academy Fellows



Berfin Orman is a young director with a strong critical political awareness. Due to her own biography, she has as a person and as well in her arts an eye for complex realities and follows an intersectional feminist approach. After completing her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and languages and cultures of the islamic world, Berfin Orman worked as an assistant director for over 3 years and became a member of the bipoc-netzwek. Since October 2022, Berfin Orman is participating at the ITI Academy, meanwhile she is starting her debuts as a theatre-director at Thalia Theater and Moda Sahnesi. 

In Istanbul Berfin Orman is planning on directing "Kasimir und Karoline“ (Ö. von Horváth) from a multi-ethnic and feminist perspective. With this idea, she applied to the ITI. Her wish is to learn during the ITI Academy, more about, de-colonial and feminist approaches to classical theatre texts. She as well applied to ITI with the wish to be educated in transnational curation processes. The later knowledge she wishes to apply within her curational work in cooperation with the bipoc-Netzwerk. 



Ching-Wen Peng, born in Taipei, Taiwan. From 2014 to 2018 she worked as a dramaturg in a self-founded theatre group, The Cyclops Troupe, in Taiwan. Along with team members she developed a series of projects dealing with long-standing tensions between Taiwan and China. Her award-winning fantasy novel The City of Windows (2017) was published in a collection.

In 2017 she relocated to Germany and started master study of dramaturgy at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Since then, she has continued to explore different performing forms, such as film making, sound design, nonlinear novel writing, and has been developing several projects in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt (Main). Her most recent directing project Welcome to the World of Double Narratives , which focuses on constructed ideology as social phenomenon in postcolonial discourse, premiered at Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden 2023.

For ITI academy she wishes herself to be a soft listener, open to any kind of unexpected exchange and learn from the fellows' artistic and real lives. 


Anastasija Harrowna Bräuniger works as an actress and director – combining political documentary theatre and varying artistic disciplines – in order to create poetic discourse spaces. Growing up bicultural, Anastasija has an interest in working beyond geographical borders, seeking transnational approaches. Next to her directing studies (HfS Ernst Busch), she created the short films CHAMPIONS (2016) in Kurdistan/Iraq and Interview (2018) in Lebanon, which were produced in co-authorship with children affected by forced displacements. She won the Regienachwuchswettbewerb at Theater Erlangen for her concept PROTEST4 (2020) which she staged in cooperation with activists from protest movements in Hong Kong, Chile and Lebanon. Followed by her diploma project Heterotopia Moria (2021) which highlighted human rights violations at EU external borders and discussed the development of EU asylum policies. During the ITI Academy Week at Theater der Welt 2023 she will present the participatory installation VOYAGER at MAK. 

Anastasija is eager to learn from and exchange in the diverse community of the ITI Academy and to understand better: Why theatre? And, what does diverse, transnational and sustainable theatre making need.

Prof. Dr.
Leonard Cruz

Leonard Cruz (Ph.D. in Urban Education with a focus on the Performing and Creative Arts) was born in Pampanga, the Philippines, and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He started dancing with his 4 brothers and two sisters learning Filipino and Hawaiian Folk Dances and was the first Filipino American to be named Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He has danced for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Co., Sally Silvers, Robert Wilson, Folkwang Tanzstudio, Kei Takei's Moving Earth, Susanne Linke, and was a guest with Wuppertal Tanztheater. Leonard makes his home both in the USA and Germany and is presently adjunct faculty at the University of Fine Arts (HBK) in Essen and New York University’s ITP/IMA Departments. Starting in September of 2023 Prof. Dr. Cruz will Chair the Theater and Dance in Society Department at the HKS-Ottersberg. Cruz specializes in social justice arts, decolonizing Arts education, and contemplative practices, and believes in lifelong performing and learning. 

For the ITI Academy and Academy week it was important for him to share his Filipino Identity and how this plays a huge role in his artistic research, practices, collaborations, and performance. The mentorship by Mike Van Graan, was vital for his continued focus and support with Social Justice Arts within the ITI Academy, personal, and professional life.

Dora Yuemin

Dora (Yuemin) Cheng is a trilingual playwright and theatre worker, currently working and living in Berlin. Born and raised in Nanjing, China, she graduated from Shanghai Theatre Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Playwriting and from Wimbledon College of Art with a master’s degree in Visual Language of Performance, receiving a full international scholarship for Asia students.

She worked as a dramaturge in the online production Qingdao - a messy archive. Deutsche Kolonialvergangenheit in China for Junges National Theater Mannheim, which was nominated by nachtkritik.de for Theatertreffen 2021. Her first play written in German, Epiphanie 顿悟, has been shortlisted in the Theatertreffen Stückemarkt 2022. 

At the end of 2022, she started a promotional project about Chinese female diaspora playwrights in Germany. Aim of the project is to connect BIPoC theatre artists, theatre artists working in the postmigrant field and Chinese female theatre workers and activists to each other and rediscover the possibility of transcultural communication. At the Academy Week during Theater der Welt 2023, she presents the first edition of the project - a video installation, Das Ende der Welt steht vor der Tür. Ist das ein kritischer Moment oder nicht?, which is based on the selections of representative plays from five Chinese female playwrights.


Helene Röhnsch studied theatre studies, dramaturgy and political theory in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main. Since 2018 she has been working as a journalist for the 3Sat programme "Kulturzeit". She is a member of the nOu collective, which co-curated and organised the Nocturnal Unrest Festival in May 2021. Nocturnal Unrest - a nocturnal festival for theory, performance and radical flâneuserie" (i.F. nOu) is a queer feminist festival for contemporary performative arts and heterogeneous forms of knowledge on the theme of night and darkness, created in cooperation with Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm.


Hanna Launikovich is an independent performance maker, interdisciplinary artist, and DJ_ane of Belarusian origin, currently based in Gießen (Germany), where she studies MA Choreography and Performance. She works with documentary theatre/interdisciplinary documenting practices since 2018. Hanna Launikovich currently researches decolonizing practices for the post-Soviet countries with the help of soundscapes/experimental music based on field recordings, voice improvisation, and performative scores. In her artistic practice, she is primarily focused on socially significant and traumatic topics relevant to (but not limited to) Belarusian society as well as nostalgia and isolation.

While being interested in documenting practices, one of her goals for the Academy Week is to contribute to the live archiving of the Theater der Welt festival as a once-in-a-lifetime event. She would also like to create/incubate a space where mindful healing and transformation could happen naturally, and magically bring isolated units to one resonating organism. 


Melmun Bajarchuu works at the intersections of art, theory and politics as a thinker and discourse partner, and takes on a variety of roles within collaborative artistic processes, such as critical companion, curator and production manager. She is driven by a desire for a variety of artistic forms of expression as well as to question existing structures and their accompanying power relationships and mechanisms for exclusion. She has a special interest in the interweaving of theories and practices within the context of poststructuralist, post- and decolonial as well as queer feminist perspectives. She is actively involved in the Initiative für Solidarität am Theater (Initiative for Solidarity in Theater) and produktionsbande – network performing arts producers for intersectional approaches and better working conditions in the performing arts. Since 2020, she has been working as a peer-to-peer consultant in the field of anti-discrimination at the Performing Arts Program Berlin (PAP).

She is currently researching practices in performance and curation that consider historical entanglements and break the binary of minority and majority, as well as artistic expressions that center the self-narratives of minoritized groups, especially from post*migrant and multiply marginalized perspectives. Within the framework of the ITI Academy, she wants to develop formats of artistic gatherings of multiply marginalized cultural practitioners in which there is space for differences beyond the othering mechanisms of a white dominant society.


Konrad Amrhein is a graduate student* of directing in the third year at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. As a member of the University Senate and the Institute for Contemporary Music Frankfurt, Konrad Amrhein is particularly committed to transdisciplinary networking and cross-disciplinary project work. Between 2017 and 2019, Konrad Amrhein worked for the production office of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Detect Classic Festival, the Podium Festival Esslingen, and the Stegreif.Orchester Berlin, among others. In 2018 Konrad Amrhein founded AREPO netzwerk für multidisziplinäre Kunst and worked as personal assistant* to the artistic director Jochen Sandig on the transformation of the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele into a festival of the arts, democracy and sustainability between 2019 and 2020. In the course of the studies, first own directing works in music and spoken theater were developed. Most recently the transdisciplinary collective work "Pionier_in Ingolstadt" after Marie Luise Fleißer in October 2022 and the opera "The Forest" by Ethel Smyth.


Laia Montoya is a cultural manager and performing arts producer. She has a degree in Political and Administration Sciences (UPF) and a post-degree in international cooperation and cultural management (IL3-UB). Based in Berlin, she is co-director of TINA Agency, a multi-local organization that manages and promotes international projects with artists and institutions from the dance field. As a cultural manager, recently she has developed projects with organizations such as Graner in Barcelona, ICEC - Berlin and Catalan Arts, New Theater Institute of Latvia, Studio Alta and Bazaar Festival in Prague, LAFT Berlin, Loom Festival in Barcelona, among others, promoting of the internationalization of the performing arts in their countries. In 2020 she received the OSIC grant for performing arts research with a project on Queer Theatre in Catalonia: methods for production and programming. 

Her work focuses on internationalization of the arts, while her main interests are sustainability, transversality and accessibility to art and culture. 

As a fellow at ITI Academy she’s interested in the development of curatorial concepts for performing arts, approaching international cooperation and care practices. 


Jäckie Rydz (they/them) is a Polish - German performer and stage designer. They studied at the University of Arts Berlin, Applied Theater Studies in Giessen and at the Akademia Teatralna in Warsaw. Their works were shown at festivals in Berlin, Luxembourg and London. Jäckie's first international co-production BABYLON premiered at Nowy Teatr in Warsaw in April 2023 and will be shown at studioNaxos as part of Academy Week during Theater der Welt 2023.

Jäckie Rydz is looking forward to meeting other theatre professionals working internationally at the ITI Academy.



Maximilian Zahn studied applied theatre studies in Giessen, dramaturgy in Zagreb, and was a participant in uniT Forum Text in Graz (a forum for young authors). He works as a dramaturge and author in the fields of performance and theatre (Schauspielhaus Wien, Münchner Kammerspiele, among others) and is an assistant to the artistic directors at Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm. He collaborated among others with Lola Arias, Caroline Creutzburg, Arthur Romanowski and the Chinese documentary film collective Folk Memory Project. He is currently co-coordinating the nationwide network of non-disabled and disabled dance and theater professionals. Together with Lina Majdalanie he curated the festival No One’s Land at Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm in February 2023, an interdisciplinary programme dedicated to borders and the future of internationality. He will continue this work under his ITI fellowship, focussing on questions of (international) collaboration and strategies to subvert the logic of extraction.


Laura Waltz is a Berlin-based performer with a focus on movement research and puppetry/object theatre. Educated in dance, acting, and puppetry/object theatre, she explores the deep possibilities for meaning through/of movement and interdisciplinarity. She is interested in their combination on stage as an extension of traditional expressive power and in how these different forms can feed and influence each other within the creative process. She experiments both with her own body as an instrument as well as the animation of external performative materials, the merging or the separation of those, and all the possibilities that lie in between. In doing so, she questions the resulting effects as echoes of dramaturgical choices.  

Laura wrestles with content that deals with inclusion and feminism: She is active in two inclusive companies based in Berlin. She experiments with and positions herself against hypersexualisation and objectification of the female body, patriarchal dynamics and their persecution, foreign appropriation of bodies, discrimination against women and FLINTA* individuals, and more. She has worked at Thikwa Theatre, Dock 11, Sophiensaele among others.  

Laura looks forward to exchanging with the other Fellows, discovering and sharing their artistic worlds and diverse perspectives, and discovering together how these can be mutually nourishing and enriching.


Maíra Wiener is a freelance theatre maker and works as a director, performer, dramaturge, production manager and theatre pedagogue in various settings and environments. Her focus is on participatory, interdisciplinary, site-specific and process-based performative formats in predominantly rural and public spaces. She developed a relationship to art in rural spaces as early as 2015: she led performative projects in the small town of Garopaba, Brazil, with 18,000 inhabitants, where she partly grew up. In her work, she often deals with migration and the experiences and attributions associated with it.

Maíra Wiener's ambition at the ITI Academy is to exchange ideas with exciting fellows, to take a look behind the scenes of the Theater der Welt festival and to reflect on her own creative processes, especially with regard to participation in theatre, through the mentoring sessions with Björn Bicker.


Natasha Borenko is a fluid theatre maker, playwright, director and performer who was born in Siberia (USSR) and is based in Berlin since 2019. Natasha Borenko creates participatory, documentary and game based political theatre. As a queer feminist migrant Natasha Borenko sees participation as a tool to deconstruct the system and rehearse the change.

Participating in the ITI Academy is a chance to step into a community of diverse artists and to possibly meet future collaborators with whom to "click" not only aesthetically but also politically. Natasha Borenko sees it also a good opportunity to get to know the work of institutions such as the ITI and to see how they can be useful to each other.


Nora Tormann is a Berlin-based performer, choreographer and dance dramaturg. Having a background in political philosophy and in contemporary dance, their practice meanders on the fringes of artistic and theoretical research. Nora’s choreographic work has been shown in Germany, Iceland, and Mexico. As a dance dramaturg they are specifically interested in practices of care as a framework for doing dramaturgy. Nora is co-founder of Celestial Bodies, a Europe-wide mobile artistic platform.

Within the ITI Academy, Nora is particularly interested in methods and principles for creating caring and solidarity-based working contexts in the performing arts.


Mariann Yar has been working at the intersection of critical theatre organisation and acting for several years. She is on stage in the independent scene as well as in municipal and state theatres throughout Germany and is part of the artistic management collective at Berlin's Ringtheater. With her work, Yar stands for a new generation of theatre-makers who demand a creative say across genre boundaries and thus contribute to the artistic and political added value of contemporary performing arts. 

With her project LANDSFRAU, she tries to override the common images of the Afghanistan mission of the last 20 years through a diasporic lens. At the ITI Academy, Yar hopes for a multidisciplinary exchange with other artists who work on transnational themes or adopt a transnational perspective. Conceptual stimuli, networking opportunities and the sharing of artistic practices are particularly important to her.


Sandra Krause is part of the self-organised Sabotage Theatre Collective and learned a lot about theatre at Kuringa - Space for Theatre of the Oppressed in Berlin. She studied social and cultural anthropology and social work. Her goal is to bring theatre everywhere and demystify it. With this goal, she started giving theatre education workshops in 2022. At the ITI Academy, she wants to get in touch with other theatre enthusiasts and thus have the opportunity to think outside the box.


The director and media artist Evelyn Hriberšek has been developing immersive artworks at the interface of reality and virtuality since 2004. Her hybrid worlds and interactive borderline experiences combine music theatre that can be experienced sensually with installation and media art: acute social themes become playfully accessible to an audience of high culture and mainstream in hyperaesthetic future scenarios and encourage active action - examples of this are the works O.R.PHEUS and EURYDIKE, which have won several international awards. Media ethics and digital sovereignty are closely linked to the work of the XR pioneer and are an important part of international discourse through lectures, publications and teaching. Since 2022, Hriberšek has been researching artistic ways of dealing with new technologies that are digitally ethical and ecologically justifiable in the face of pandemics, climate change and energy crises. This includes, among other things, an examination of theatrical representation and archives between social media, metaverse and blockchain. Hriberšek studied architecture, stage and costume design and graduated with outstanding artistic achievements. Already during her studies, the Slovenian-born Hriberšek was honoured as the best young stage and costume designer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and further funding (including the International Schillertage Mannheim, Akademie Musiktheater heute, ZKM Karlsruhe, Goethe Institut) and awards followed: in 2020, she received the B3 Biennale Main Award in the category Best XR Experience for EURYDIKE.