Swiss Theatre Award 2020
Kathrin Bosshard was born in 1972 in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, where she also grew up. From 1996 to 2000 she was a student in the puppetry department of the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch in Berlin. She founded Theater Fleisch + Pappe in 2000. From 2001 to 2014 she lectured in puppetry at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich (now the Zurich University of the Arts), running the pilot project for a postgraduate course in puppetry between 2002 and 2004. Today she lives in Herisau and works as a director, lyricist, actor and puppeteer for her own theatre as well as other stages. Since 2014, for example, she has been an ensemble member of the annual satirical review “Bundesordner” at the Casinotheater Winterthur, for which she also produces numbers using puppets she has created herself. In 2018 she and the Bundesordner team won a Swiss Comedy Award for “Best Ensemble”. In 2011 Kathrin Bosshard also received the ktv innovation award for her solo programme “Schwein, Weib und Gesang”, while in 2019 she was awarded the Appenzell Ausserrhoden Cantonal Culture Prize.
Continuing a practice that dates from her very first works “Jakob und die Wunderbohne” (2000) and “Saphir der schwarze Kater” (2001), Kathrin Bosshard also regularly creates pieces for children. She often appears on stage alone as an actor and puppeteer, for example in her current piece for children “Frederick” (2019) – named after the eponymous picture book – and the evening programme “Unter Artgenossen” (2017) in which, accompanied by five quirky but very human puppets, she acts out a tragicomic crime story of wealth, power, recognition and fame. Theater Fleisch + Pappe’s productions can be seen on many stages in German-speaking Switzerland, including smaller venues. In Peter Liechti’s film “Father’s Garden – The Love of my Parents”, Kathrin Bosshard as Father Hare performs the re-enacted conversations between Liechti and his parents. This innovative combination with puppetry won the movie two Swiss Film Awards (Documentary Film and Film Editing) in 2014.
“Kathrin Bosshard has thrown herself body and soul into an ancient art form that is constantly reinventing itself. Today she is one of the finest puppeteers in Switzerland. She creates and builds highly expressive figures that she skilfully imbues with a life and soul and, often using her own, linguistically precise theatre texts, produces many poetic, humorous and touching theatrical experiences for children and adults. Her predilection for socially relevant topics is always in evidence, as is her distaste for meeting didactic expectations. The jury was impressed by Kathrin Bosshard’s artistic versatility and hopes that, with her professionalism and determination, she will help to achieve greater recognition for puppetry in Switzerland.”
Barbara Anderhub, jury member