Since more than four decades MUMMENSCHANZ’s non-verbal theatrical language has continued to develop independently of the contemporary mask-theatre quintessence. The ‘stories’ told by MUMMENSCHANZ are merely visual. No musical tracking, no stage set. Only objects, mask-objects; just bodies, object-bodies evolving against a black background thus composing a playful paralanguage that can be understood by all.
In the year 1972 in Paris, MUMMENSCHANZ came into being thanks to the strong motivation of three young people who had lived an enriching period in the sixties and undergone a three-year experimental practice in different disciplines.
The trio offered an alternative not only to Pierrot lunaire (the classical white-faced storyteller) but both to the refined white-faced narrative pantomime (where all is left to the imagination of the audience) and to the expressiveness of the classical dance. So doing while using a modern device, a new mask playing was implemented, regardless of the imbalance between the different trainings of the artists.
Followed ten years of experimental work and inventive research, and that downright passion for the comedy that got the young artists on stage first at home then abroad, later on Broadway, performing a play from 1977 till 1979. They had by then reached the threshold that renowned theatre groups cross.
The numerous requests for MUMMENSCHANZ shows and the particular requirements of the powerful American Theatre Trade Union prompted the world tour that lasted five years (1999-2004), and needed a two-fold cast. The original troupe played in Europe, while specially trained performers toured Northern and Southern America.
Notwithstanding the death of Andres Bossard (25.03.1992), co-founder and beloved friend, MUMMENSCHANZ continued to tour the world. The years that followed Andres’ early departure saw the emergence of more complete programmes, the development of mask and playing techniques, and the broadening of the repertoire. More than a hundred new numbers came into life that have not stopped to be acclaimed as the most popular in the world.