Compagnia Teatro Dimitri

Compagnia Teatro Dimitri


In the summer of 1977, the director of the “Berliner Festwochen” asked Dimitri to create a theatrical piece for the occasion of the Festwochen 1978. All the students of the first graduating class of the Dimitri Theatre School took part in the piece, “Il Clown e Morto, Evviva il Clown” (the clown is dead, long live the clown). The premiere was in Verscio the 6 July 1978 and in October the troupe presented the performance in Berlin. It was a great success and they took it on an international tour that heralded the birth of the Compagnia.

Productions since 1978:

Il Clown è morto, evviva il Clown

The piece that formed the beginning of the Compagnia. Concieved on the theme of the circus for the Berliner Festwochen 1978.
Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni and Roberto Maggini
With the whole first graduating class of the Scuola Teatro Dimitri: David Matthäus Zurbuchen, Christiane Renfer, Miguel Angel Cienfuegos, Roberto Maggini, Hampi Gutjahr, Joe Sebastian Fenner, Kurt Mätzler, Enrico Tettamanti, Jost Tresch, Mathias Buckel, Patrick Gilly and the dancer Lisseth Aguilar and drummer Oliviero Giovannoni

This is the true story of Pinina and how she arrived in the traditional little Circus Pantaleone that performed in the old pantomime tradition. In a dream, circles and squares fight and Pinina meets a clown who guides her to the circus. The clown dies during a storm but the show must go on and so a replacement is found and life continues.

Le pantomime clownesche

Direction: Ctibor Turba
Music: Jiri Stivin
With: Miguel Angel Cienfuegos, Joe Sebastian Fenner, Roberto Maggini, David Matthäus Zurbuchen

“A remarkable balancing act on a chair with the participation of fat Berta, a feminine phenomenon”, “a famous group of bulgarian acrobats”, “an adaptation of an old circus pantomime for four clowns”. All this and more!

Il drago mangiafragole

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Caspar Guyer
With: Joe Sebastian Fenner, Alexander C.J. Gillert, Sammy Rüegsegger, Thea Schnering, Anna Caterina Stolz

This is the story of the Company Pallini, or how a group of actors transform themselves into a circus. The group performs the piece of the strawberry-eating dragon through so many variations that they are nearly censured – from play to opera to pantomime and finally, circus.

Via i gatt balan i ratt

Direction: Dimitri
With: Anna Caterina Stolz, Joe Sebastian Fenner

When the cat’s away, the mice will play! A piece for children from 6 to 90 years of age. On a quiet day at the circus the only two people present, a cleaning woman and a propsman, are discovered by an abusive group of spectators for whom they perform a circus program of their own.

Boulevard du Temple

Idea and direction: Richard Weber
Music: Walter Stephan Riedweg
With: Joe Sebastian Fenner, Alexander C.J. Gillert, Esther Rietschin, Samuel Rüeggsegger, Anna Caterina Stolz

A glimpse of Paris at the end of the 19th century. Buolevard du Temple is a noisy and chaotic quarter of a great variety of attractions: street theatre, mechanical theatres, magicians, weight-lifters and jugglers in the various Café-Théâtres. Finally, the Théâtre des Funambules is filled with acrobats, wire-walkers and pantomimes.


Ma non fate stupidate

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Esther Rietschin, Joe Sebastian Fenner, Alberto Foletti

The three classical clown figures of the circus – the fool, the white-face and the circus director – decide to leave the circus to perform in a theatre fulfilling their dream of performing on a clean stage for a comfortably seated audience. They all agree that their new piece, “Waiting for Godot”, will be too long for the audience and so they start to narrate from their experiences in the circus. The memories carry them further and further…


Idea and direction: Hans Peter Fitzi
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Esther Rietschin, Joe Sebastian Fenner, Alberto Foletti

A farse between love and ruin for three musical acrobats. An exquisite and well-rehearsed performance fails due to the triumph of impulsiveness and greed over kindliness and good will. The resulting efforts to find the right balance all fail, resulting in comic nonsense.

La storia del soldato

A co-production of the Teatro Dimitri with the Basler Theater and the Basel Symphony Orchestra.
Music: Igor Strawinsky
Text: Charles Ferdinand Ramuz
Translation: Mani Matter
Musical direction: Jost Meier
Direction: Ensemble
With: Joe Sebastian Fenner, Joachim Spiess, Dimitri, Silvia Buonvicini and the Basel Symphony Orchestra.

Joseph, a soldier makes an agreement with the devil – his violin for a magic book – which leaves him rich but unhappy. Through his cleverness he manages to get his violin back and with his music he cures the sick princess and marries her. However, his happiness is short-lived. The couple travel to the soldier’s country of origin and there they encounter the devil who takes the soldier with him to hell.

L’uccello variopinto

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
Set design: Gunda Dimitri
With: Florian Reichert, Masha Dimitri, Anna Caterina Vilim, Robert Eisele, Robi Vilim

A fairy-tale – touching, poetic and comic. A hunter spares the life of a multi-coloured bird who gives him a magic feather in return. This feather has the ability to bring anything to life and the hunter soon finds himself in need of exactly that when he falls in love with a beautiful doll.


Direction, set and plot: Dimitri
Choreography: Esther Rietschin
Costumes: Ursi Keusch
With: Jean Paul, Robi Vilim, Florian Reichert, Jane Osborn, Masha Dimitri, Dimitri, Gerhard Thomann
Part one: acrobats, juggler, clown and wire-walkers
Part two: the pantomime of “Pantalone e Colombina” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Musical arrangement: Franz Beyer

The company creates a farse in the style of the Commedia del’Arte based on a fragment of the pantomime. Pantalone, Colombina, Dottore, Pierrot, a turk and Arlecchino are taken from the original piece.

Alla meta

by Thomas Bernhard
Translation into Italian: Eugenio Bernardi
Direction and set design: Hans Peter Fitzi
With: Luisella Sala, Silvia Buonvicini, Massimo Cattaruzza

A woman from a modest backround who found her way into better company and thus obtained wealth and success looks back on her life. She goes from pride to sadness, nostalgia to sarcasm, lethargy to the joy of living, and from reality to illusion. Was it all pointless? In the conflict with the next generation, specifically her daughter, she struggles between sharing and dominating. Her egoism is uncontrollable and permeates her whole environment – an old woman who unconsciously ruins all that she holds dear. A piece about prejudice and the funniness of the priviledged world.

La Maga

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Jane Osborn, Doris Schüpbach, Jean Paul, Florian Reichert

A beautiful magician and all-round artist directs a Variety Theatre where one woman is the sole attraction – a pianist who happily finds herself the star of the show and is accompanied by a comic technician. The magician’s show is a mixture of grand illusions (people who disappear or are cut into pieces), magic, and manipulation. She sometimes askes for volunteers (victims?) – from the audience, as in, for example, the hypnotism number.

Il sogno rapito

Idea, direction and music: Florian Reichert
With: Doris Schüpbach, Jane Osborn, Pascal Démarais

A piece for children. Flora and Kasimir have their games, a glass harp and their dreams, which one can even see in the theatre of dreams. Berta von Mampf already has everything and is bored. Now she also wants dreams and because they are not for sale, she kidnaps the dreamer.

La regina dei magnani

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
Text: Alberto Nessi
Scenography: Gunda Dimitri
With: Pascal Démarais, Nina Dimitri, John Gilkey, Jane Osborn, Andreas Manz, Doris Schüpbach, Bettina Speidel

Il pupillo vuol essere tutore

by Peter Handke
Direction: Hans Peter Fitzi
With: Robi Vilim e Maria Fitzi

La Burla

A farse with music
by Luisella Sala
Direction, set and costumes: Alessandro Marchetti
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Nina Dimitri, Nancy Fürst, Gypsy Snider, Claudia Spörri, Pascal Démarais, Andreas Manz, Emmanuel Pouilly

Comedia dell’Arte. A mechanical theatre will be assembled this evening and will open the party. The instrument tuner should be arriving at any moment… but the animated figures are not happy with their roles and awake from their two hundred-year sleep to present their own piece.


a variety-style comedy
Direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
“Mascarada” – Music: Julio Lavayèn
With: Claudia Spörri, Nancy Fürst, Gypsy Snider, Emmanuel Pouilly, Andreas Manz, Pascal Démarais

A variety performance rich in costumes and masks. The director of the variety, Pig, holds an audition for his new piece entitled: “Life is a mascarade, and the mascarade is life”. The audience helps choose the artists.

Coltello nel cabaret

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Nancy Fürst, Gypsy Snider, Claudia Spörri, Pascal Démarais, Emmanuel Pouilly

A short story from the book “Rashomon” by the Japanese author, Ryunosuke, inspired Dimitri to create this piece. The millionaire, Jean Bossoli, is murdered during a power failure in the nightclub “Cabaret”. The corpse cannot be found and the only clues are a blood-stained shoe and a knife. All those present are suspects: Bossoli’s eccentric wife, Marea Galla, Souzy the stripper, the owner of the establishment, and above all, the failed businessman, Mendicus. The theme of this piece demostrates how the various characters perceive the events and how they tell them to the judge.

Il gong magico

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Annette Corti, Cédric Dubois, Martin Gubler, Katja Groll, Nicole Schranz

A fairy tale about the fight between good and evil. The Colourfulls are simple, satisfied and happy. They have the magic gong which both the martial Darks and the hypocritical White-faces want. The Darks manage to steal the magic gong after various attempts but are incapable of making it sound because the magic gong will only work in the right context. Finally the Darks realise this and return the gong to the Colourfulls from whom they then learn.

La morte del cigno

a musical clownery
Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: P.J. Tchaikovsky, Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Silvana Gargiulo and Bettina Speidel

The short, round pianist and the tall, thin saxophonist have a goal: to make music more accessible to the people by renouncing everything that brings to mind the immobility of classical music. The very different sisters, Thalia and Euphrasia Puckinelly, present, explain, dance, and interpret “Swan Lake”.


by Dimitri and Markus Kunz
adapted from the story “Pamfalon the juggler” by Nikolai S. Leskov
Direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
Set: Gunda Salgo
With: Armelle Fouqueray, Olivier Gabus, Silvana Gargiulo, Andreas Manz, Bettina Speidel, Bernard Stöckli, Susi Wirth

Wisdom, love, and humour are the three themes that contrast with stupidity, egoism, and malice in this exciting and touching story. It is the dream of the inherent goodness of people that lives in this story of Hermius, who goes on the quest for enlightenment. He then finds it in his teacher, the juggler Pamfalon, who entertains the guests with his tricks in his house of joy.

1 apple…

a musical clownery
Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Lisa Gretler, Andreas Manz, Bernard Stöckli

It is an ancient and yet ever novel story: the snake and the apple… seduction is with us to stay, Adam and Eve were only the beginning…
Even our pianist, seriously committed to her art, is tempted to take a bite of the forbidden fruit. In this case though, the devil is not coiled round the branches of the tree of life, but appears in the form of two musician colleagues who sneak up behind her playing their wind instruments. As seduction works its magic and the players give in to temptation, they lose all their sense of duty. The two “seducer” musicians also take a bite of the apple and with every bite, a magic spell transforms the players. Their sober evening dress turns into the colourful garb of the court jester, big becomes small, and the scene becomes a wild mix of magic tricks and surprises of all kinds; the whole accompanied by rousing music which is just as colourful as the three jesters in their new clothes.

Un capitano della fantasia

Adventures and disadventures of Emilio Salgari – a captain of fantasy
Idea and direction: Ferruccio Cainero
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
Choreography: Masha Dimitri
With: Lisa Gretler, Andreas Manz, Bernard Stöckli

Tight-rope walkers of the immagination, jugglers of emotion, acrobats of fantasy – these are the trademarks of the award-winning Dimitri theatre company. My idea for this new production was to gather the exceptional improvisational, musical, acrobatic and mimetic skills that the Company has developed over the years and to use them to narrate the dramatic, true story of Emilio Salgari, the creator of Sandokan, the Black Corsair, and many other heroes who have infected the fantasies of millions of children, great and small, all over the world.


Musical and clownish fairy tale
Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
Choreography: Masha Dimitri
With: Katja Groll, Ulrike Kinbach, Sandro Santoro

The Humophant, half man and half elephant, desires to give men the gift of humour. On his way to the queen of the jungle, he meets a trio of performers. The sisters, Radishlewa and Mishlinska join him in order to escape from their tyrannical brother, Hydor. After many adventures, the humophant finds his queen. Hydor has followed his sisters and is transformed by the adventures of his journey. He finds them in the mountains where, with the humophant’s help, he rediscovers his sense of humour. The humophant continues his journey, sharing joyfulness with everyone he meets, while the other three continue peacefully with their performing trio.


Ride bene chi…!
Poetic comedy
Idea and direction: Masha Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Katja Groll, Ulrike Kinbach, Paul Del Bene

The idea for this piece originates from a Polish fairytale. A young shoemaker’s apprentice, “Tallina”, is convinced that life’s main purpose is enjoyment and laughter obtained from practical jokes played on others. Even in the workplace, opportunities for laughtere are plenty, until, after one last cruel joke, the master shoemaker flees to the other end of the world. “Tallina”, attracted by the thought of adventure, follows her master’s example. Along the journey she meets “Quak”, who shaves her philosophy. Together they continue the adventurous journey while searching for pleasure at the expense of others. Finalli, one fine day, “Tallina” is touched by the unexpected reaction of one of their victims and realizes that there are other ways to enjoy life and make people laugh. After having convined “Quak” of this revelation, the two discover the pleasures of bringing joy and laughter through their comical skits.

L’ultimo Albero

Concept and story: Dimitri
Direction: Masha Dimitri
Music: Oliviero Giovannoni
With: Luisa Braga, Paul Del Bene, Martin Hommel, Ulrike Kinbach, Gerardo Tetilla

Il capostazione e la ballerina

Idea and direction: Dimitri
Music: Giovanni Galfetti
With: Luisa Braga, Kate Hannah Weinrieb, Gerardo Tetilla, Samuel Müller
Scenography: Urs Mösch
Costumes: Anna Manz
Light and technic: Helena Mösch


Idea: Dimitri
Direction: Fabrizio Pestilli.
Music: Giovanni Galfetti.
With: Luisa Braga, David Labanca, Samuel Müller, Kate Hannah Weinrieb
Costume: Anna Manz
Masks: Stephanie Metzner
Scenography: Urs Mösch
Light and technic: Helena Mösch