© Ines Leichleitner
    @ Marie Urban
    © Ines Leichleitner



Balthazar is a piece for one animal performer and six human performers. The protagonist is a donkey named Balthazar who is central to every action that takes place on stage. The project was inspired by Robert Bresson’s film Au hazard Balthazar (1966), which tells the eventful life story of a donkey.

Balthazar is a long term artistic research project by theatre maker David Weber-Krebs and dramaturg and theorist Maximilian Haas which looks at animals and their position in Western culture. So far three performances were produced in cooperation with theater and dance schools and staged in theaters in Brussels, Hamburg and Amsterdam in 2013 and 2014. The three pieces were evolving in different branches/disciplines of the performing arts, namely theater, dance and music. All three had different conceptual focuses derived from the works of three philosophers that shaped the contemporary discourse around animals and animality most prominently: Gilles Deleuze, Donna Haraway and Jacques Derrida.

The project is constituted by performance pieces, a book, numerous lectures and written contributions.

concept & direction
david weber-krebs
concept & dramaturgy
maximilian haas
julien bruneau, alondra castellanos arreola, philipp enders, sid van oerle, noha ramadan
ebba fransén waldhör

space advice
alexander schellow
elisabeth hirner/infinite endings
HAU hebbel am ufer, next festival, inteatro, mousonturm
    leaflet of Animals of Manchester, Manchester International Festival

David Weber Krebs and Maximilian Haas’s lecture about working with donkeys in the frame of ‘Animals of Manchester’ program, MIF 2019.

The Abyss of a Standstill by David Weber-Krebs with Maximilian Haas.
Contribution for Score n.6 Magazine – Tanzquartier Wien.

Balthazar (touring version) at frankfurt LAB, invited by Künstlerhaus Mousonturm

    © Marie Urban
    © Marie Urban
    © Marie Urban
    © Marie Urban

rehearsals at Frankfurt LAB

Balthazar (touring version) at Next festival in Kortrijk

    © Marie urban

Dionne and Balthazar, 2011.
Rehearsals for the show at Amsterdam Theaterschool, in April 2011.

Balthazar in the backyard of HAU where technicians built a special “HAU Department” for the donkey.

Balthazar (touring version)

In 2015, Balthazar (touring version) started travelling to theaters of Europe.

Maximilian Haas (Academy of Media Arts Cologne) & David Weber-Krebs (artist): Does the Donkey Act? Or, Balthazar as Protagonist

Dialogue lecture / presentation for Does It Matter? Composite Bodies and Posthuman Prototypes in Contemporary Performing Arts, 17-19 March 2015. Ghent University in collaboration with Vooruit, CAMPO and KASK.

read more about the conference 

    leaflet of a conference at Tanzquartier, Vienna

conference ‘Speculating about Donkeys’ by David Weber Krebs and Maximilian Haas in the frame of ‘Lures of Speculation’ program at Tanzquartier, Vienna, 2014.

Balthazar 2 (A Choreography)

    © Ines Leichleitner
    © Ines Leichleitner
    © ines lechleitner

in collaboration with lnter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT) and Performance Studies Hamburg

presented during the Live Art Festival, in Kampnagel (DE).

We live with animals and we work with them. And since we lack a common language it is up to the
bodies to negotiate the shared world, And: What we are, is just what we have become while working with them. With students of the lnter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT) and Performance Studies Hamburg we explored the conditions of living and working together with animals in choreographic practices.

    © Ines Lechleitner

Argentic photos and drawings by Ines Lechleitner, rehearsals at Kampnagel.

Double page article in the Hamburger Morgenpost about Balthazar in Hamburg.

Balthazar (1. Stories)

Kaaitheater, Brussels (RITS-De Bottelarij)

in collaboration with the drama program Rits (Brussels)

presented by Kaaitheater Brussels in the frame of BURNING ICE #6 festival.

Stories try to grasp the animal and assign a stable meaning to him. But the animal undercuts constantly this attempt to define him and pulls the narrator and the narration into a process of becoming-animal.

Together with students of the drama program Rits (Brussels) we explored the narrative definition of animals on a theatre stage. Different stories are confronted with their living object, the donkey Balthazar, who might embody or belie them.

First version of Balthazar at Amsterdam Theaterschool, 2011.

back to top of context


mousonturm, frankfurt


inteatro, polverigi


next festival, schouwburg kortrijk


hau hebbel am ufer


kampnagel, hamburg


kaaitheater, brussels


theaterschool, amsterdam

go to agenda