© Julian Röder


Everyone is a hero in his birth. He has undergone a tremendous transformation from a little, you might say, water creature living in a realm of the amniotic fluid and so forth, then coming out, becoming an air-breathing mammal that ultimately will be self-standing and so forth, is an enormous transformation and it is a heroic act, and it’s a heroic act on the mother’s part to bring it about. It’s the primary hero form, you might say.” Joseph Campbell

The visually stunning stage worlds of Susanne Kennedy and Markus Selg toy with the ambiguities of reality and virtuality. Entering into a virtual tunnel at the beginning of time, in ULTRAWORLD we meet Frank, who sets off on an “epic narrative of the self”, searching for answers to life’s most fundamental questions. In a virtual reality computer game, Frank is put through a series of tests – but death remains the constant outcome of them all. Regardless of how hard he tries to parse his experience, the only lesson seems to be that chaos is inevitable and fate is always out of our control. ULTRAWORLD lead us to see ourselves as co-creators in this game we call life. The only way out is in, intones a little girl at the beginning, and just like life, we have only one direction: forward – even if the ultimate outcome is predestined.


Concept and Direction
Susanne Kennedy
Markus Selg

Frank Willens, Malick Bauer, Suzan Boogaerdt, Erica Eller, Vanessa Loibl, Kate Strong, Bianca van der Schoot, Zoë Willens

Lotte Goos

Rodrik Biersteker & Markus Selg

Richard Janssen

Kevin Sock

Hannah Schünemann

Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz


Susanne Kennedy (Germany, 1977) studied direction at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam, debuted on the Dutch stage. In 2011 she was invited to work at the Münchner Kammerspiele. For “Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt,” she was voted Young Director of the Year by Theater heute magazine in 2013. In recent years, she has been working with Volksbühne Berlin and Münchner Kammerspiele, produced “Ultraworld” and “Oracle” with Markus Selg in 2020. Distorted by masks, playback dialogue, doppelgängers and multimedia, the actors confront the audience with a post-humanistic subjectivity.

Markus Selg (Germany, 1974) is a multimedia artist exploring the dynamics between archaic myth and computer technology in forms of digital painting, sculpture, immersive installations, theatre and VR. For “Ultraworld” he received the Faust Award 2020 for best stage design. He has been active across a variety of genres, including performing art, feature films, and opera productions.