SPARK — the festival for contemporary music theatre in Cologne. For a genre that unites different fields—music, theatre, dance, literature and visual art—on an equal footing and is characterised by collective, transdisciplinary work, experimental approaches, an inclination towards risk taking, radical thinking and topicality. For a genre that is eternally iridescent, sensual and colourful, that is touching and unsettling, that can broach relevant social themes and draw attention to topical political issues. For a genre that deserves to find suitable platforms in the independent scene, also in Cologne, that will make it visible to a potential, diverse audience, that can and will be excited and enthralled! Let’s SPARK!


Artistic direction

Two artists from different disciplines, Christina C. Messner (composer, violinist and performer) and Sandra Reitmayer (theatre director), have come together in order to revive, build up and expand sustainable networks, cooperations, connections and platforms for contemporary music theatre in their adopted home of Cologne, as well as initiating the SPARK festival.

Christina C. Messner has been engaged in linking together different fields and investigating interdisciplinary approaches ever since she studied music in Würzburg. She has developed, produced and organised numerous projects, often involved as a performer herself, and has worked with renowned artists from various disciplines. Christina C. Messner’s compositions have been performed on concert, theatre and festival stages, both nationally and internationally, as well as on radio.

Sandra Reitmayer studied theatre direction at Folkwang University of the Arts and curation in the performing arts at the University of Salzburg. She is a founding member of the Bochum theatre collective undBorisundSteffi and part of the Cologne music theatre label Paradeiser Productions, with whom she has already developed various transdisciplinary formats. Sandra Reitmayer has staged pieces in the independent scene in NRW as well as realising bilingual projects in Palestine, Luxembourg, Romania and China.

Project management

littlebit supports the planning, organisation and execution of ambitious independent contemporary art projects. As a production office, littlebit forms the interface between the artistic draft and practical realisation of individual concerts and productions or takes on the complete organisational management of whole series of events and festivals.

Promoter and sponsor

ON – Neue Musik Köln is a network for contemporary music and serves as a resource for those involved in the independent scene, for sponsors and friends of contemporary music. ON’s remit is to improve the visibility of projects and protagonists in the independent scene, to offer support, guidance and empowerment to independent contemporary music artists and to realise their own projects.