Astrid Hiemer


A cultural critic and writer, Astrid grew up after WW II in Hamburg, Germany, and emigrated to the United States in the 1960s. She was formerly the assistant director (Administrative Officer) of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT under Otto Piene, with whom she has worked in the past several years editing, translating, and shaping a book of essays about his life and career. While at the Center she knew and worked with many multi media artists. In addition to professional work as an editor and translator she also is a diarist, poet, and writer of fiction.

Recent Articles:

  • Tanz im August 2019, Berlin Front Page

    Produced by HAU, 9 - 31 August

    By: Angelika Jansen - Aug 31st, 2019

    Eagerly awaited, but somewhat disappointing, could be the short assessment of the 31st International Dance Festival 'Tanz im August' in Berlin, a performance marathon. The sold out festival drew18,000 visitors. This is a must read for all dance enthusiasts!

  • Martha Graham Dance Company Word

    At Jacob’s Pillow, 2019

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Aug 19th, 2019


  • National Black Theatre Festival, 2019 Front Page

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina,7/29-8/3

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Aug 12th, 2019

    It was our first visit and participation at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During the four days we experienced eight performances. The Festival attracts thousands of visitors every other year. It was a complex production, where a series of buses would transport audiences to a many theater and auditoriums all over two towns. The Marriott Hotel in downtown Winston served as the focal point and it was buzzing!

  • Balamouk Word

    Dance Theatre of Harlem

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Jul 12th, 2019


  • Theatre Festival, Berlin Front Page

    May 5 - May 20, Berliner Festspiele

    By: Angelika Jansen - May 25th, 2019

    Two weeks of theatre mania, the Theatre Festival, came to an end on May 20. Selected productions from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland could be experienced on several Berlin stages. Serious and timeless human struggles and subjects took center stage.

  • A Cultural Trip Through Canada Front Page

    Encountering First Nations Artworks

    By: Astrid A. Hiemer - May 23rd, 2019

    On the spot, fully packed and ready to travel, we decided on a car trip to Canadian locations: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls, after we were denied boarding an airplane to Chicago. Our final destination was (not) to be Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England. Here's a cultural overview of our ersatz-trip, which turned out to be just great!

  • Die Komische Oper Berlin, Germany Front Page

    Poro and M-eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder

    By: Angelika Jansen - May 13th, 2019

    At the end of the 2018/19 season the Komische Oper Berlin produced two more operas: 'Poro,' by Georg Friedrich Haendel, and 'M- Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder,' by Moritz Eggert. Two very opposite experiences!

  • Major Otto Piene Donation to Harvard Front Page

    70 Artist Sketchbooks

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Apr 16th, 2019

    Elizabeth Goldring, the widow of internationally renowned artist Otto Piene, recently donated 70 of his sketchbooks to the Harvard Art Museums and Archives. Piene sketched what he saw and what concerned and motivated him throughout his life. Now, researchers and the public can have access to this trove of drawings and ideas by contacting Harvard Archives.

  • Otto Piene at Fitchburg Art Museum Front Page

    Fire and Light: Otto Piene in Groton, 1983-2014

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Apr 14th, 2019

    The current Otto Piene exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Museum in Massachusetts will close on June 2nd with a conversation titled: 'Fire, Light and Protest.' Photographs by Joe Landry, 'The Summer of 1969' are also on view at FAM. The photographer and curator Lisa Crossman on the work of Piene will be in conversation. First, however, the museum is inviting the public to participate in an outdoor Sky Art Event on April 27 near the museum. Art that flies!

  • La Boheme at Komische Oper Berlin Front Page

    Opera by Giacomo Puccini

    By: Angelika Jansen - Feb 05th, 2019

    When it comes to culture, Berlin is always worth a trip. And a great trip it was, to experience the opening night of Barrie Kosky's interpretation of La Bohème, by Giacomo Puccini, on Sunday, January 27 at the Komische Oper (Comic Opera) in Berlin.

  • 100 Years Bauhaus Front Page

    Opening Ceremonies in Berlin

    By: Angelika Jansen - Jan 26th, 2019

    Angelika Jansen was lucky enough to experience many aspects of the '100 jahre bauhaus' (100 Years of Bauhaus) celebrations, from January 16-24, as she writes in her following article. Architecture and culture in the 20th Century were greatly influenced by works and activities of many members of an 'institution' that only lasted 24 years - and the Bauhaus impact lives on.

  • Whitney Biennial Word

    Artist and Curator

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 01st, 2018


  • Capitol Improvements Word

    Great Unveiling

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 01st, 2018


  • Shakespeare & Company Mourns Dennis Krausnick Front Page

    A Founder of the Lenox Company

    By: S&Co - Nov 29th, 2018

    Dennis Krausnick was a leader of Shakespeare & Compan, in Lenox, since its inception. In 1976 he was awarded an M.F.A. in Acting from New York University. It was at N.Y.U. where he met Tina Packer. They married in 1998. In 1978 Dennis helped found Shakespeare & Company with Tina and Kristin Linklater.

  • The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson Front Page

    Liberté, égalité, sororité at Strawdog Theatre

    By: Nancy Bishop - Nov 29th, 2018

    Lauren M. Gunderson has been the most produced playwright in America for the last two years, and her work has won several awards, including the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics New Play Award for I and You. Gunderson’s conceit about four women ready for revolution is clever, and in act one, a bit too mannered, even coyly cute. But act two becomes more serious.

  • Elaine May in Waverly Gallery Front Page

    Back on Broadway

    By: Karen Isaacs - Nov 29th, 2018

    In Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery, Gladys is the center of the story as her grandson, her daughter and son-in-law and a young artist she has befriended deal with this decline over a two year period. Elaine May is making a rare stage appearance.

  • Understudy by Theresa Rebeck Front Page

    At Coyote StageWorks

    By: Jack Lyons - Nov 29th, 2018

    Chuck Yates is one of the finest actors in the Coachella Valley winning many Desert Theatre League (DTL) Award trophies for excellence in theatre. In Rebeck's masterful The Understudy we have two male actor-candidates and one avenging female stage manager from Hell named Roxanne. She puts two male actors Harry and Jake auditioning for the role of the ‘understudy’ through their paces before giving them the okay to join the performing cast.

  • Brian Dennehy at LA's Geffen Playhouse Front Page

    Masterful One Acts by O'Neill and Beckett

    By: Jack Lyons - Nov 29th, 2018

    Actor Brian Dennehy is currently presenting a Master Class in acting with his one-man presentation of two One Acts: Eugene O’Neill’s “Hughie” and Samuel Beckett’s obtuse “Krapp’s Last Tape”.

  • American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown Front Page

    Kerry Washington and Steve Pasquale Star

    By: Karen Isaacs - Nov 25th, 2018

    American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown won Berkies for its premiere at Barrington Stage Company. It has transferred to Broadway starring Kerry Washington and Steve Pasquale. Kenny Leon, credited with many August Wilson plays, has done a fine job directing this.

  • Disney's Frozen Front Page

    Magical Winter Wonderland

    By: Anne Siegel - Nov 24th, 2018

    Despite some critical pans, Frozen has a strong enough pre-sale to guarantee many weeks on Broadway’s turf. Thanks are due to all the little girls who can’t get enough of the tale of Elsa and Anna, two Scandinavian sisters who yearn to be close despite mysterious magic separating them.

  • Lane's Cove Word

    Sundays After Church

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 29th, 2018


  • Detroit Wineries Front Page

    Not Just Cars from Motown

    By: Anne Siegel - Sep 29th, 2018

    Most folks have no idea of Detroit’s winemaking history. In 1702, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac wrote about the vineyards he planted along the Detroit River (some of the first in North America). Prior to Prohibition, Kownacki notes, several Michigan wineries existed. One of these became known as St. Julian Wine Company, which today produces more than 50 different kinds of wine.

  • Jay Jaroslav at Gloucester's Trident Gallery Front Page

    Finding Art Through Covert Operations

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 28th, 2018

    In 1978, at Boston's Atlantic Gallery, Jay Jaroslav displayed large, photo realist facsimiles of appropriated birth certificates. The certificates of infants roughly the artist's age had died within a week of birth. He used them to obtain social security, passports and driver's licenses to create 31 purloined identities. The current exhibition at Trident Gallery, his first solo in three decades, further explores documents and process as conceptual art.

  • My Movie Word

    Fast Forward

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 28th, 2018


  • A Classic Play by Ntozake Shange Front Page

    African-American Shakespeare Company

    By: Victor Cordell - Sep 27th, 2018

    Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf is a work of great moment that gave black women a platform, in some ways a pedestal, from which to denounce their double indignity of racial and gender discrimination and announce their worth and beauty.

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