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:

  • Corona Cookbook: Spicy African Peanut Delight Front Page

    In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

    By: Astrid Hiemer - May 17th, 2020

    We had just watched Anthony Bourdain’s series, A Cook's Tour, while he visited Morocco: Casablanca, Fez, and finally the last town before reaching the desert, the Sahara. His meals there reminded us of the soup or stew that you are about to prepare – it’s most delicious!

  • Corona Cook Book: Hungarian Goulash Front Page

    Ungarisches Gulasch

    By: Astrid Hiemer - May 10th, 2020

    'How about Hungarian Goulash?' - he asked: 'Yes, that's a very good idea!' Hungarian Goulash is a German National dish and, of course, in Eastern European countries* as well. I grew up eating 'Ungarisches Gulasch' with boiled potatoes and green beans, perhaps, or another vegetable and a side salad. (Was it really first prepared in Hungary and when? Just as the Hamburger was coined by Americans. 'I am a Hamburger,' my cousin told an American. 'You are eating burgers!')

  • Film: The 70th Berlinale 2020 Front Page

    From February 20 - March 1

    By: Angelika Jansen - Mar 04th, 2020

    The 70th Berlinale, the huge international film festival in Berlin took place between February 20th and March 1st, 2020. Great expectations were put upon the new festival leaders, Carlo Chatrian (artistic director) and Mariette Rissenbeek (executive director).

  • One Evening:Two Works at Komische Oper, Berlin Front Page

    J. Weinberger and G. Verdi

    By: Angelika Jansen - Feb 15th, 2020

    It is always a time for heightened expectations when one goes to any performance at the Komische Oper, Berlin. It will not necessarily be enjoyable for everybody but it will definitely always be provocative. The Komische Oper presents as one performance: Fruehlingsstuerme and La Traviata.

  • WHEN, show at MASS MoCA Front Page

    By Ledelle Moe

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Jan 25th, 2020

    WHEN: Not if, but when all our lives come to an end. - Here we are searching for personal meaning and memories via a monumental sculpture exhibition that expresses obliquely life and death issues of today and since Millennia.

  • Gauthier Dance Company at 2020 Berliner Festspiele Front Page

    Stuttgarter Company Performed January 15-19

    By: Angelika Jansen - Jan 20th, 2020

    Berliner Festspiele invited this young company, Gauthier Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, to dance for five exciting days and to great success. For the rest of the year they will travel and perform internationally, including at Jacob's Pillow, in Becket, Massachusetts, the week of July 13. The Pillow invites yearly for their three months long summer festival dance companies from around the world.

  • Derren Brown - Secret Front Page

    Cort Theatre, Broadway

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Nov 08th, 2019

    The Master Illusionist, Derren Brown, currently excites audiences at the Cort Theatre on Broadway with his extra ordinary performance in SECRET. He and his show have been imported from London's West End and promise sold out performances for a very long time. Who would not like to be thoroughly entertained and perplexed at still reasonable Broadway prices?

  • 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”.

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