Paradise Garden Productions (PG) was founded in 2002 by Jens Vilela Neumann in Utrecht/NL and has its base today in Berlin. For specific Projects PG unites actors, dancers, musicians, scientists, authors, journalists and Film makers.
Jens Vilela Neumann – artistic director & project development
Jens Vilela Neumann is a theatre director who works internationally with various partners as artistic director, lecturer, filmmaker and author. The content of his work has mostly a political and social nature. Themes like migration, transcendence and resistance are his focus. He has already worked with numerous performers in different countries and cultural contexts: with professional actors in state theaters (Grips Theater Berlin and Atze Musiktheater Berlin) as well as in the free scene (Shakespeare Company Berlin), since eight years with East-Europeans in the German language (Goethe-Institute) and also produced through PGP professional performing arts projects in Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe.
Dr. Julius Heinicke – Theaterscience & Dramaturgie
Julius Heinicke studied Cultural and Theatre Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2012, Julius defended his Ph.D. thesis about theatre and politics in Zimbabwe in the Department of African Studies (supervisors: Prof. Dr. Flora Veit-Wild, Department of African Studies, HU Berlin and Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme, Department of Theatre Studies, LMU Munich). His doctoral research was supported by a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation. In the last years, Julius spent time researching and teaching as well as working as a dramaturg in performance projects and in theatre in education, mainly in Africa and Europe. Furthermore he maintained an Artistic Coordinator position at the “Zimbabwe Arts Festival in Berlin”, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office. Since 2009, he has been a member of the scholarship selection board for the Böll Foundation; and in 2011, he joined the Coordinating Body for Friends of the Foundation. Julius Heinicke is working on a study about theatre in education in Southern Africa. www.applied-theatre.org
Inhalambi Amumba – consultation, translation & cooperation Afrika and Portuguese speaking countries
Inhalambi Amumba was born in Mozambique and grew up in Portugal. She is a passionate expert of the political and historical circumstances as well as the cultural scene in Africa and the Portuguese speaking countries. She is a traveller between worlds and cultures. As founding member she had a major influence on all previous PGP projects- mainly in the field of consultation, coordination and translation. She speaks Portuguese, English, French and German. email@example.com
Birgit Oelschläger – Volunteer
Birgit Oelschläger is author, Teaterpädagoge and educator. For seven years she has been working together with Jens Vilela Neumann for the Goethe-Institute as Theaterpädagoge. For the city of Berlin she ran for many years the Theater Camp for kids from migration backround. Birgit speaks French, English and Italian and supports PG with her organization and konzeptionell skills.
Chris van de Blonk – Webdesign
Chris van der Blonk has been part of PG since the very first projects. He studied cognitive artificial intelligence in Utrecht and has been working as a web developer for a couple of years. His other passions are DJ’ing and painting.
Frank Kegler - Mentoring
Frank Kegler worked for the „Landes Sport Bund“ for almost 33 years and has been running the sports school for 22 years, where he educated Training instructors and developed programs for refugees. He advises PG, no matter whether it concerns concepts, financial plans or project accounting.
Marina Schott – Production
Marina Scott grew up in Germany with Portuguese and german language and lived both in Portugal and Mozambique. In 2015 she finished her studies in social science and philosophy with a focus on cultural science with a BA. She also studies Africanistik at the University of Leibzig. In 2014 she made a stage for Museumspädagogy at GRASSI Museum of ethnology in Leibzig and works there as free projectworker since. Since November 2014 she works as free cultural manager for Paradise Garden Productions. Her interests are mainly in the area of transculturalism, identity, migration and intergration.
Rafka Timotey – Filmedit Camera, South America
Rafka Timotey is an international audio-visual producer, filmmaker and photographer. For Paradise Garden Productions he edited various short-films. He finished his studies as Director of Photography in 2013 at the film-university UCINE in Buenos Aires. He speaks Spanisch, English, German, Russian, Persian , Hebrew and Portuguese. He has camera experience with: Alexa, Red1, Epic, DSLRs, 35mm, 16mm, 8mm.
Martin Grega – Photography image consulting and Image editing
Martin has worked as a freelance photographer and film maker since 2005. He also creates stage sets with projections for theatre and ballet productions. His photographic and film works are successful both in the artistic and in the commercial field. In co-operation with Jens Neumann, Martin did the image editing as well as advisory and conceptual work.
Christopher Mlalazi – author & counseling
Christopher Mlalazi (fiction writer, playwright; Zimbabwe) is the author of the three novels Many Rivers (2009), Running With Mother (2012) which has been translated into German and Italian, They Are Coming (2014), and the short story collection Dancing With Life: Tales From the Township (2008), which won the Best First Book award at the National Arts Merit Awards. To date Mlalazi has written and has had staged in Zimbabwe eight plays, including the co-written 2008 Oxfam/Novib PEN Freedom of Expression Award winner “The Crocodile Of Zambezi,” and Election Day, the National Arts Merits Award winner for Outstanding Theatrical Production in 2010 in Zimbabwe. For PGP Christopher wrote Water Games, which successfully premiered at HIFA. He advices, translates and corrects in all matters of relevance to Zimbabwe and the English language.