Bernetta Theaterproduktionen, "Girl From The Fog Machine Factory", Switzerland, 2020

Tour Dates: 16th September - 1st October, 2020

Thom Luz is a master in subtle distinction – that is why his fog shows come across like a musical aerogram.

Tour Dates
  • 16th September - 1st October, 2020


Press Notes

"(…) Thom Luz is a master in subtle distinction – that is why his fog shows come across like a musical aerogram. They send off their beautiful messages with an air of nothingness, through the nothingness, on top of nothingness, and remain, at any rate, intangible. Thom Luz doesn’t simply strive to impress, he aims to impress with subtlety, and therein lies his levitating redefinition of comedy. Luz’s characters are experts of the eccentric, they defy against all regulations, are dissidents against reason and all of its values that are defined by commodities and numbers.
Their idol is the fog machine itself, the images, the atmosphere and magic it creates, and the music that permeates everything and comes through without any obstruction."

- Till Briegleb, Theatertreffen Berlin 2017

Girl From The Fog Machine Factory

It’s a simple, contemporary tale with a strange, magical ending. Business is slow in the small fog machine factory on the outskirts of town. No customers pass by the place, and in the current economic climate nobody wants to buy machines that actually produce nothing.

The owner of the factory and his employees – his son and an unpaid intern - are sitting in their show- room, feeling desperate about the future. But the answer to whether the company can be saved or not is in the literal clouds. To boost sales, the factory staff start experimenting with spectacular new fog solutions: fog waterfalls, fluorescent seas of fog, musical smoke, planetary rings, fog replicas of famous sculptures by Rodin and Giacometti and Böcklin's «Island of the Dead» with a rowboat, all made of fog, which is all too volatile, but still… The whole machine park and the full experience of 225 years of the company’s history will be shown to the few passers-by as well as images of ephemeral opulence and practical superfluity. Whether the future of the company can be saved by such beautiful, momentary shows remains literally «in the clouds». One will see – or not.

The new creation by Swiss theatre author Thom Luz deals with the most elusive and ephemeral aspects of our human experience: how can you hold on to something that is in a constant state of flux? What place does poetry hold in a world that is increasingly monetized?

Bernetta Theaterproduktionen

Founded in 1995 as Theaterproduktionen Gabi Bernetta in Zürich, the name was changed to Bernetta Theaterproduktionen in 2016, when Gabi Bernetta’s nephew Ramun Bernetta joined the production company. The aim of this freelance production company is to support artists in the areas of organization, concept, financing, publicity, communication and public relations.

Director: Thom Luz

Thom Luz was born in Zurich in 1982. From 2000 to 2005 he studied acting at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich. His debut as a director was «Patience Camp», which premiered at the «Treibstoff Theater Festival» at Kaserne Basel in 2007, followed by an invitation to the festival «Theaterformen» Hannover in 2009. Since then Luz has been working in the freelance theater scene as well as upon invitation at different official play houses.

In her review in the «Süddeutsche Zeitung», Cornelia Fiedler wrote of Luz’s collaboration with Swiss playwright Laura de Weck on «Archive of the Incomplete»: ‘The practically freed-from-the-senses atmosphere reminds us of Christoph Marthaler, the doyen of directing, but the young team has created something new of its very own. This precisely composed, provocative «speech and music evening, which rests in itself, provides a moment of uncommon theater bliss.»

Luz’s «Archive of the Incomplete» was invited to the «Mülheimer Theatertagen», to the «Autorentheatertagen» of the Theater Berlin and to the Heidelberger Stückemarkt in 2014. The «Ghost Music Evening» WHEN I DIE, created in Luz’s parent company Gessnerallee Zurich, has been touring around the world since it premiered at Spielart Festival in Munich in 2013. It also visited the cities of Berlin, Jerusalem, Lausanne, Mainz, Marseille, Montpellier, Nanterre, Paris, Reykjavik, Rotterdam, Strasbourg, Tampere and Zurich.

Both productions tipped the scales in favor of Thom Luz’s being awarded Newcoming Director of the Year 2014, according to a poll among theater critics conducted by the trade journal «Theater Heute».

With his adaptation and staging of Judith Schalansky’s «Atlas der abgelegenen Inseln» (Atlas of the remote Islands) at Staatstheater Hannover, Thom Luz was invited to the «Berliner Theatertreffen» in 2015.

Since the 2015/16 Season Thom Luz has been in-house director at Theater Basel. It was there where the production «LSD – mein Sorgenkind» (LSD – My Problem Child) was mounted, followed by an invitation by the Heidelberger Stückemarkt and the Autorentheatertage Berlin.

After his free production UNUSUAL WEATHER PHENOMENA PROJECT Thom Luz staged the play «Traurige Zauberer» (Sad Magicians) for the Staatstheater Mainz, resulting in his second invitation to the Theatertreffen Berlin.

In 2018 Thom Luz created GIRL FROM THE FOG MACHINE FACTORY, another free production, at Gessnerallee Zurich.

During the season 2018/19 he continues to collaborate with the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, staging Thomas Bernhard’s «Alte Meister» (Old Masters). There he had already staged «Der Mensch erscheint im Holozän» (Man Appeared in the Holocene Period) by Max Frisch in 2016.


"Girl from the Fog Machine Factory» is a wonderful and very unusual theater evening, highly romantic and delightfully comical, rather free of meaning and at the same time absolutely profound."

- Dominique Spirgi, TagesWoche, 01.06.2018

"The fog stands for everything ephemeral, inconceivable, the spirit, art, the passage of time."

- Mathias Balzer, Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, 28.05.2018

"This fog-opera is supple and tender, especially the musical part. Matthias Weibel keeps control of the strings, various instruments and tape recordings. Ephemeral sounds of Celesta (Weibel) form the base, Mara Miribung’s cello happily ascending terzi and quarts. Is it the original Schubert or paraphrasing? The French „mélodies“ are even sweeter, and as the five actors gather as a choir, softly intoning a Madrigal or an old Hit, a floating magic develops."

- Tobias Gerosa, NZZ, 18.05.2018

"What it is about in this magical play, is the fog per se? Or is it the casual beauty, the holding onto a realm?"

- Andreas Klaeui,, 17.05.2018

"Girl from the Fog Machine Factory» distinguishes itself once again with its exquisite trail of music: a highly intelligent musical remark, a play composed like a whole musical piece. Mathias Weibel has been a companion of Thom Luz since his beginnings. His work covers a range from sentimental crooning to Schubert songs, from madrigals to the blues. It is not self-evident, how beautifully the five actors manage to pitch this precisely."

- Andreas Klaeui,, 17.05.2018