machina eX – Das Team 2 © machina eX/Philip Steimel

machina eX are Anna Fries, Clara Ehrenwerth, Lasse Marburg, Mathias Prinz, Philip Steimel, Robin Hädicke and Yves Regenass. Since 2010 they have been researching on the fusion of theatre and computer game. The media- and theatre-collective has emerged from the cultural studies programme at the University of Hildesheim and has since then been producing participatory game theatre. machina eX combine modern technologies with the means of classic theatre and thus create immersive plays which are at the same time walkable computer games.


The game “15`000 Gray” was awarded the jury prize of the 100 ° Festival, invited to the Impulse Festival, nominated for the Best Off Festival of the Lower Saxony Foundation, and presented in Washington with the support of the Goethe-Institute. In 2012, machina eX, together with the FFT Düsseldorf, received the two-year “Doppelpass”-grant by the Federal Cultural Foundation, thereby realizing the project “Game ON Stage”. Their current game “Lessons of Leaking” has been invited to, among others, the International Summer Festival in Hamburg, the Sirenos Festival in Vilnius and the Transform Festival in Leeds. machina eX has realized numerous innovative theatre-games in Germany and abroad, e.g. for the festival Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Austria, and for the Goethe-Institut Budapest. Since 2015 they receive basic funding from the Berlin Senate. The current production “Bastion 2492” premiered at the Festival Belluard Bollwerk International in Switzerland on 22nd June. 

machina eX was discussed by the Washington Post, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, taz., Der Freitag, Neues Deutschland, Tagesspiegel, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Theater der Zeit, ARD, ZDF, Sat1, 3sat, arte, BR, WDR, rocketbeans TV, WASD, GEE, Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku and many more.

Press voices

“(…) The perfection of these situations that machina eX offers their audiences is – next to the enormous fun factor – the big quality of this young performance collective. For they succeed in passing that the audience feels neither exposed nor forced to participate, but admits himself into the situation without further doubts. Maybe it is the result of the intimate setting (…) – or simply grand illusionistic theater…”
(taken from the Impulse-Festival program text from curator Tamina Theiß)

“machina eX manages to enchant the audience into a weightless status of distancelessness. Illusion and reality are likewise seducing. In wonder a (…) parallel world opens, that needs to be traveled through as companions in fate. It is as if we were placed into a David Lynch movie or a computer game, that we can only escape by answering shrewdly phrased questions with a lasting grin on our faces. (…) The next level becomes a blankspace for our own phantasy within a story that began before me, escalated with me and lives on far after and in me. (…) machina eX succeeds (…) in building something very special: They tell a story and in the manner they do it they create something “new” in the theater.”
Marc Prätsch, Jury des Best OFF Freier Theater Niedersachsen

“machina eX grooms whole building sections elaborately with props, loudspeakers, sensors and computer technology to create a real walkthrough adventure game. (…) Flexibility and the openness makes machina eX performances so charming. Undoubtedly they are amongst the most thoroughly concepted fusions between game and theater.”
GEE und Spiegel Online über Gaming und Theater und machina eX: Daniel Kringiel

” If the bourgeois theater since Lessing can be viewed as a tool for self-reassurance and self-activation of a class of society, then the gaming format of machina eX is an absolutely meaningful adaptation of this instrument to the current conditions.”
Tom Mustroph, Neues Deutschland, 02.03.2011

“machina eX (…) is a real highlight: gamers will rejoice at the many small allusions and this who have never played a point and click adventure before, will be pleased with the love of detail in the set design and with finally being able to do things themselves.”
Zündfunk, Bayrischer Rundfunk, Christian Schiffer

“This is the future of theater! Gameplay and theater: The best of both worlds joined.”
on3, Spielwiese, Bayrischer Rundfunk