Short Biography >>
Detailed CV >>

Dominique Caillat, a Swiss national, was born in Washington, D.C., USA. She was trained as a lawyer in Geneva and New York (LL.M Columbia University, New York Bar exam 1981, Geneva Bar exam 1984). After briefly practicing law in Geneva, she studied acting in Paris and London, and worked for a short while as an actress in England.

In 1992, Dominique moved to Castle Namedy, a cultural centre in the German Rhineland, where she founded an acting school for children and youth: the “Theater in der Vorburg”. From 1993 until 1999, she wrote and directed six plays for her ensemble. The company soon acquired a reputation for excellence and was invited to perform in theatres and other cultural venues all over the state. The productions received cultural prizes, invitations to festivals and substantial press coverage. A peak was achieved with Dominique's play and production Leb wohl, Schmetterling (Goodbye Butterfly) about the concentration camp of Terezin, which won several awards (e.g. Youth Cultural Prize of Rhineland). The production was invited to Israel, Prague and Terezin (1997-2000) and performed at the old German Parliament in Bonn on the occasion of the annual commemoration of the victims of national-socialism.

In 2000, Dominique closed her acting school to devote herself entirely to the professional stage, and eventually moved to Berlin. Her recent successes include Prologue, Scene and Epilogue for the Opera Brundibár by Hans Krása (Viennese Chamber Opera 1999, dir. M.Sturm), Niemandsland (about rival youth gangs, which had a sold out run in Koblenz 2003, dir. D. Caillat), Kidnapping, a play about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict seen from a European perspective, with 30 performances throughout Germany in 2005 (dir. Sturm/Caillat) and État de piège, which deepens the themes and characters of Kidnapping and had a sold out 4-week run at the Théâtre de Carouge in 2007 (dir. F. Rochaix). Her latest work, Darwin’s Confession, about Charles Darwin, evolution and the challenges of modern biology, was commissioned by the Swiss Academy of Natural Science on the occasion of Darwin’s bicentennial in 2009. The play was premiered simultaneously in French (La Confession de Darwin, dir. F.  Rochaix, Geneva) and in German (Darwins Beichte, dir. M. Burr, Imprimerie Basel) and went on tour throughout Switzerland with 42 performances in 10 cities. Also in 2009, Dominique's libretto concept for an oratorio, The Children’s Crusade, received a literary award from the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia.

In addition, she has written and directed several theatrical guided tours for monuments in the Rhineland, which draw thousands of spectators every year. In 2011, a shorter version of Der ewige Soldat will be performed 180 times in the Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein for the Bundesgartenschau of Koblenz from April to October, and an audio-book version of Gladiator Valerius will be presented to the press on April 1st.

Dominique Caillat’s first book, La Paix ou la mort – Dans les coulisses du drame israélo-palestinien, about her research in the Middle-East, was published in November 2007 by Labor & Fides (Geneva). État de piège and La Confession de Darwin were both published by Christophe Chomant Éditeur (Rouen) in 2010.

From 2001 until 2007, she was cultural advisor to Heide von Hohenzollern for the planning of over 20 yearly cultural events in Castle Namedy, Andernach.

Dominique is presently working on several libretto ideas and doing research for a planned novel about apes, humans, the Russian revolution, Abkhazia and futuristic biology.

She works in three languages: French, English and German.