Born in Bremen into a bilingual family (French and German). After graduating from high school, she studied opera directing in Hamburg, before becoming an assistant at the Thalia-Theater.
This was followed by acting training at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and engagements with the Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, the Staatstheater in Hanover, the Theater Basel, the Schauspielhaus Zürich and, since 2021, the Theater Bern.
She has also worked in film, playing the lead role in the film Montag, presented at the Berlinale in 2006. In Switzerland, she made the acquaintance of director and composer Ruedi Häusermann, with whom she collaborated on numerous shows, including Elfriede Jelinek’s Rosamunde for string quartet, percussion and actress. In October 2005, she played the part of Else inFama by Beat Furrer with Klangforum Wien. Premiered in Donaueschingen under the direction of Christoph Marthaler, it toured to festivals in Amsterdam, Salzburg, Vienna, Paris, Moscow and the Venice Biennale, among others. With Ensemble Contrechamps, Isabelle Menke performed Brice Pauset’s La Liseuse, and in 2008 she was “the woman” in Matthias Pintscher’s L’Espace dernier in Frankfurt and Cologne. This was followed by numerous collaborations with Ensemble Modern and Ensemble TM+ for Arnold Schönberg’sPierrot Lunaire.