Saturday, December 18, 2010

Arts Reporting: Germany's Leading Playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig, J.S. Marcus in the Wall Street Journal, December 17

Via, a look at Germany's leading contemporary playwright, published at the Wall Street Journal:

The Future of German Theater
Celebrated playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig mixes the abstract with the naturalistic in his work
Roland Schimmelpfennig (image: Herbert Pfarrhofer)

By J. S. MARCUS for the Wall Street Journal

The names of the most popular playwrights on German-language stages haven't changed much in decades, even centuries. Recently, however, marquees from Hamburg to Vienna have to add a new name alongside Shakespeare, Goethe, Schiller and Ibsen—Roland Schimmelpfennig, a 43-year-old Berlin-based author and director, who in the course of a few seasons has become German-speaking Europe's most celebrated younger playwright.

This has been Mr. Schimmelpfennig's year. In the summer, he was awarded the Mülheimer Dramatikerpreis, regarded as the highest honor for a playwright in the German language. (Previous winners include Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek and East German playwright Heiner Müller.) Last month, his latest play, "Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God," premiered nearly simultaneously at Germany's two most prestigious theater companies, Hamburg's Thalia Theater and Berlin's Deutsches Theater. And this Sunday, Mr. Schimmelpfennig will cap the year at the Akademietheater, the second stage of Vienna's legendary Burgtheater, with a version of the play that he has directed himself.

Read more at Wall Street . . . .

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