by Ewald Palmetshofer
Play of the Year 2020 (Critics’ Poll in Theater Heute magazine)
With the words «hello? / can anybody hear us?» the Austrian dramatist Ewald Palmetshofer opens his latest stage play, a highly musical spoken score in a powerful rhythmic form. At its centre is Clara, who has now reached a turning point after the failure of her marriage and returns to the abandoned house of her grandmother. But even here her old life and her difficult relationship with her 13-year-old son catch up with her.
«I come from here I don’t have any more background I hope that’s enough»
«They are created in no one’s image. Heaven is empty and the creatures on Earth are left entirely to their own devices. Humanity is its own enduring task, a job it is impossible to finish; humanity is the energy-sapping toil of giving birth to itself. It is as if humanity constantly needs saving from death, from the realm of things, from the clutches of fatal objectification, diminution and profanisation. As if its immortality has to be fought for, conjuring up its resurrection, its establishment. As if we can still pray, we raise our voices and direct them outside, where there is no one.» Ewald Palmetshofer
Ewald Palmetshofer, one of the most forthright dramatists of the present day, tells of people who have become detached from their identity as human beings, of the hollowing out of language and political discourse.
With «The Lost» Resident Director Nora Schlocker directs the world premiere of a play by Ewald Palmetshofer for the third time.
Born in Upper Austria in 1978. Studied Theology and Philosophy/Psychology at the University of Vienna. His plays «hamlet is dead. no gravity» (2007, director: Felicitas Brucker), «living. under glass» (2008, director: Sebastian Schug) and «faust is hungry and chokes on grete» (2009, director: Felicitas Brucker) each received their world premieres at the Vienna Schauspielhaus, where Palmetshofer was writer in residence from 2007 to 2008, guest dramaturg in 2009 and curated the series «The X Commandments» in 2010, as part of which the world premiere of his play «heartfelt. a daughter in time» was directed by Sebastian Schug. In 2010 «animal. let us say underclass» was given its world premiere Staatsschauspiel Dresden (director: Simone Blattner). «robbers.genital debts» had its world premiere at the Vienna Burgtheater in 2012 (director: Stephan Kimmig), followed in 2014 by «the unmarried woman» directed by Robert Borgmann, which was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen. This play was also awarded the prestigious Mülheim Playwriting Prize in 2015. Palmetshofer’s plays have been translated into several languages. A volume of the dramatist’s collected stage plays was published in 2014 by S. Fischer Verlag entitled « faust is hungry and chokes on grete». From 2012 to 2015 he taught at the University of Applied Arts Vienna’s Institute of Language Arts. From 2015 to 2019 Ewald Palmetshofer was Dramaturg at Theater Basel, where the world premiere of his play «Edward II. I am Love» after Christopher Marlowe was co-produced with the Wiener Festwochen and the Vienna Schauspielhaus in 2015, directed by Nora Schlocker and subsequently invited to the Swiss Theatertreffen. In 2017 Nora Schlocker directed the world premiere of his drama «Before Sunrise» after Gerhart Hauptmann at Theater Basel (the production premiered in Munich at the Residenztheater on 29 November 2019) which was nominated for the Mülheim Playwriting Prize. In 2018 Stephan Kimmig directed Palmetshofers new version of the semi-opera «King Arthur» by Henry Purcell and John Dryden, also at Theater Basel. Ewald Palmetshofer was awarded the Else Lasker Schüler Playwriting Prize in 2018 and the Gert Jonke Prize in 2019. His play «The Lost», which was written on commission for the Residenztheater was the first premiere to open Andreas Beck’s artistic directorship was invited to the 45th Mülheimer Theatertage “Stücke 2020”.
He has been Dramaturg at the Residenztheater since the beginning of the 2019/2020 season.