Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Werner Schwab

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Name  Werner Schwab

Role  playwright
Werner Schwab Minimalism regizoral si festin actoricesc AltIasi
Died  January 1, 1994, Graz, Austria
Education  Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Books  Reizende Reigen nach dem Reigen des reizenden Herrn Arthur Schnitzler

Dossier Werner Schwab: Barbara Belic im Gespräch mit Erni Mangold

Werner Schwab (4 February 1958 – 1 January 1994) was an Austrian playwright and visual artist.


Werner Schwab Vor zwanzig Jahren starb Werner Schwab KURIERat

Präsidentinnenfarbriek - eine Art Vorspiel / Werner Schwab


Werner Schwab wwwfreikarteatmediaeventsliteraturhausgrazs

From 1978 to 1982 he studied sculpture at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna. During the 1980s he worked as a sculptor and woodcutter.

Schwab was a heavy drinker who was said to have written his plays late at night while listening to loud music (particularly the band Einstürzende Neubauten, whom he was friends with). His body was found on New Year's Day 1994.


Schwab's first play Die Präsidentinnen (sometimes translates as First Ladies or Holy mothers), was produced at the Theater im Künstlerhaus in Vienna in 1990. Between then and his death four years later he wrote sixteen plays, eight of which were produced during his lifetime, making his career one of the briefest, most spectacular and most controversial in contemporary German-language theatre.

Schwab's work is close to the grotesque genre. It extensively employed scatology and sex, with the peculiarity of exhibiting pulsions and taboos in a poetic framework. He renewed the tradition of German Expressionism. His plays are full of images of surreal violence and degradation, and are firmly grounded within a native Austrian tradition of Black comedy. Schwab conceived theater as anti-bourgeois.

He made use of textual collages and intertextuality. His 1995 play Troilluswahn und Cressidatheater is a rewriting of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida into the grotesque genre.

Another characteristic of his texts is to exploit the German language's capacity for neologism to a remarkable degree. He is very difficult to translate, but amongst English-language dramatists, certain stylistic parallels might be drawn between his work and that of Steven Berkoff and Enda Walsh.

Awards and honors

  • 1992 Mülheimer Dramatikerpreis
  • References

    Werner Schwab Wikipedia