Reto Finger

Reto Finger, © Adrian Gerber
© Adrian Gerber

Reto Finger was born in 1972 in Bern and grew up in the small village of Rumendingen in Emmental. After completing his law degree in 1999, he was employed for two years at Zurich District Court and the Europa Institute, taking a break from his legal career in between to live in Berlin for a short period. Since 2002, he has worked as a freelance author, writing drama for the theatre and radio. His works include pieces commissioned for the Theater an der Winkelwiese and the Theater an der Sihl in Zurich, as well as radio plays for the broadcaster SWR. His play Schwimmen wie Hunde (Swimming like Dogs) was created as part of the Dramenprozessor workshop programme for young Swiss dramatists held by the Theater an der Winkelwiese. It was subsequently given a staged reading during the Werkstatttage workshops at the Vienna Burgtheater and performed in a workshop production during the Autorentheatertage festival at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg in 2005. This was followed by the premiere of his play Fernwärme (District Heating) at the sophiensäle in Berlin. In 2005, Reto Finger received the Kleist Prize for Young Dramatists for his play Kaltes Land (Cold Country). Cold Country was premiered in October 2006 at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, where he worked for a season as writer in residence.
He wrote a short play commissioned for the multi-author project Der Fremde ist nur in der Fremde fremd (Foreigners are only Foreign Abroad). This is being performed during the 2007/2008 season at the Stadttheater Bern, where he directed his new play, Am Anfang war das Feuer (In the Beginning was Fire), as the opening production of the first season at the theatre's new venue, the Vidmarhallen.

Awards, Honours:

  • 2003 Paul Maar Scholarship
  • Participation in the Wolfenbüttel Dramatists Workshop
  • 2003/2004 Participation in the Dramenprozessor workshop programme at the Theater an der Winkelwiese, Zurich
  • 2004 Invitation to Thessalonica as part of the Magic-Net programme
  • 2004 Invitation to the Werkstatttage at the Burgtheater Vienna with Schwimmen wie Hunde (Swimming like Dogs)
  • 2004/2005 Langenthal town writer in residence (Lydia Eymann Scholarship)
  • 2005 Kleist Prize for Young Dramatists for "Kaltes Land" (Cold Country)
  • 2005 Swiss Society of Authors (SSA) Playwriting Prize

    Theatre Library - Translations

    Translated plays by Reto Finger in the Theatre Library


    Kaltes Land ("Cold Country")

    "'Things from outside are not good for you in hard times,' says the Pastor of an isolated village somewhere in the mountains. A statement intended to protect his flock, devised with the hermetic village community in mind. At the same time, it is intended even more as self-protection. Unspoken truths should remain exactly what they have always been: covered up, non-existent.More ...

    List of works – Selection

    • Am Anfang war das Feuer (In the Beginning was Fire)
      Premiere: Stadttheater Bern, 2007
    • Einer wie ich würde mich vom Springen auch nicht abhalten (Someone like Me Wouldn't Stop Me from Jumping Either)
      Premiere: Schauspiel Essen, 2007
    • "Kaltes Land"
      Premiere: Nationaltheater Mannheim, 2006
    • Fernwärme (District Heating)
      Premiere: sophiensäle, Berlin, 2006 (coproduction with the Schauspiel Stuttgart and the Theaterhaus Jena)
    • Schwimmen wie Hunde (Swimming like Dogs)
      Premiere: Theater an der Winkelwiese, 2005
    • Zimmer 100bis (Room 100a)
      Premiere: Theater an der Winkelwiese and Theater an der Sihl, Zurich, 2005
    • Laurenz und Anna, eine Ost Side Story (Laurenz and Anna, an East Side Story)
      Premiere: Theatergruppe Fritzenfluh and Open Opera, St. Gallen, 2004