Roland Schimmelpfennig

Roland Schimmelpfennig - © Arno Declair
© Arno Declair

Roland Schimmelpfennig was born at Göttingen in 1967. He first worked as a freelance journalist and author in Istanbul before starting to study as a theatre director in Munich's Otto Falkenberg School in 1990. After completing this course he became an assistant director and later a member of the artistic team at Munich's Kammerspiele. Roland Schimmelpfennig was then engaged as dramaturg and author at the Berlin Schaubühne for the 1999/2000 season. At present he is house author at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg.

Prizes and Awards:

  • Else-Lasker-Schüler-Preis for "Fisch um Fisch" (1997)
  • Fördergabe des Schiller-Gedächtnispreises von Baden-Württemberg (1998)
  • Einladung zu den Mülheimer Theatertagen 2000, 2001 und 2002
  • Nestroy Prize 2002 as best young author
  • Invitation to the Mülheim Theatre Days 2003 for his play Vorher/Nachher ("Before/After")
  • Invitation to Stücke 2004 at the Mülheim Theatertage
  • Invitation to the Mülheim Theatre Days 2005 for his playDie Frau von frühe" (i.e."The Woman from the Past")
  • Invitation to the Mülheim Theatre Days 2009 for his play Hier und Jetzt (i.e. "Here and Now")
  • Nestroy Prize for the best play (Besuch bei dem Vater, i.e. "Visit at the Father") 2009
  • Else-Lasker-Schüler-Prize 2010
  • Invitation to and prize at the 2010 Mülheim Theatertage with The Golden Dragon
  • The Golden Dragon was chosen as play of the year in the 2010 Theater Heute yearbook critics survey

    Theatre Library - Translations

    Translated plays by Roland Schimmelpfennig in the Theatre Library


    Das fliegende Kind (The Flying Child)

    November. St. Martin’s Day. A children’s service in church. Parents listen emotionally to the singing of their offspring in the choir, while in secret they are busy planning and undertaking erotic adventures. From the very beginning, the lantern parade is overshadowed by evil omens. More ...

    The Four Points of the Compass

    A man has an accident with his lorry. He leaves the load lying in a ditch by the side of the road and sets off on his way to a better life. More ...

    Der goldene Drache (The Golden Dragon)

    The play centres around The Golden Dragon, a Chinese-Vietnamese-Thai restaurant that does a good trade selling local residents its Asian fast food to take away as well.
    It is here, between hissing gas cookers in the cramped kitchen, that a young Chinese man without a residence permit has an incisor that is tormenting him pulled out with a wrench. This tooth accidentally lands in the Thai soup, in which it finds its way into the mouth of a stewardess, one of the restaurant’s regulars. More ...

    Hier und Jetzt (“Here and Now”)

    A wedding party out in the open air on a summer evening. It is late and still warm. Some of the guests have musical instruments with them. Now and then, they play a couple of bars of a melody. There is a great deal of eating and drinking. A woman talks into a pram. More ...

    Die Frau von früher (i.e., “The Woman from the Past”)

    “The packing is done. A family is moving house. Frank, the father, will be working overseas and Claudia, his wife, is going with him as a matter of course. Their almost grown up son Andreas will also relocate with them and, like his parents, is leaving his previous life in the old world behind. He now has to part from Tina, his first great love.More ...

    Vorher/Nachher ("Before/Afterwards")

    In "Before/Afterwards" the audience's attention is directed in 51 short scenes towards individual moments in the lives of a large number of nebulously described characters who are by chance staying in the same big hotel at the same time.More ...

    Die arabische Nacht ("The Arabian Night")

    Sunmmer: Water supplies for an entire high-rise settlement have broken down. But in one seventh-floor flat, Franziska, a young woman who can remember nothing, is having a shower.More ...

    Push up 1-3

    They are in a hurry to become top managers, exert influence at executive meetings, or get important postings abroad, or their working lives are close to disaster: being fired, shunted to the sidelines, or made to retire early. The women and men in "Push Up 1-3" work in a big company's administration, the scene of three big struggles for power, each waged by two people competing mercilessly for business and private interests. More ...

    Vor langer Zeit im Mai ("Long Ago in May")

    A man on a bicycle cycles pointlessly in large circles around the stage until he crashes into a wall. A woman in a rococo dress flits indecisively across the set. A young woman struggles with a heavy suitcase. A couple exchange meaningless melancholic remarks about bicycles, suitcases and women, a woman with a broom, a pair of lovers.More ...

    List of works – Selection

    • Das fliegende Kind(i.e. "The Flying Child")
      Premiere 2012, Burgtheater, Vienna
      Invitation to the Mülheimer Theatertage
    • Die vier Himmelsrichtungen (i.e. "The Four Points of the Compass")
      UA Salzburg Festival, Coproduction with the Deutsches Theater Berlin, 2011
    • Wenn, dann: was wir tun, wie und warum (i.e. "If, Then: What We Do, How and Why")
      UA Schauspiel Frankfurt, 2011
    • Peggy Pickit sieht das Gesicht Gottes
      UA Deutsches Theater, Berlin, 2010
    • Peggy Pickit sieht das Gesicht Gottes (Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God)
      Premiere: Deutsches Theater, Berlin, 2010
    • Der goldene Drache ("The Golden Dragon")
      Premiere: Burgtheater Vienna, 2009
    • Idomeneus
      Premiere: Bavarian Staatsschauspiel, 2008
    • Hier und jetzt ("Here and Now")
      Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zurich, 2008
    • Calypso
      Premiere: Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, 2008
    • Auf der Greifswalder Straße (i.e., "On Greifswalder Straße")
      Premiered at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin, 2006
    • Ambrosia (i.e., "Ambrosia")
      Premiered at the Schauspiel, Essen, 2005
    • Die Frau von früher (i.e."The Woman from the Past"),
      Burgtheater, Vienna, 2004
    • Canto Minor (i.e."Canto Minor"),
      premiered at the 2004 Mülheim Theatre Days
    • Für eine bessere Welt ("For a Better World")
      Premiere at the Zürich Schauspielhaus planned for the 2003/2004 season
    • Angebot und Nachfrage ("Supply and Demand")
      Premiere at the Hamburg Schauspielhaus planned for the 2003/2004 season
    • Vorher/Nachher
      Premiere: "Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, 2002/2003
    • Push-up 1-3
      Premiere: "Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin", November 2001
    • Die arabische Nacht
      Premiere: "Staatstheater Stuttgart", February 2001
    • MEZ
      Premiere: "Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin", May 2000
    • Vor langer Zeit im Mai
      Premiere: "Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin", March 2000
    • Fisch um Fisch
      Premiere: "Staatstheater Mainz", May 1999
    • Aus den Städten in die Wälder, aus den Wäldern in die Städte
      Premiere: "Staatstheater Mainz", April 1998
    • Die Zwiefachen
      Premiere: "Münchner Kammerspiele", June 1997
    • Keine Arbeit für die junge Frau im Frühlingskleid
      Premiere: "Münchner Kammerspiele", April 1996
    • Die ewige Maria
      Premiere: "Theater Oberhausen", January 1996