Botho Strauß

© Barbara Klemm

Botho Strauß was born on 2 December 1944 in Naumburg/Saale, the son of a chemist. After attending grammar school in Remscheid and Bad Ems, he studied German literature, drama history and sociology for several semesters in Cologne and Munich, as well as working as a supernumerary at the Munich Kammerspiele alongside his studies. From 1967 to 1970, Strauß worked as an editor and critic on the periodical “Theater Heute” and, from 1970 to 1975, as a dramaturg for Peter Stein at the Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer in Berlin, where he contributed to productions and wrote adaptations that had a crucial influence on German theatre in the 1970s, such as “Peer Gynt”, “Kleists Traum vom Prinzen von Homburg” (“Kleist’s Dream of the Prince of Homburg”) and “Sommergäste” (“Summer Guests”). The productions of his own works (such as "Die Hypochonder" [“The Hypochondriacs”], "Trilogie des Wiedersehens” [“Three Acts of Recognition”], "Groß und klein" [“Big and Little”], "Kalldewey, Farce", “Der Park” [“The Park”] and “Schlusschor” [“Final Chorus”]) by Peter Stein and Luc Bondy are just as highly regarded as some of the most important in modern German theatrical history.

At the beginning of the 1990s, his cultural essay “Anschwellender Bocksgesang” (“Swelling Goat Song”), a critical examination of the 1968 generation, triggered a major controversy about the author’s changing political convictions.

His work as a writer has been recognised with numerous international prizes and his dramas are among the most performed in German-language theatres.

Today, Botho Strauß lives as a freelance writer in Berlin and the Uckermark and is a member of the PEN Centre of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Prizes and Awards:

  • 1975 Dramatists’ Prize of the City of Hanover
  • 1981 Literature Prize of the Bavarian Academy of the Fine Arts
  • 1982 Mühlheim Dramatists’ Prize
  • 1987 Jean Paul Prize
  • 1989 Georg Büchner Prize
  • 1993 Berlin Theatre Prize
  • 2001 Lessing Prize

    Plays

    Die eine und die andere (i.e., “The One and the Other”)

    Two lifelong enemies – their duels, their vices, their inseparability.
    Lissie has been the other woman twice in Insa’s life! Lissie came between Insa and two of the men she has loved, destroying their love in each case. And now she turns up one last time.More ...

    List of works – Selection

    • “Schändung” (i.e., “Violation”)
      Premiered at the Théâtre de l’Odéon, Paris, 2005, German premiere: Berliner Ensemble, 2006
    • “Nach der Liebe beginnt ihre Geschichte” (i.e., “After Love Begins Its History”)
      Premiered at the Schauspielhaus, Zurich, 2005
    • "Die Eine und die Andere" (i.e., “The One and the Other”)
      Premiered at the Residenztheater, Munich, 2005
    • “Unerwartete Rückkehr” (i.e., “Unexpected Return”)
      Premiered at the Berliner Ensemble, 2002
    • “Der Narr und seine Frau heute abend in Pancomedia” (i.e., “The Fool and His Wife Tonight in Pancomedia”)
      Premiered at the Schauspielhaus, Bochum, 2001
    • “Lotphantasie” (i.e., “Lot Fantasy”)
      Premiered at the Theater in der Josephstadt, Vienna, 1999
    • “Der Kuss des Vergessens” (i.e., “The Kiss of Forgetting”)
      Premiered at the Schauspielhaus, Zurich, 1998
    • “Mara”, theatrical version of the poem by Robinson Jeffers
      Premiered at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin, 1998
    • “Die Ähnlichen. Moral Interludes” (“Similitude: Moral Interludes”)
      Premiered at the Theater in der Josephstadt, Vienna, 1998
    • “Ithaka” (i.e., “Ithaca”)
      Premiered at the Munich Kammerspiele, 1996
    • “The Balance” ("Das Gleichgewicht")
      Premiered at the Salzburg Festival, 1993
    • “Angelas Kleider” (i.e., “Angela’s Clothes”)
      Premiered at the Styrian Autumn/Vereinigte Bühnen, Graz, 1991
    • “Final Chorus” ("Schlußchor")
      Premiered at the Munich Kammerspiele, 1991
    • “Time and the Room” ("die Zeit und das Zimmer")
      Premiered at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin, 1989
    • “Seven Doors” ("Sieben Türen")
      Premiered at the Stockholm Stadsteater, 1988
    • “Visitors” ("Besucher")
      Premiered at the Munich Kammerspiele, 1988
    • “The Tour Guide” ("Die Fremdenführerin")
      Premiered at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin, 1986
    • “The Park” ("Der Park") Premiered at the Städtische Bühnen, Freiburg, 1984
    • “Kalldewey, Farce”
      Premiered at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, 1982
    • “Big and Little” ("Groß und Klein")
      Premiered at the Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer, Berlin, 1978
    • “Three Acts of Recognition” ("Trilogie des Wiedersehens")
      Premiered at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, 1977
    • "Familiar Faces Mixed Feeling" (“Bekannte Gesichter, gemischte Gefühle”) 
      Premiered at the Württembergisches Staatstheater, Stuttgart, 1974
    • “The Hypochondriacs” (“Die Hypochonder”)
      Premiered at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, 1972