Dear audience

The upcoming season will be special. On the one hand, because of extraordinary productions. On the other hand, because it will be our last season here at the Schau- spielhaus Zürich. Naturally, that means something – for us, but maybe also for you. Maybe you will experience plays with a sense of “for the last time”. Maybe some of you will still have the debate about the Schauspielhaus Zürich in the back of your minds, which carried polemical and also politically motivated elements – which, in the end, are important to a debate and will remain important. These debates must continue – perhaps in a different way, supported by the willingness to listen to each other: Where does the city of Zurich want to go and in which direction should the city’s theatre develop? What is the Schauspielhaus worth to the city? For whom should it be?

In the preparation for this season, however, we did not do so much differently than usual. We want theatre to be sensuous and fun. And we have continued to try to reflect the present – for example with the world premieres of Kim de l’Horizon’s Blutbuch, of Virginie Despentes’ Liebes Arschloch or the opera Carmen through the eyes and ears of the performance collective Moved by the Motion. And also with the production of Brecht’s Life of Galileo – exactly 80 years to the day after its world premiere at the Pfauen: a play about progress and the forces that want to stop it. And as we do every year, we create the season with people we believe in as artists and in their ability to create theatre pieces that are all the greater in their levels of meaning and sensuous qualities than any debate could portray.

In this final season, we are delighted to continue working with the same eight directors at the centre as we started with in our first season in 2019/20, opening up the theatre to new aesthetics and different production processes: in addition to the in-house directors Leonie Böhm, Suna Gürler, Trajal Harrell, Christopher Rüping, Wu Tsang and of course Nicolas Stemann, Alexander Giesche and Yana Ross return for one new production each. Christiane Jatahy is also back and Joana Tischkau joins us this season (p.43). Experiences of what art can do and how it can change a house and an audience are connected through the collaboration with the ensemble and these artists – and thus a constellation of people that will never come together in one place again. Experiences of how, with and through these people and other colleagues, theatre operations and production processes slowly change and open up. Finally, experiences that have connected us with you: our audience.

It is these connections that were and are important to us. And the sense of a living process of change, of extraordinary art, and of courageous and determined curiosity. We have been touched by the support we have received for this change in response to the announcement of the non-renewal of our contracts in recent months. We are grateful for pointed statements, declarations of solidarity and open letters. What will remain are the encounters with the people here. They will also remain in the form of this publication, for which we were allowed to photograph some of the people who shape us. Finally, you also decide what should remain for you. We look forward to the coming season with you.

Yours sincerely,
Benjamin von Blomberg and Nicolas Stemann