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Antigone in Butscha

By Pavlo Arie
Translated from ukrainian by Sebastian Anton
Staging: Stas Zhyrkov

A war photographer is at the centre of this production. A war photographer who lives with her husband in Zurich and repeatedly sets off from there to the crisis regions of the world. She wants to depict the suffering that, without her documentation, would simply happen pointlessly, unrecognised by the world and politics. She thereby hopes to contribute to reducing this suffering. Her profession might also be a bit of an escape from the all too tranquil everyday life with her husband, from the life in Switzerland that has become a bit too comfortable, from the indifferent preoccupation with herself. The fact that her husband, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to stabilise this contemplative life and start a family, to have children, is yet another reason for her to leave for faraway places. Her next operational area: Butscha, in Ukraine.

On 24 February 2022, the Ukrainian director Stas Zhyrkov fled Kyiv with his family. Since then he has been living in exile. With Antigone in Butscha, the Schauspielhaus Zürich continues its tradition as a theatre in exile and invites Stas Zhyrkov as a Related Artist at Risk to show his view of the war, of history and of how Western Europe deals with it.


Talk: With Luzia Tschirky, who until recently reported from and about Ukraine and the war for Swiss television SRF, and director Stas Zhyrkov. Moderation: Prof. Dr. Priska Gisler Head of the institute Praktiken+Theorien Künste of Bern University of Applied Sciences. April 7, 6-7 p.m., Pfauen-Foyer.

Doppelspiel, workshops for children aged 7-12, parallel to the dernière

With Vitalina Bibliv (im Video) / Michael Neuenschwander / Matthias Neukirch / Karin Pfammatter / Lena Schwarz / sowie als Expert*innen im Video Sebastian Anton / Gottfried Breitfuss / Tabita Johannes / Daniel Lommatzsch
Stas Zhyrkov
Stage Design
Lisa Chiara Kohler
Costume Design
Paulina Barreiro
Bohdan Lysenko
Max Wuchner
Christoph Kunz
Katinka Deecke
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Audience Development
Silvan Gisler
Artistic Mediation T&S
Manuela Runge
Touring & International Relations
Sonja Hildebrandt
Production Assistance
Sarah-Maria Hemmerling
Costume design Assistance
Julia Zangger
Rehearsal translation
Sebastian Anton
Production intern
Kristina Malyseva
Stage Design intern
Luzia Vogt
Michael Durrer
János Stefan Buchwardt
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Supported by Gesellschaft der Freunde des Schauspielhauses (gfs)

  • 2 hours
  • World premiere: 4 May 2023, Pfauen
  • German with English subtitles
  • 🛈 Introduction 30 min before the play on 11.10., 16.10. and 11.12.

    Trigger warning: This production contains depictions of violence and original film clips from Butscha during the war.

    Hinweis: Um Künstler*innen in Kriegen und fragilen Kontexten zu unterstützen, können Sie der global agierenden Nichtregierungsorganisation Artists at Risk spenden:

    People with F, N and S protection status can reserve a free theatre ticket via email to
Introduction: Katinka Deecke, Dramaturgy

Image gallery & Videos

Bits on Pieces
More texts and contexts related to our stagings in the theatre’s journal.
Conversations with Artists at Risk (AR)

Together with the NGO Artists at Risk (AR), Schauspielhaus Zürich is initiating a series of talks with artists from regions affected by war. The series aims to provide a platform for artists whose lives have been affected by war and displacement, and to contribute to a better understanding of the role of art in violent conflicts through their stories, works and biographies. The series is curated by Artists at Risk (AR), hosted and organized by Schauspielhaus Zürich.

«Moral kann man lernen»

Related Artist at Risk Stas Zhyrkov, die ehemalige Hausregisseurin Yana Ross und der Dramatiker Pavlo Arie im Gespräch mit der Dramaturgin Katinka Deecke

The Directors Talk
About Season 22/23

In seven short videos, Trajal Harrell, Nicolas Stemann, Yana Ross, Christopher Rüping, Suna Gürler, Wu Tsang and Stas Zhyrkov talk about their plans for the upcoming theatre season.