The Schauspielhaus Zurich is Switzerland’s largest theatre and one of the most influential in the German-speaking world.
Swiss Re has been supporting the Schauspielhaus for 20 years in 2013.
With the traditional Pfauen venue in Zurich Hottingen and more recently the Schiffbau stage in Zurich West it is now represented in two districts. Around 20 new productions are scheduled each season. In total, the Schauspielhaus hosts about 600 performances with a daily capacity of up to 1 500 seats. Drawing over 150,000 spectators annually, it is one of the most important cultural institutions in Switzerland. Since 2009, the Schauspielhaus is led by Barbara Frey, who is the first women to hold this office since the theatre was founded in 1938.
Premiere September 2013
Swiss Re supports the current season’s production of “Woyzeck” commemorating the 200th anniversary of Georg Büchner’s birthday. Büchner wrote the last lines of "Woyzeck", his unfinished drama, not long before he died in Zurich. His handwriting is barely legible and the curious word creations he jotted down in haste, like a hunted man, remain a mystery to this day. Büchner had been captivated by the Woyzeck case since his childhood days. In his family of physicians the conviction of Johann Christian Woyzeck, a wigmaker turned soldier, was a much-debated topic. It was a murder case: in a fit of jealousy, the 41-year-old had stabbed his girlfriend to death in Leipzig. Woyzeck was publicly executed in 1821, having been declared sane and accountable based on the forensic examiner's report.
Twenty-three-year-old Büchner presents us Woyzeck as a man removed from this world: a man who is mentally broken, exploited for scientific experiments, tormented in his military service, and betrayed by his lover. Conjuring disturbing imagery and assembling it in a radical montage technique, Büchner shows us a world in transition as seen by a hunted man. "Woyzeck" is a surrealist tale of horrors. It anticipates the theme of lost delinquent minds of the dawning modern era through which Büchner's legacy would live on in the urban novels and films of the 20th century.
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