Marius von Meyenburg

Marius von Mayenburg


I write theatre pieces because the stage is where I like to think best. Sometimes I write because something irritates me or I find something funny and I like to share that with the viewers like you re-tell a joke, or because I want to spend time with certain actors rehearsing, or because I have a nightmare, or I’m looking for a specific piece and I don’t find it so I get down and write it myself. Sometimes I write because I want to play a game, sometimes because it is my profession which I have learned but mostly I write out of habit.

Fabulamundi involved Marius von Meyenburg in activities in Târgu Mureș.

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Marius von Meyenburg was born in Munich in 1972. He studied Old German and moved to Berlin in 1992, studied at the Berlin University of Arts from 1994 to 1998. He assisted as a stage writer at DT Baracke from 1998 to 1999, since 1999 he has worked as a stage writer and writer-in-residence at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin. He has directed and translated several pieces. He was awarded the Kleist prize for promising dramatists in 1997 and the Frankfurt authors’ foundation prize in 1997 for Feuergesicht (Fireface) which was first staged on 10 October 1998 at the Munich Kammerspiele, directed by Jan Bosse. Fireface has been translated into more than 30 languages and staged all over the world. Many of his other plays have also been staged frequently in Germany and abroad. He also directs plays at the Schaubühne. Marius von Mayenburg lives in Berlin.

Theatre works

2006 / Augenlicht (Eyelight), first staged: 15.03.2006; Schaubühne am Leniner Platz, Berlin.
2004 / Eldorado, first staged: 11.12.2004, Schaubühne Berlin.
1998 / Feuergesicht (Fireface), first staged: 10.10.1998, Münchner Kammerspiele.
2008 / Freie Sicht (Open View), A Swarm, first staged: 29.02.2008, Melbourne at the Adelaide Festival.
1999 / Haarmann (Hair Man), first staged: 27.01.1999, DT, Berlin (Radio play), first staged: 24.02.2001, Schauspiel Hannover.
2007 / Der Hässliche (Ugly), first staged: 05.01.2007, Schaubühne, Berlin.
2008 / Der Hund, die Nacht und das Messer (The Dog, the Night and the Knife), first staged: 25.05.2008, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin.
2002 / Das kalte Kind (The Cold Child), first staged: 07.12.2002, Schaubühne Berlin.
2012 / Märtyrer (Martyr), first staged: 29.02.2012, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz , Berlin.
2000 / Parasiten (Parasites), first staged: 18.05.2000, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg.
2010 / Perplex (Perplexed), first staged: 20.11.2010, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin.
2008 / Der Stein (The Rock), first staged: 31.07.2008, Salzburger Festspiele, Berlin. 2005 / Turista, first staged: 25.03.2005, Schaubühne Berlin.

Märtyrer (Martyr)
Benjamin Südel has stopped going to swimming lessons. When his mother enquires, he finally cites religious reasons. He underscores his surprising coming-out as a believer with biblical quotes as well as behaviour. At the next swimming lesson, he jumps into water fully dressed, he strips naked in the sex education class, he comments on Darwin’s theory of evolution in a gorilla suit. He and his biology teacher are repeatedly called to appear before the principal because of his provocative behaviour. However, the principal as well as the pastor at the school understand Benny’s weird views, soon leaving Ms Roth alone with what she believes are socially acceptable norms. Benjamin on the other hand finds devoted followers in Georg, himself an oddball, and his classmate Lydia, who initially wants nothing to do with him but is gradually attracted.

Cast Willy Batzler (principal) Erika Roth (teacher for biology, chemistry, geography) Markus Dörflinger (teacher for history and sports) Pastor Dieter Menrath (teaches religion) Benjamin Südel (schoolboy) Inge Südel (his mother) Georg Hansen (schoolboy) Lydia Weber (schoolgirl)

– Extracts from Märtyrer (Martyr)

Sick Note
SÜDEL: Your teacher called.
Is there something you’d like to tell me?
SÜDEL: Why can’t we talk the way we used to?
BENJAMIN: We never talked. I lied to you so you wouldn’t be sad.
SÜDEL: Your teacher says the past few weeks you didn’t show up for class.
BENJAMIN: That’s not true. Except for swimming.
(Benjamin shrugs.)
Apparently you said you have a sinus infection.
SÜDEL: Do you have a sinus infection?
(Benjamin shrugs.)
Why do you say such things?
(Benjamin shrugs.)
Is it drugs?
(Benjamin looks at her.)
Are you taking drugs, Benjamin?
(Benjamin gives a short laugh.)
I had to promise your teacher you’d go back next week.
BENJAMIN: I’m never going back.
SÜDEL: Why? What happened?
BENJAMIN: Nothing.
SÜDEL: Are the other children giving you a hard time?
BENJAMIN: They’re not children. Will you write me a sick note?
SÜDEL: Probably. But I need to know why.
(Benjamin shrugs.)
What am I supposed to write? It’s not a sinus infection.
BENJAMIN: I just think it’s gross, why do I have to explain it?
SÜDEL: Because you want me to write you a sick note.
BENJAMIN: You don’t understand me anyway.
SÜDEL: Are you scared you’ll drown? I’ll talk to your teacher, maybe he’ll let you swim at the edge so you can hang on if you sink.
BENJAMIN: I’m not going to sink.
SÜDEL: Maybe you don’t like your body.
(Benjamin stares at her.)
That’s normal at your age. You really are quite pale.
BENJAMIN: I’m not pale.
SÜDEL: I’ll give you money, you’ll use a sun lamp, just a bit, so you’re not so pasty.
BENJAMIN: I don’t have a problem with my body.
SÜDEL: Maybe it’s sexual? Look, we can talk about it.
SÜDEL: At your age boys sometimes get uncontrollable erections, I can imagine that that’s uncomfortable in front of the others.
BENJAMIN: I don’t have uncontrollable erections.
SÜDEL: You can tell me these things, I hope you know that.
BENJAMIN: And then you’ll put in the sick note: my son can’t take part in the swimming lessons because of uncontrollable erections.
SÜDEL: No. Of course not. I’ll put sinuses.
BENJAMIN: Put: because of religious reasons.
SÜDEL: What?
BENJAMIN: That the swimming lessons hurt my religious feelings. That’s it.
SÜDEL: But Benjamin –
BENJAMIN: Then it’s settled once and for all.
SÜDEL: Benjamin, you don’t have any religious feelings.
BENJAMIN: How would you know?
SÜDEL: It has to be reasonably probable or I’m going to look ridiculous.
BENJAMIN: What’s ridiculous about it?
SÜDEL: I’ll put sinus.
BENJAMIN: Religious feelings or I won’t hand it in.
SÜDEL: You’ve read that somewhere.
BENJAMIN: So? If they’re hurt, –
BENJAMIN: – my religious feelings?
SÜDEL: No, seriously. I’m trying to smooth the way for you and you’re talking nonsense.
BENJAMIN: Other people are religious too.
SÜDEL: I’m not writing that.
BENJAMIN: You could show some respect for it.
SÜDEL: Anyway.
SÜDEL: You’re going swimming next week.
BENJAMIN: Like I said.
SÜDEL: What?
BENJAMIN: You don’t understand me.

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