Ewald Palmetshofer

Ewald Palmetshofer


I write for human bodies. And I write to be spoken. The two mean actually one and the same and that is realised only on the stage. That is where language returns to the place of production, it returns to the bodies on the stage to emerge from them. My text exists only on the stage, only as spoken, acted, embodied text. My writing is entirely committed to the act of speaking and to human bodies because it is nothing as a mere written text, it has no existence unless it enters and finds a home as an alien element in the bodies of actors and actresses, which in turn causes the spoken word to emerge from them, as utterances, in the struggle to make sense and to exist.

Fabulamundi involved Ewald Palmesthofer in activities in Barcelona.

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Ewald Palmetshofer was born in Linz/Austria in 1978. He studied theology and philosophy/psychology in Vienna to qualify as a teacher. In 2007/08 he was writer in residence at Schauspielhaus Vienna where he curated the Die X Gebote (The X Commandments) series. In 2008 he was adjudged Young playwright of the year in a critics’ survey conducted by Theater heute and was awarded the Dramatists’ award of the circle of German industries in addition to being nominated for the Nestroy Prize in the Best young author category for his piece Wohnen. unter glas (living. under glass). His pieces hamlet ist tot. keine schwerkraft (hamlet is dead. no gravity) and Faust hat hunger und verschluckt sich an einer grete (Faust is hungry and chokes on a hayseed) were invited in 2008 and 2010 respectively, to the Mülheimer Theatertage. The pieces were first staged in 2007 and 2009 at Schauspielhaus Vienna, directed by Felicitas Brucker. Autumn 2010 saw the first staging of his play Tier. man wird doch bitte unterschicht at Staatsschauspiel Dresden directed by Simone Blattner. In 2010/11, Ewald Palmetshofer was writer in residence and visiting stage author at Nationaltheater Mannheim. He received the promising writer award of the city of Vienna in the literature category in 2011. His new piece Räuber.schuldengenital was premiered in December 2012 with Stephan Kimmig as director at Vienna’s Akademietheater. Ewald Palmetshöfer lives in Vienna.

Theatre works
2007 / Hamlet ist tot. keine schwerkraft (Hamlet is dead. no gravity) written in the course of the wiener wortstaetten authors’ project, first staged in 2007, Schauspielhaus Vienna, invited to “New European Drama 2008” theatre biennale of Staatstheater Wiesbaden/Germany, Mülheimer Festival 2008 as well as Thalia Theater Hamburg.
2008 / wohnen. unter glas (living. under glass) first staged in 2008 at Schauspielhaus Vienna, invited to Heidelberger Stückemarkt 2008.
2008 / Das Ende kommt schon noch (The end will come no doubt) first staged in UA 2008 as part of the Deutschlandsaga series at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin.
2009 / Helden (Heroes) first staged in 2009 at Theater an der Ruhr.
2009 / Körpergewicht. 17% (Bodyweight. 17%) first staged in 2009 at Nationaltheater Mannheim/Germany, Austrian premiere in 2011 at Schauspielhaus Vienna.
2009 / Sauschneidn. ein mütterspiel first staged in 2009 at Theater am Lend, Graz/Austria
2009 / Faust hat hunger und verschluckt sich an einer grete (Faust is hungry and chokes on a hayseed) first staged in 2009 at Schauspielhaus Vienna, invited to the Thalia Theater Hamburg 2009 and to the Mülheimer Theatre festival Stücke ’10.
2009 / Herzwurst. immer alles eine tochter first staged in 2009 as part of the Die X Gebote (The X Commandments) series at Schauspielhaus Vienna.
2010 / Tier. man wird doch bitte unterschicht first staged in 2010 at Staatsschauspiel Dresden/Germany; Austrian premiere in 2011 at Schauspielhaus Vienna, invited to the Deutsches Theater Berlin.
2012 / Räuber.schuldengenital first staged in 2012 at Akademietheater Vienna.

Hamlet ist tot. keine schwerkraft (Hamlet is dead. No gravity)
Hamlet ist tot. keine schwerkraft
[Hamlet is dead. No gravity] deals with involuntary incapacitation, stasis in the face of the lack of perspectives. Natural law becomes a lyrical joke. And no political thinking except for one’s own state of mind. Having arrived at the state of total commercialisation, the wheels turn ever faster. The world is a centrifuge and to be or not to be is not the question since not being is a foregone conclusion anyway. Ewald Palmetshofer’s incisive comedy weaves language and rhythm into a looming threat that finally leaves just one question open: to resign or to act?

Cast: KURT – a father / CARO – a mother / OLI – a good friend / MANI – a son / DANI – a daughter / BINE – a good friend

– Extracts from Hamlet ist tot. keine schwerkraft

MANI Since God died, heaven is empty, not quite, but almost, the heaven, so one could say from the point of a general topography of heaven that while heaven itself is empty, but in itself, as an empty heaven it is a machine, that machine which is heaven and the machine and gives out a ticket. Second hypothesis colon, heaven is a machine and gives out a ticket. Like a government office. That is how one should imagine it. Heaven is like a government office. Like the employment bureau, for example, no, it is like the machine at the employment bureau and gives you a ticket. At the bureau, you pull out a ticket from the machine in the waiting room and the number from heaven is almost similar. And when heaven gives you a number then you can be computed with. That’s when you are computed with, when you have a number. When heaven gives you a number, the machine, then you are computed with, you can be computed, so you play a part in the general computation of the current situation, in the economy of the future, in the global accounting of the present and in the future balance sheet of the end of business, at the end of time, at the of the world, when heaven, the machine gives you a ticket


SCENE (19)

MANI everybody just shut up damn it

DANI we’re fucking it up, like,
it can’t be fucked up anymore,
aw, such pile of shit shit
heaven is a machine
damn ass piss fucking machine

MANI yes, a machine
as I said in the beginning

DANI and the machine gives you a ticket
and it doesn’t make a damn difference what number is printed on the ticket from heaven
that’s not the point at all
the point of it is just THAT
the point of it is just THAT the ticket with the number,
of THAT the computing
IF you’re part of the computing, matters
if you’re part of the general computing

MANI if you belong to the set of elements
if you’re part of the element set used to compute the economy of the

DANI damn, that’s exactly what it’s about

MANI if you’re part of the ensemble, the set to calculate

DANI if you’re on the axis

MANI if you’re at all on the axis of numbers
if you’re a number on the axis,
the numeric stream, the Axis of Good

DANI fuck the axis of good
it matters a fuck, damn it
the main thing is an axis
so long as you’re on the axis, everything’s fine

MANI because everything on the axis

DANI shit, it matters a shit what axis

MANI everything on the axis matters, damn it

DANI if you belong to the ensemble

MANI to the set of numbers
not specific numbers
but just to the set of numbers
then you will be computed with
then you have a future

DANI because the axis, the numeric axis,
always points to the future
from zero to infinity, along the axis
to infinity into the future
if you have a number
then you have one, a future, damn it
everything on the axis has a future and matters, fuck, matters in this computation of the
fucking future economy

MANI and so those on the Axis of Good can be happy
that they are on an axis
any crappy axis, and not on
‘cause if you are not on any axis
‘cause when heaven has not

DANI heaven is a machine

MANI and if you’re not on any axis
‘cause heaven hasn’t given you a number
then you don’t figure
you’re surplus, sadly, you won’t be part
of the computation

DANI you do math
and you’ve got a Coke on the table
and you don’t include it in the computation
the Coke on the table, damn it,
yeah, it’s a crappy example
the Coke
I know
but it doesn’t have a number

MANI and there are thousands of them
many thousands out there

DANI millions

MANI yeah, millions of others, who’re not on the axis and don’t matter at all

DANI and hell, someone’s got to tell them that, that heaven is a machine
and that they don’t have a number and are not on any axis

MANI and are therefore negligible surplus

DANI an excessive remainder
cellular surplus
a heap of cells
half a cell planet
a wart in the digestive tract of the world
a shitty wart

MANI an external hydrocarbon storage

DANI an organic storage buffer
maybe for later, one doesn’t know

MANI and quite normal, says
the law of conservation of mass
‘cause the atoms out there in the desert, out there in the wild thought,
I’ll bond, I’ll make a hydrocarbon bond
and become a bit organic

DANI perhaps as a buffer for later, one doesn’t know,
maybe even the machine doesn’t

MANI the machine is, strictly speaking and after detailed analysis

DANI after bloody detailed analysis

MANI the machine is transcendence

DANI complete transcendence
and I doubt if god was ever so transcendent as the machine
but the machine is now
more transcendent than god and
is actually the complete god

MANI the complete transcendence

DANI after detailed analysis, there, at the end of the history of development

MANI the history of the development of religions

DANI and after the death of god

MANI there stands the machine, at the end

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