Bernhard Studlar


What does it mean to write for the stage? – Questioning oneself as an artist or author is a never-ending story. So let’s write one chapter together! Of course, I am also curious about my European colleagues within the Fab community, about their experiences and our joint reflections and ideas. I am interested in entering into dialogue with young colleagues who are still at the beginning of their writing. To discuss either concrete questions about their texts or general questions about life and writing for the stage. For me, it’s about offering opportunities and, in the best case, opening up new (thinking) spaces.

Bernhard Studlar

Born in Vienna in 1972, studied theatre studies, philosophy, German literature and journalism at the University of Vienna from 1991-96. During this time he attended several classes at the School of Poetry in Vienna. Among others, with H.C. Artmann, Wolfgang Bauer, Allen Ginsberg and Blixa Bargeld. Between 1995 and 1998 he workes as dramaturge and assistant director at the Theater der Jugend in Vienna. 1998-2002 followed the study of “Scenic Writing” at the University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin. In 2001 Bernhard Studlar won the prize of Heidelberg Stückemarkt with “Transdanubia-Dreaming”, the play premiered at the Burgtheater Vienna in 2003. Since then he has been working as a freelance author. Commissioned works for the Vienna Burgtheater followed: “Mariedl Kantine”, a homage to Werner Schwab, and “Zwischentöne”. He has also written plays for the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg (“Spieltrieb”, “Me and You and the EU”), the Schauspielhaus Graz (“Sonne, Wolke, Amerika”) and the Schauspielhaus Wien. In 2017, his play “Nacht ohne Sterne” (Night without Stars), commissioned by the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, premiered there and was performed at Theater Kosmos in Bregenz and Schauspiel Leipzig. In 2020 he was awarded the Prize of the Austrian Theatre Alliance for his play “Lohn der Nacht”. The play was premiered at the 2021 Bregenz Festival, directed by Jana Vetten.

For young audiences (from the age of 3) he wrote a “Trilogy of Wonder” consisting of the plays “Around the Corner”, “See You Later” and “Meal Time”. He has also adapted several classic plays for children aged 10 and over, including “Parzival”, “Don Quixote” and “Robinson Crusoe”. His last children’s play “Megafad” premiered at the Erlangen Theatre in 2021 and was invited to the renowned festival “Kinderstücke” in Mülheim. Bernhard Studlar writes plays and radio plays for adults as well as for children and young people. His texts have been translated into more than ten languages and performed by theatres in Europe. He lives as a freelance author in Vienna. His plays are represented by henschel Schauspiel Berlin.

Directing & Teaching

Shortly after completing his studies, Bernhard Studlar began to get involved in various areas of contemporary drama and can now look back on more than 20 years of experience in this field. He has worked as a dramaturge, mentor and director in German-speaking countries, including at the Werkstatttage at the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Staatstheater in Stuttgart and the Theater Neumarkt in Zurich. From 2004 to 2014, he was country sponsor for the festival “Neue Stücke aus Europa/New Plays from Europe” in Wiesbaden. He conceived various “co-writing” projects and taught scenic writing as a guest lecturer at the UdK Berlin and at the Institute for Language Arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Internationally, he has led workshops with young writers at the Goethe Institute in Istanbul, at the Teatr Dramatyczny Warsaw and at the Summerschool Südtirol. From 2017 to 2020 he worked for the EU project “Fabulamundi. Playwriting Europe”. In 2005 Bernhard Studlar founded the intercultural playwrights project WIENER WORTSTAETTEN together with the director Hans Escher. Until today he is its artistic director. About the project:WIENER WORTSTAETTEN sees itself as an independent, creative research laboratory and text workshop. The creation and scenic presentation of new texts for the stage has been at the centre of the project from the very beginning, as has the examination of socially important topics and networking between authors. Since 2017, the Wiener Wortstaetten have been part of the network “Fabulamundi. Playwriting Europe”.


Sauter and Studlar

Bernhard Studlar has been a co-author for many years with his Swiss colleague Andreas Sauter. Together they wrote the play “A. ist eine andere”, which was awarded the Kleist Prize for Young Playwrights in 2000. The premiere at the Städtische Theatern Chemnitz was followed by numerous sequels in German-speaking countries and several translations (French, Russian, Slovakian). In the same year, the two authors won the prize for the best “radical comedy” at the Staatstheater Kassel with their play “All about Mary Long”. Since then they have written numerous plays, directed works and radio plays. Among others, “Fiege – ein Stück ohne Geilheit”, “Rote Kometen” and most recently “Warten auf Tränengas”. Her plays are represented by the publisher schaefersphilippen.

Me and You and the EU – Borderline Experiences (Fun & Horror)

The place where this story takes place is a utopia: the Cafeo Europo. Karoline, Kardinal and the waiter sit there dreaming of change. They are waiting for a New Europe, wistful, nightmarish and usually musical. They believe it is getting harder and harder for people to find their way. Regardless of whether they are at a road junction, a border crossing or in their own apartment. The play deals with the loss of security and people’s longing to arrive somewhere.

Cast: 1 F / 2 M

World premiere 2006, Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg

Director: Roger Vontobel

Performing rights: henschel Schauspiel Theaterverlag, Berlin


Nacht ohne Sterne (Starless Night)

A city somewhere in Europe. Its inhabitants’ paths cross or part forever in this starless night. Sirens wail constantly and there are demonstrations on the streets. Two men are killed, one in the theatre, the other in the street. A third who is mortally ill, throws himself out of a window. Its themes are gambling debts and guilt, fears about making a living and the desire for a little happiness and security. An actress with angel wings saves one and leaves the other, a doctor sacrifices herself for her profession, a girl wanders aimlessly through the streets. Death joins her and gives her a parting letter from her father. He is the only one who always knows what to do, doing his work efficiently and professionally. When it gets late (too late) the characters meet in the Bar a nox. They walk drunkenly over the cemetery of their dreams.

‘Starless Night’ tells of how the blanket of civilization is getting thinner in a time when terrorist violence and social inequality play into the hands of populists of all shades.

Cast: 5 F / 5 M

World premiere 2017, Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava

Director: Jan Luteran

Translated into Slovak.

Performing rights: henschel Schauspiel Theaterverlag, Berlin

New Voices
Drama Lab 2024
Edition 2017-2020

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