Thomas Köck

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Thomas Köck was born in Upper Austria in 1986 and works as an author and theatremaker. He studied Philosophy in Vienna and at the Free University, Berlin as well as Scenic Writing and Film Studies at the University of the Arts, Berlin. He has been an assistant director for Claudia Bosse and an editor for diaphanes Verlag. His documentary film on the civil war in Lebanon was invited to the Berlin Film Festival’s TALENTS programme and nominated for the Bosch Foundation Young Filmmaker’s Prize.  He has conceived series of readings and events in Vienna, Berlin and Mannheim. His plays are published by Suhrkamp Verlag and have been performed at theatres including the Akademietheater Vienna, Thalia Theater Hamburg, the Ruhrfestspielen Recklinghausen, Schauspielhaus Vienna and the Karlsruhe State Theatre. He gained his first independent director’s credit in 2017. He has been writer in residence at the National Theatre Mannheim and the winner of awards including the Else Lasker-Schüler Prize, the Austrian Theatre Alliance Playwriting Prize, the Thomas Bernhard Scholarship and most recently the Kleist Prize for an emerging playwright. Together with other authors he was also joint founder of the blog ‘’ dealing with the shift to the right across Europe.

paradies fluten – verirrte sinfonie (flooding paradise – lost symphony)
(part one of the climate trilogy)
Like bodies of water the words and images that Thomas Köck creates in the first part of his ‘Climate Trilogy’ close in upon us. Are they floods from paradise rolling up here as a curse, revenge or a blessing for the earth? Or is it earthly paradise itself that is being flooded and made uninhabitable? With powerful language and shot through with melancholy comedy the author brilliantly spans an arc from the early stages of globalisation to the present: from the rubber boom of the late 19th century to which entire regions and peoples fell victim to the madcap export of bourgeois European culture through the construction of the Teatro Amazonas opera house to the story of a dancer who feels the naked power of today’s working world – fully flexible, project-based and self-promoting. Will the floods wash the last bit of humanity away from the earth like a face in the sand at the bottom of the sea?
A play that includes a drowning ensemble, an exhausted symphony orchestra, two survivors in climate capsules and an average white central European family.
Prizes / Awards:
Kleist Prize for an Emerging Playwright 2016
Nominated for the Heidelberger Stückemarkt 2016
Opening production at the Autorentheatertage Deutsches Theater Berlin 2016 (production: Theater Rampe)
Cast: variable
Translated into French, Polish and Spanish.
Performing rights: Suhrkamp Theater Verlag
World premiere: Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen
02.06.2016 Director: Sara Ostertag

jenseits von fukuyama (beyond fukuyama)
In an institute researching happiness and the future, Dr. Phetka’s team is looking for the point of human existence. In reality the aggregate of people’s habits, online profiles etc. is gathered together here, saved, analysed, organised and sold on to decision makers. Its aim is to control society without friction. Of course the data cannot be made public – which, of course, is where they end up. While “outside” the “chorus of disappointed expectations” is already rehearsing resistance and protesting against the measurement and evaluation of its biographies, colleagues within the institute are engaged in a deadly competitive struggle.
Snappily taking the absurdities of current thinking to its logical conclusion, with brilliant wordplay and cracking humour, in his Suhrkamp debut Thomas Köck asks what utopias life might hold fur us after ‘The End of History’.
Cast: 3 F / 2 M
Translated into French, Spanish and Turkish.
Performing rights: Suhrkamp Theater Verlag
Prizes: Osnabrück Playwriting Prize 2014
World premiere: Theater Osnabrück
17.05.2014 Director: Gustav Rueb

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