There are no really big names won at the controversial Zurich Schauspielhaus – and one with scandals has woken up. But the mayor kept her promise.
In February the contract of the Zurich technical team Nicola Stemann/Benjamin von Blomberg was signed It didn’t stretch with much fanfare, there were protests by cultural workers (and a secret sigh of relief from some factions in the Schauspielhaus). Even the winner of the Austrian Nobel Prize in Literature Elfriede Jelinek intervenedOne fears the ideological turn backwards. But Mayor Corinne Mauch promised at the time: “The efforts the house is making to open up in the spirit of diversity are correct. It is important for me to stress that we are continuing to develop the path we have chosen.
One could say that Mauch has kept her word by electing Pinar Karabulut and Rafael Sánchez as the new management duo from the summer of 2025. The appointed co-director is 36 years old, and a German business magazine ranked her among the “Top 40 Under 40”. ” in 2022. In the Society category, from 2020 to 2023 she was part of the artistic direction of the Münchner Kammerspiele.
The parents of the young woman, who describes herself as “through and through NRW” (North Rhine-Westphalia), hail from the Anatolian city of Kayseri, and her productions come from a spirit of queer feminist empowerment. It’s colorful and modern, brushes up on the classics, uses the keyword “overwriting,” and gives marginalized people a stage.
Bright and bright
Karabulut has been invited to the “Radikaljung” theater festival in Munich and to the Berlin Theater in 2022. She has been celebrated as “the most exciting newcomer on the theatrical scene”, but her work has also been criticized as too bright, flat and imprecise.
He assisted Karabulut early on at the Neumarkt Theater in Zurich and then also directed it in 2018. The magnificent performance titled “The Great Tragedy of Female Power” no longer premiered during Rafael Sánchez’s co-direction at the Neumarkt (2008-2013). But Sanchez and Karabulut have been a major presence at Schauspiele Köln since 2013.
The 48-year-old from Basel has been described as a “playboy among directors”: turning into slapstick is almost his trademark – as in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, directed by the then Newmarket Theater duo Rafael Sanchez and Barbara. Weber said as he said goodbye and at the same time created a nice carnival for the children. He has shown that Sanchez is capable of doing things differently, more difficult, more clearly, in Zurich as well as in Cologne, where he has now worked as an interior manager for a decade. There is no doubt that he is appreciated there: Cologne’s director, Stefan Bachmann from Zurich, will move to Vienna’s Burgtheater in the summer of 2024, and Sanchez will take over interim management until 2025.
The first show was cancelled
The Weber/Sanchez team could have stayed at the Neumarkt Theater a year longer: the management of both theaters considers the Theater am Neumarkt AG a success, and apart from some minor bumps, things have also gone well in terms of numbers. Rafael Sanchez is also the director of Mike Mueller’s famous solo theater evenings such as “Parents’ Evening”, “Class Meeting”, “Erpsacci” and “Visiting Troops”, which sold like hotcakes.
And the fact that Sanchez already had his own theatrical argument probably gave him some brownie points when presenting. In fact, the German Theater in Berlin had to cancel the 2012 premiere of “Clybourne Park” because the American auteur insisted on black lead actors. “I couldn’t and didn’t want to do it,” director Sanchez admitted to SPIEGEL at the time. He only planned one PoC actor. Maybe he would do things differently today.
Area for improvement is also an opportunity
No, it was not possible to attract real stars to the stage, not even those with great connections like Steman at that time. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Area for improvement is also an opportunity. At least, frankly, the height of the fall is smaller – and the openness to the local world is perhaps greater.
Informed circles say that decision-making bodies are very happy with the presence of this bipolar mix at the beginning, which represents progressive trends in addition to popular trends. Certainly, questions can now be asked again about the difference between the different theaters in Zurich Square. But at least the duo will likely get along well with each other, and with the city as well.
Alexandra Kedvis He works as cultural editor in the Life section. She writes primarily about theater as well as social and educational issues. He studied German, English, and philosophy in Konstanz, Oxford, and Freiburg.More information