European Drama Award 2022

The European Drama Award, endowed with 75,000 euro, is awarded every two years since 2020 by Schauspiel Stuttgart. Funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Arts, it celebrates European playwrights who have produced an outstanding body of work. It is the most valuable award to focus on the dramatic arts in Europe in all their diversity, and sees them as a point of commonality between European cultures.
In addition to the main prize, Schauspiel Stuttgart also awards a European New Talent Drama Award. The prize money of 25,000 euros is funded by the Heidelberg-based SRH Holding Foundation (SdbR), whose CEO is Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich.
Patron of the European Drama Award is Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

"The European Drama Award closes a significant gap in the promotion of playwrights and demonstrates Baden-Württemberg's close ties with Europe. The award showcases the aesthetic and thematic power of European drama – let's be inspired and roused by it! My thanks go to the state of Baden-Württemberg, Christof Hettich and the SRH, as well as the jurors for their breadth of vision. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to this year's prize winners." - Burkhard C. Kosminski, artistic director of Schauspiel Stuttgart

Patronage for the European Drama Award by Winfried Kretschmann,
Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The European Drama Award is funded by the Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts
and the Friends of the Stuttgart State Theatres.
The European New Talent Drama Award is funded by SRH Holding (SdbR),
CEO Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich.

Award Winners 2022

Cary Churchill © Marc Brenner
Lena Lagushonkova © Petr Litvik

Caryl Churchill receives the European Drama Award 2022

The British playwright Caryl Churchill is the recipient of the European Drama Award 2022 for her complete works.

The jury, chaired by Peter Michalzik, on the reasoning behind their decision: "Playwright Caryl Churchill, born in 1938, has created a substantial, powerful and very politically engaged body of work over the course of more than 60 years. The diversity of the forms her work takes is a result of the diversity of her themes. Churchill tackles social, human, scientific and political issues. In the 1970s her writing became feminist (and has remained so). At that time she began to explore themes of gender and sex, racism and colonialism. In the 1980s, she took aim at financial capitalism, using the City of London as an example. In her numerous plays, she has sharply laid bare different power structures. Since the late 1990s, her work has shown a marked interest in Eastern Europe.
Her best-known and most important works include Cloud Nine (1979), which explores imperialist thinking, Top Girls (1982), about women in a man's world, A Mouthful of Birds (1986), in which she combined spoken word theatre with dance theatre for the first time, Serious Money (1987), a play written in verse, Blue Heart (1997), and A Number (2002), broaching questions of cloning and human identity. Love and Information (2012) and Ding Dong the Wicked (2013) deal with fundamental human questions.
Caryl Churchill continues to write to this day. In the great tradition of English-language literature, she created incisive dialogues along with onomatopoeic text surfaces. Her plays have surreal but also realistic traits. In addition to her intensive collaboration with dance theatre, which has inspired numerous continental European dramatists, she has also worked for musical theatre productions on many occasions. With her work, which is demanding in form and content, Churchill has repeatedly challenged critics and audiences. Caryl Churchill is one of the greatest living playwrights. Her work is well known but not famous and now only rarely performed. Time for a reassessment and reconsideration."

Lena Lagushonkova receives the European New Talent Drama Award 2022

The European New Talent Drama Award 2022 will be awarded to the Ukrainian playwright Lena Lagushonkova.

This year's sole juror, Marius Ivaškevičius, Lithuanian playwright, essayist, prose author, screenwriter, journalist and director reflects on the winner: "Lena Lagushonkova, a young Ukrainian playwright from Luhansk – now living in Kyiv – writes in her plays about the life of a young woman against the backdrop of revolution and war. The short dialogues and monologues in her plays are imbued with spare, direct language and sharp-witted humour. Her trilogy consists of the plays Gorky's Mother, PGT and My banner was pissed on by a cat. The latter is about her efforts to lose her virginity during the Euromaidan Uprising in Ukraine. She recounts historical events in Ukraine and her life in the occupied territory of Luhansk. The narrative – based on fragments of everyday life – develops into an epic drama: war, poverty, devastation and the agonising recognition of people and their actions. It is at once comedy and tragedy.Today, Lena lives in a terrible new reality – in a Kyiv besieged by Putin's army. I told her that she could expect a most pleasant surprise in the autumn. She replied: "Thank you very much. I hope I'll still be alive then." Before adding: "It is terrible. But I'm not crying."

Award Ceremony and Festival Weekend: 18 - 20 November 2022

The presentation of the European Drama Award 2022 to Caryl Churchill and the European New Talent Drama Award 2022 to Lena Lagushonkova will take place at the Schauspielhaus of the Stuttgart State Theatres on the weekend of 18 - 20 November 2022. The programme follows.

Patron's and donors’ statements 2022

Patron of the European Drama Award Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg

Winfried Kretschmann (Photo: Stateatsministerium Baden-Württemberg)
"The European Drama Award negotiates Europe's diversity on stage and sees theatre as a unifying force. The terrible war in Ukraine makes it especially relevant today. A war on European soil not only means immeasurable suffering for the people in Ukraine, but it is also an affront to fundamental values such as freedom, democracy and equality. I am all the more pleased that Caryl Churchill, one of the most innovative playwrights of the last 40 years, is being honoured. Her diverse body of work is rife with profound truths about power structures and abuses of power, gender issues and capitalist market mechanisms. In other words, topics that could not be more pressing today."


Theresia Bauer, Minister for Science, Research, and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg

Theresia Bauer (Photo: Sabine Arndt)
"With the European Drama Award, we distinguish innovative authors of contemporary drama who have a particularly European outlook and impact. This year we honour an important contemporary feminist playwright who has radically shattered theatrical conventions and left her mark on whole generations. With the New Talent Drama Award, a Ukrainian playwright is placed centre stage, focusing attention squarely on our current times marked by crisis, when the shockwaves from the war in Ukraine are being so profoundly felt."

Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich, CEO of SRH and donor of the New Talent Award

Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich (Foto: SRH)
"As an education and healthcare company, we at SRH are interested in people and society – and a society is always characterised by its art and culture. We support the European New Talent Drama Award because it is often young artists who have a different, fresh, unconventional and particularly critical view of the state of society. They do not follow well-trodden paths, but forge new paths. Lena Lagushonkova is such a 'path creator', and she very much deserves this prize."

Jurys und international Advisory Board 2022

In a multi-stage selection process, the international advisory board initially nominated a long list of 22 playwrights from 14 European countries. In order to be nominated, a playwright must meet certain criteria: they must have produced an oeuvre of excellent literary, dramatic and theatrical quality and have an outstanding reputation. In addition, the work must be translated into several languages and performed in different European countries. In 2022, the advisory board was composed of 29 directors, authors, theatre managers, dramaturges, theatre critics and specialists from 21 countries. Based on the advisory board's long list, the jury first decided on a shortlist of four candidates and, finally, picked the winner.
Jury members main prize:

Barbara Engelhardt
artistic director of the Theater Maillon, Strasbourg

Peter Kümmel
German theatre critic and editor of the arts section of German weekly Die Zeit

Peter Michalzik
author, jury chairperson

Petra Olschowski
State secretary of the Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg

Thomas Ostermeier
director and artistic director of the Schaubühne Berlin theatre
Sole juror New Talent Award:

Marius Ivaškevičius
Lithuanian playwright, essayist, prose author, screenwriter, journalist and director
International Advisory Board (main prize):

Arnaud Antolinos, France

Vincent Baudriller, France

Calixto Bieito, Spain

Karen-Maria Bille, Denmark

Stefan Bläske, Germany

Davide Carnevali, Italy

Ebru Nihan Celkan, Turkey

Constantin Chiriac, Romania

Maria Delgado, England, Spain

Roman Dolschanskiy, Russia

Magnus Florin, Sweden

Oliver Frljić, Bosnia

Paulien Geerlings, Netherlands

Bettina Hering, Switzerland, Austria

Marius Ivaškevičius, Lithuania

Mel Kenyon, England

Mateja Koležnik, Slowenia

Wolfgang Kralicek, Austria

Christoph Lepschy, Austria

Thomas Maagh, Germany

Kristina Matvienko, Russia

Sir Brian John McMaster, England

Fefa Noia, Spain

Biljana Srbljanović, Serbia

Simon Strauß, Germany

Nils Tabert, Germany

Itay Tiran, Israel

Krzysztof Warlikowski, Poland

Franz Wille, Germany
International advisory board members were not allowed to put forward playwrights with whom they had recently had a working relationship.

Award Winners 2020

Wajdi Mouawad © Simon Gosselin
Jasmine Lee-Jones © Helen Murray

European Drama Award 2020 goes to Wajdi Mouawad

Wajdi Mouawad has won the European Drama Award 2020 for his outstanding dramatic oeuvre.

Peter Michalzik, chairperson of the jury, explains this decision: “His biography alone – born in Lebanon; later educated as writer, actor, director and theater manager in Canada, where he also met success. He has also been working in France for 20 years and, since 2016, has led the Théâtre national de la Colline in Paris with great success. In his plays, he names the wounds and injuries of the recent past, especially in the Middle East, and brings them to life. These plays are often experimental concepts of reconciliation through truth; Mouawad's dramaturgy is one of healing, which works with great narratives, moments of shock, and pointed constellations. Mouawad creates scenes and plays of overwhelming dramatic impact, while addressing both truth and lies, cultural backgrounds and identity, reconciliation and hostility, with passion and intensity nearly unparalleled by other dramatists. He is an exceptionally productive and extremely committed dramatist, whose versatile oeuvre is clearly rooted in a humanistic heritage that is not limited to Europe. Moreover, Mouawad is one of the most performed playwrights of our time; his plays such as Incendies and Birds of A Kind have also become formal models of inspiration.”

Jasmine Lee-Jones bestowed with European New Talent Drama Award 2020

The first dramatist to receive the European New Talent Drama Award is Jasmine Lee-Jones.

2020’s sole jury member, the acclaimed British playwright Simon Stephens, on his decision: “Her debut play, Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner,startled me when I first read it two years ago. It was a brief ten-page play of rage and wit. She wrote with a sparkle and a sense of transgression that was rare and compelling. When it came to be staged at the Royal Court last year I was as impressed as I was startled. She had developed a play from a startling shard into something that was fully wrought and complex. She writes with formal invention. She creates characters that are consistently alive and surprising. Her language is supple and alert. I loved her anger. I loved her insight. When we get out of the strange, sad interruption of COVID it is writers like Jasmine that will help us carve a new way of making plays.”

Statements by Winfried Kretschmann, Theresia Bauer and Burkhard C. Kosminiski

Patron Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Winfried Kretschmann:

“With the dedicated appreciation of the arts and culture in the form of this new prize, we are sending a strong signal that particularly resonates throughout Europe. The current political situation in Europe is reflected and revealed with fundamental values such as freedom or a sense of unity through artistic debate within the theater. Contemporary drama plays a prominent role in this. I congratulate Schauspiel Stuttgart on breaking new international ground."

Theresia Bauer, Minister for Science, Research, and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg:

"The Stuttgart State Theaters have an outstanding reputation in the performing arts worldwide. Transnational co-productions, engaging directors from all over Europe, and reflecting international discourses are integral parts of the State Theaters' and Schauspiel Stuttgart's program. It is testimony to what Europe represents: a wealth of different cultures, narratives, and histories. It was, therefore, only logical to create a European Drama Award because after all, it is precisely the engagement with European literature that promotes and strengthens understanding between cultures. By sponsoring this European award, the state of Baden-Württemberg can live up to its claim of being a powerhouse of innovation within Europe."

For Burkhard C. Kosminski, artistic director of Schauspiel Stuttgart and initiator of the European Drama Award, the prize combines two core elements of Schauspiel Stuttgart’s artistic program: promoting contemporary playwrights and strengthening international perspectives.

“Europe has a rich and diverse cultural heritage – and what better place than the theater allows this heritage to come alive? Contemporary dramatists in particular unfold the fascinating cultural diversity in Europe while also confronting us with social ruptures and different realities of life. But previously, there existed no substantial European drama prize which allowed playwrights to work with financial independence and on their own terms, besides delivering plays commissioned by theaters. Hence, the European Drama Award was more than long overdue, and I am very grateful to the Ministry for Science, Research, and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg, the Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, the SRH Holding and the Friends of the Stuttgart State Theaters for supporting the idea from the beginning and getting it off the ground.”

Festival Weekend And Award Ceremony: 8. - 10 Oct 21

Due to pandemic-related restrictions the award ceremony 2020 had to be postponed to 2021.

Seuls

von und mit Wajdi Mouawad
Eine Produktion des Théâtre national de la Colline
Rückblick

Matinee mit Wajdi Mouawad

Moderation: Peter Michalzik
Rückblick

Panel: Rewriting Europe

mit Barbara Engelhardt, Oliver Frljić und Simon Stephens
Rückblick

Jurys and International Advisory Board 2020

Jury members main prize:

Barbara Engelhardt
artistic director of the Theater Maillon, Strasbourg

Peter Kümmel
German theatre critic and editor of the arts section of German weekly Die Zeit

Peter Michalzik
author, jury chairperson

Petra Olschowski
State secretary of the Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg

Thomas Ostermeier
director and artistic director of the Schaubühne Berlin theatre
Sole juror New Talent Award:

Simon Stephens
British dramatist


International Advisory Board (main prize):

Vincent Baudriller, France

Calixto Bieito, Spain

Karen-Maria Bille, Denmark

Stefan Bläske, Belgium

Stefanie Carp, Germany

Ebru Nihan Celkan, Turkey

Constantin Chiriac, Romania

Maria Delgado, England, Spain

Roman Dolschanskiy, Russia

Magnus Florin, Sweden

Oliver Frljić, Bosnia

Bettina Hering, Switzerland, Austria

Wolfgang Höbel, Germany

Marius Ivaškevičius, Lithuania

Mateja Koležnik, Slowenia

Wolfgang Kralicek, Austria

Kristina Matvienko, Russia
Sir Brian John McMaster, England

Simon Strauß, Germany

Itay Tiran, Israel

Krzysztof Warlikowski, Poland

Franz Wille, Germany
Board members were not allowed to nominate dramatists they have recently been professionally collaborating with.