Tankred Dorst

Tankred Dorst (born December 12, 1925) is a German playwright and storyteller.

Tankred Dorst is living and working in Munich. His farces, parables, one-act-plays and adaptations are inspired by the theatre of the absurd and the works of Ionesco, Giraudoux and Beckett. His monumental drama "Merlin oder das wüste Land", which was premiered in 1981 in Düsseldorf has been compared to "Goethe's Faust". Some critics seeing in it the first major drama of the 1980s. In his tribute to Tankred Dorst on the occasion of the conferment of the Georg Büchner Prize in 1990, Georg Hensel remarked, that Dorst's plays all have a direct connection to the present:"For 30 years Dorst's plays have responded to the great transformations. He has always been a companion to the times."

Tankred Dorst was born in Sonneberg/Thuringia. Conscripted into the German army as a pupil in age of 17 soon he was taken as a war prisoner. Until 1947 he remained in British and American hands. As he was released from war captivity his birthplace was part of the Soviet sector of Germany. He met his family in West Germany and completed his schooling. In 1950 he was going to study German literature, art history and theatre in Bamberg and Munich. Together with composer Wilhelm Killmayer he founded the marionette theatre "Das kleine Spiel", for which he wrote his first plays. After breaking off his studies, he worked in various capacities in film, radio and publishing houses. His first major plays were performed in 1960 in Lübeck, Mannheim and Heidelberg. From this time on till today his plays have been performed in the whole world. Tankred Dorst's work has been recognized with many prizes and distinctions, including "Gerhart Hauptmann Prize" (1964), "Prize of the City of Florence" (1970), "Literature Prize of the Bayerische Akademie der Künste" (1983), "Mülheim Playwright's Prize" (1989), "Georg Büchner Prize" (1990), "ETA Hoffmann Prize" (1996) and the city of Zurich's "Max Frisch Prize" (1998). Tankred Dorst held resp. hold visiting professorships at universities in Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Major works

  • "Die Kurve", (1960)
  • "Toller", (1968)
  • "Rotmord", (1969, television film adaptation of "Toller" produced in collaboration with Peter Zadek)
  • "Sand", (1971, television film directed by Peter Palitzsch)
  • "Eiszeit", (1973)
  • "Die Villa", (1976)
  • "Klaras Mutter", (1978, television film adaptation directed by Tankred Dorst)
  • "Mosch", (1980, television film adaptation directed by Tankred Dorst)
  • "Merlin oder das wüste Land", (1981)
  • "Eisenhans", (1982, movie adaptation directed by Tankred Dorst)
  • "Parzival", (1987)
  • "Korbes", (1988)
  • "Karlos", (1990)
  • "Herr Paul", (1994)
  • "Die Legende vom armen Heinrich", (1997)
  • "Kupsch", (2001, monologue)
  • "Die Freude am Leben", (2001)
  • "Othoon", (2002)de:Tankred Dorst

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