Jan 9, 2024

Philipp Schaus receives Marie Zimmermann Fellowship for Dramaturgy

Philip Schaus. Foto: Julia Franken

Philip Schaus. Foto: Julia Franken

The Marie Zimmermann fellowship for dramaturgy, initiated by Friedrich Schirmer in 2008, was awarded in a multi-stage selection process. This year, the jury voted unanimously in favor of dance dramaturge Philipp Schaus.

In memory of the dramaturge and festival organizer Marie Zimmermann, who died in 2007, the former director of the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Friedrich Schirmer, endowed a fellowship for the first time in April 2008 to support a young dramaturge from the German-speaking theater scene, which is organized and awarded by the Akademie Schloss Solitude. Since 2019, the Marie Zimmermann Fellowship for Dramaturgy has been funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. The fellowship is aimed at dramaturgs from German-speaking countries and is unique in the landscape of artist-in-residence programs. It includes prize money of 5,000 euros and is associated with a two-month stay in a furnished living/working studio at Akademie Schloss Solitude.

This year, a large number of outstanding applications were received for the scholarship from all over the German-speaking world. »The applications show how heterogeneous, comprehensive and rich the field of dramaturgy currently is – with the diverse (self-)understandings, work tasks, burning questions and resulting responsibilities that can be found within it.« The selection process by the three-member jury – consisting of Sarah Israel (freelance dramaturge and curator), Friedrich Schirmer (co-director of the Württembergische Landesbühne Esslingen) and Dieter Ripberger (co-director of the Institute for Theatrical Futurology (ITZ) at the Zimmertheater in Tübingen) – took place in two stages. In a first jury meeting, seven candidates were selected, who were invited to individual interviews by the jury in a second stage.

The jury voted unanimously for dance dramaturge Philipp Schaus (born 1988). Schaus studied theater studies at the Freie Universität Berlin (2015-2018) and previously completed a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy-Arts-Media) at the University of Hildesheim. He has been working at tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf since 2018, initially as a project coordinator for iDAS NRW and assistant to the artistic director, and as a dramaturge since 2020.

In justifying the awarding of the scholarship to Philipp Schaus, the jury writes: »Philipp Schaus convinced us with his approach of focusing on organizational-sociological observations and body politics as fields of dramaturgical practices of the ›imperceptible‹. As part of his two-month residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude, he would like to use the exchange with the international fellows to develop a toolbox that will have an institutional impact on all areas of the performing arts. Schaus asks: ›What toolbox do dramaturgs need to track down and work on the areas of the imperceptible in transdisciplinary work and cooperation processes in order to fill the gaps, ruptures and voids between institution and content?‹ This research question is based on an understanding of dramaturgy that links genuinely artistic aspects in particular with questions of art theory and cultural policy from a transdisciplinary and transcultural perspective. The jury is of the opinion that the specific field of dance dramaturgy promises fruitful observations for the field of dramaturgy in general, which can and should benefit even more from the theoretical knowledge of the Aesthetics of Access in the future.

We congratulate Philipp Schaus, who has been awarded the scholarship not only for his cultural-philosophical approach. The jury was equally impressed by his professional CV, which has its theoretical foundation in his studies of philosophy and theater studies and, in combination with the practice of dance dramaturgy at tanzhaus nrw in various functions, matures into a generalist perspective.«