Enlarge image

René Pollesch (in June 2019)

Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa

The author and playwright René Pollesch is dead. The director of the Berlin Volksbühne died suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday morning at the age of 61, the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz announced in the evening.

Volksbühne spokeswoman Lena Fuchs initially did not provide any information about the exact circumstances of death.

“We are all shocked,” she told the dpa news agency.

Pollesch, who was also a director, took over the stage in 2021.

The theater at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz had previously had turbulent years behind it.

Before taking over the directorship, Pollesch had worked at the Volksbühne himself, and before that he had directed for various theaters.

The playwright and director was born in Friedberg, Hesse, in 1962.

He studied applied theater studies at the University of Giessen and was then, among other things, artistic director of the Prater of the Berliner Volksbühne.

His teachers included George Tabori and Heiner Müller.

As an author, he wrote more than 200 pieces, most of which were short.

He staged his own plays at the Burgtheater Vienna, the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Munich Kammerspiele, among others.

Pollesch has received several awards for his work.

He received, among other things, the Mülheim Dramatist Prize in 2001 and 2006.

He was most recently awarded the Arthur Schnitzler Prize in Vienna in 2019.