Prof. Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt

| Dramaturgy, Practical theatre work
_Vice-President for International Affairs & Events and Deputy President
_Faculty: 3

_Phone: +49 (0) 201_4903-101 (official)
_Location: Rektorat
_Private address: Kordulastraße 6 | 45131 Essen


Curriculum Vitae

Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt (born in 1955 in Düsseldorf) is a German dramaturge, Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Practice, and an internationally active consultant.
From1974 until 1979 he majored in theatre studies, art history, and philosophy at the Universität Köln (University of Cologne).


Theatre Activities

1975 - 1978   Whilst studying he also acted as assistant dramaturge and director to Hansgünther Heyme at Schauspiel Köln (Cologne Drama Theatre)

1979   Dramaturge at Schauspiel Köln

1979 - 1985   Dramaturge at Württembergisches Staatstheater (Württemberg State Theatre), Stuttgart

1985 - 1988   Head Dramaturge at Schauspiel Essen (Essen Drama Theatre)

1990 - 2003   Head of Dramaturgy and Programming for the Ruhrfestspiele (Ruhr Drama Festival) Recklinghausen

In addition Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt has worked as a guest dramaturge in Berlin, Bochum, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Lausanne, Luxembourg, Madrid, Mannheim, Maribor, Taschkent, Tel Aviv, Temeswar, and Zürich.

As well as providing the dramaturgy for over 150 theatre productions, Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt is also active in film and television. To date he has collaborated with such directors as Hansgünther Heyme, Günter Krämer, Herbert König, Paul Schalich, Peter Eschberg, Peter Kühn, Inge Andersen, Lisa Nielebock, and Brian Michaels.

He has conceived, provided the dramaturgy, and staged international theatre projects for Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Schauspiel Essen, above all in collaboration with theatre schools, such as "Woyzek" with Łódź/Poland, and "You are also very attractive when you are dead" (debut performance) with Tel Aviv/Israel.

He has collaborated with such authors as Christoph Hein, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Gaston Salvatore, Arnon Grünberg, Jochen Berg, Thomas Hürlimann, and Thomas Harlan as well as with the visual artist Wolf Vostell.

Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt conceived and founded the Jugendclub Kritisches Theater (Critical Theatre Youth Club) in Stuttgart und Essen.

Books / Publications

Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt has contributed to various publications, including: edited volumes on the history of the Ruhrfestspiele, Schiller’s works for the theatre, as well as to one on Daniel Casper von Lohenstein and Baroque drama. In addition he has written numerous articles for reference books (theatre guides), professional journals, and magazines.

Important Works

  • Dramatisation of Homer’s "The Iliad" (Düsseldorf 1988, also a script for Bayerischer Rundfunk/Bavarian Broadcasting), and the "Odyssey" (Bremen/Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen 1993)
  • Revised versions of all of Baroque dramatist Daniel Casper von Lohenstein’s theatre plays ("Epicharis" Cologne 1978; "Sophonisbe" Berlin Festwochen (Berlin Festival)/Essen 1985; "Cleopatra" Essen 1986; "Ibrahim Bassa"/"Ibrahim Sultan" Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen/Luxembourg 2002; "Agrippina")
  • Conceived, authored, and provided the dramaturgy for "Sternstunde I" for the 750th anniversary of the founding of Berlin at the Großer Stern, Berlin, 1987
  • Conceived, authored, and provided the dramaturgy for the project "Nathan an der Mauer" after Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Berlin Festwochen, 1987


Activities in Higher Education

1988   Appointed Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Practice at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

1994 - 1996   Vice-Dean of Faculty 3 (Performing Arts) at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

1996 - 2000   Vice-President at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

since 2009   Vice-President for International Affairs and Events at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

He was responsible for the initial idea and conception of the International Shakespeare Festival and is also its director:

2001   Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen "Love's Labour's Lost" Folkwang, Seattle, Taschkent, and Tel Aviv

2004   Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen "Twelfth Night" Amsterdam, Folkwang, and New York

2006   Schauspiel Essen "The Comedy of Errors" Brno, Folkwang, and New York

2008   Schauspiel Essen "The Tempest" Folkwang, Glasgow, and New York   

2010   Schauspiel Essen "Richard III" Folkwang, Glasgow, and Sibiu       

Folkwang University of the Arts "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Folkwang, New York, Ramallah, Shanghai, and Sibiu

2013   Folkwang University of the Arts "Romeo und Julia" Folkwang, Kraków, Ramallah, Shanghai, and Sibiu   

2016   Folkwang University of the Arts "Much Ado About Nothing" Folkwang, Durban, Kraków, and Melbourne

In addition to being a professor at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt has tutored seminars (including on behalf of the German Academic Exchange Service) on such subjects as German drama, ancient Greek theatre, Shakespeare etc., including in Cologne, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Milan, Athens, and Delphi.

Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt is also regularly invited to sit as a member of juries and selection committees.

Consultancy Activities

From 2003 onwards he was involved in the conception of "Essen for the Ruhr 2010" and its application to be European Capital of Culture. Following Essen and the Ruhr area’s nomination, he was active as Commissioner for International Relations in the European Capital of Culture team from 2007 to 2011.
Since 2011 he has been working as a consultant for European Capitals of Culture
(Pafos2017/Cyprus and Plovdiv 2019/Bulgaria) as well as candidate cities for the title (Cluj 2020/Romania, Kalamata 2021/Greece, Kaunas 2022/Lithuania, Magdeburg 2025/Germany).