© Samuel RUBIO

Program Information

Genre / Country Theatre/GERMANY
Dates 28 April at 19:00, 29 April at 16:30, 30 April at 15:30
Venue At Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration 70 minutes
Language In German with Japanese subtitles
seat Reserved seat
Directed by Nicolas STEMANN
© Samuel RUBIO
© Samuel RUBIO
© Samuel RUBIO


Is “Werther!” a Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) German proto-Romantic kind of rock show? Is it about youth’s yearnings as depicted in German literary classics such as GOETHE’s 1774 masterpiece, “The Sorrows of Young Werther”? How will it resonate with today’s audiences?

“The Sorrows of Young Werther” is a novel by Johann Wolfgang von GOETHE (1749–1832) that’s written in the form of epistolary. It depicts the anguish of a lovelorn young man named Werther who longs to be with the woman of his dreams, Charlotte — but she already has a fiancé.
The leading German director Nicolas STEMANN will stage this classic in his innovative style with the popular Austrian stage, screen and TV actor Philipp HOCHMAIR in the one-man play’s only role — that of Werther. Since 1997, this show, which brilliantly uses music and videos, has been staged more than 1000 times, mesmerising audiences all over the world with its buoyant atmosphere stemming from the hero’s non-stop narcissism even when faced with a stream of crazy circumstances. However, if you expect this to be a safe, classic play, prepare to be surprised, even shocked, by the vividly contemporary love story that awaits you.


Young Werther spends his days enjoying art and poetry and the beauty of nature. One day, he meets Charlotte at a ball and falls in love with her at first sight. He knows she is engaged to be married, but Werther’s love for fine, sweet Charlotte just grows and grows. Yet though they gradually become closer, Charlotte rejects him when the strength of his feelings frightens her. This throws Werther into despair and he leaves Charlotte, vowing to never, ever meet her again.

Director’s Profile

© Samuel RUBIO

Born in 1968, Nicolas STEMANN briefly studied philosophy and literature before getting involved in theatre. He studied theatre directing at the Max Reinhardt seminar in Vienna and at the Institute for filmed theatre and film in Hamburg.

Tackling both traditional repertoire and contemporary writing, with a predilection for that of Elfriede JELINEK, Nicolas STEMANN broaches dramatic texts with a passion that is continually renewed. Any new project provides him with the chance to call theatrical form into question, with the aim of finding the best means of deploying the inherent energy of each work. Originally a pianist, working both for theatre and opera, Nicolas STEMANN built up his directorial language with all the rigour and exibility of a musician. He creates his shows as the conductor of a loyal band of associates.

From 2002 onwards, he distinguished himself with a particularly liberated staging of “Hamlet” in Hanover. Later, with Schiller’s “The Bandits” (2008), he started to put in place a very musical application of theatre texts, treating it above all as a score and in this way liberating himself from the constraint of characters. Each of his productions provides the occasion to invent a new and iconoclastic way for the actors to appropriate the text and present it to the audience. The French-speaking public in particular has been able to discover his work at the Avignon Festival with Les Contrats du Commerçant, an economic comedy, and the complete “Faust, I + II”. He was present at the Vidy Theatre in 2015 with “Werther!” a creation in French based on Goethe’s text. From the 2015-16 season onwards, Nicolas STEMANN became a permanent director at the Münchner Kammerspiele (directed by Matthias LILIENTHAL). In April 2016, he has staged “Wut (= Rage)”, a text written by Elfriede JELINEK following the attacks in Paris in January 2015. In September 2016 in Vidy Theatre, he has created “Nathan!?”, after “Nathan the Wise” by G. E. LESSING and “Crassier / Bataclan” by Elfriede JELINEK.

Performer’s Profile


Born 1973 in Vienna. Studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna, among others, taught by Klaus Maria BRANDAUER, and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique in Paris. Engagements at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Staatstheater Hannover, Volksbühne Berlin and Zurich Schauspielhaus. 2003 – 2009 company member of the Vienna Burgtheater (admitted in the Gallery of Honor). Since 2009 member of the ensemble of the Thalia Theater in Hamburg.
Starring in numerous movies and television films, including Heinrich BRELOER “Die Manns – ein Jahrhundertroman, Winterreise” (director Hans STEINBICHLER), “Day and Night” (Sabine DERFLINGER), “The Fatherless” (Marie KREUTZER) and “The Shine of the Day” (Tizza COVI and Rainer FRIMMEL), “Die Auslöschung” (Nicholas LEYTNER) and “Männertreu” (Hermine HUNTGEBURTH).
HOCHMAIR regularly tours with his solo projects “Goethe’s Werther!”, Jedermann Performance (together with his band Elektrohand Gottes), as well as “ The Trial” and “The Man Who Disappeared” by Franz KAFKA.


◎Pre-performance talk: Starting 25 minutes before each performance
◎Post-performance talk by the artists: 28, 30 April

Cast / Staff

Directed by Nicolas STEMANN
Based on “The Sorrows of Young Werther” by Johann Wolfgang von GOETHE
Performed by Philipp HOCHMAIR

Production and tour: Théâtre de Vidy
Original production: Nicolas Stemann – Philipp Hochmair – Thalia Theater, Hambourg
In cooperation with Thalia Theater, Hambourg
With the support of Pro Helvetia – Fondation suisse pour la culture
Creation 1997 in German – Creation 2015 in French and German in Vidy

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