Dea Loher

Dea Loher was born in 1964 in Traunstein. She studied German Language and Literature and Philosophy in Munich until 1988. Subsequently, she travelled to South America for the first time, where she later went on to live and work time and again. In 1990 she studied Scenic Writing with Heiner Müller and Yaak Karsunke at the Academy of the Arts Berlin.

Her first play »Olgas Raum« (tr.: Olga’s room) had its premiere at the Ernst Deutsch Theatre in Hamburg in 1992. Works that followed were »Tätowierung« (1992, tr.: Tattoo), »Leviathan« (1993), »Fremdes Haus« (1995; tr.: Strange house), »Blaubart« (1997; tr.: Bluebeard) and »Adam Geist« (1998; tr.: Adam Ghost). Dea Loher soon became one of the most-performed and most productive young playwrights of her generation. She pursues the stylistic principle of »the multiplication of the discourse as an answer to the question about political theatre« (»Theater heute«). Her plays are always set in modern society and reveal the fundamental human experience. She has been cooperating closely since 1995 with producer Andreas Kriegenburg, who brought most of her plays to the stage for the first time. Dea Loher’s dramatic oeuvre has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Else Lasker Schüler Award, the Mülheim Drama Award and the Bertolt Brecht Prize.

She gave her prose debut when she published a collection of short stories under the title »Hundskopf« (tr.: Dog’s head) in 2005. Like her plays, her prose consists of portraits of the marginalized in society, who face the challenge of overcoming unknown boundaries. The title story of the anthology is about a pub owner in Hamburg who is asked to become a contract killer and hopes to improve his desolate private situation with the money he will earn this way. Eventually he makes up his mind and shoots a dog. He cooks its head, and puts it on his desk, as a symbol of the temptation he resisted. Loher’s sober, cool and reporting tone keeps the distance between the writer and her characters. She uses the range of dramatic realism. Her language is factual and laconic. Without any comment she allows the reader to delve into the calm and solemn flow of her narrative. Her first novel »Bugatti taucht auf« (tr.: Bugatti appears) was published in 2012. In it she combines two real incidents: the story of a young man who is killed by a group of young people in the carnival of 2008, and the adventure of a diver searching for the wreck of a Bugatti Brescia 22, which sank in the Lago Maggiore 75 years ago. The money gained from the sale of the boat is meant to be given to a foundation against youth violence. Thus, Dea Loher connects the two plots, and shows, at the same time, the synchronicity of cruelty and magnanimity.

In ,ea Loher received the Berlin Literary Award of the Foundation Preußische Seehandlung. She also received a Heiner Müller visiting professorship for German-language poetics of the Free University Berlin. Dea Loher lives in Berlin.

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