Nicoleta Esinencu was born in 1978 in the Moldavian capital of Chişinău. She studied dramatic writing at the national Academy of Arts. In 2001, together with Mihai Fusu and Dumitru Crudu, she wrote the play »A şaptea cafanã« (tr: The Seventh Coffee House) which was staged in Moldova, Romania, and at various European festivals. Beginning in 2002, she worked as a dramaturge at the Eugen Ionescu Theater in Chişinău, and in 2010 she founded the alternative theater-oriented art space Teatru Spălătorie, which she also directs.
She achieved international recognition with her dramatic monologue »Fuck you, Eu.ro Pa!« (2005), which she wrote during a residency at Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. In the piece, a young woman tries to explain to her father why she doesn’t wish to participate in an essay competition about her homeland, the Republic of Moldova, and in doing so settles the score with her country, its recent history, Europe, and the situation in the post-Soviet world. On the one hand, she feels betrayed and rejected by a future of neo-liberal hunger for profit, which is spilling over from Europe into the former Soviet republic. On the other hand, she feels robbed of her past and of her childhood in the Soviet Union, which was part of a construct of lies. The text, which is reminiscent of Elfriede Jelinek’s dramatic monologues and has been performed in Chişinău, Bucharest, Nancy, and Moscow, among other places, can be understood as a declaration of love for this little country on the fringes of Europe between Romania and Ukraine: »Everything I write, I write for the Republic of Moldova.« Her subsequent texts are also characterized by a powerful and aggressive tone and their criticism of post-communist society. The piece »A(II)RH+« (2007), for example, addresses xenophobia and racism, whereas »Sugar-Free« (Dresden premiere 2008) discusses the transition from a communist to a wannabe-democratic capitalistic society, and »Who Runs the World: Gospel of Mary/Apocalypse of Lilith« (Stuttgart premiere 2018) is a kind of original text for a female world. In the anthology »Odessa Transfer«, a book of essays, literary reportages and tales from the Black Sea region, she takes a poetic, ironic, and sober look at her country in the last twenty years in »Von Chişinău zum siebten Kilometer« (tr: From Chişinău to the Seventh Kilometer). In Berlin, she was a visiting director of various projects at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer, most recently the commissioned piece »Life« (2016) for the festival »Die Ästhetik des Widerstands – Peter Weiss 100«. In 2018, her newest play »Rest of Europe« premiered at the Schauspielhaus Graz as a collage of texts about the regions of Europe that are being pushed to the fringes by the economic policies of the EU.
The author is the recipient of the Dramacum Romanian theater prize. In 2019, she is a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program.