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Max Frisch and the Schauspielhaus Zürich – Exhibition at the Max Frisch Archive, 23 August 2021 to 31 March 2022

Until Thu, 31/03/2022
Max Frisch Archive at the ETH Library
Max Frisch und Kurt Hirschfeld bei den Proben zu «Andorra», 1961 (ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Foto: Comet Photo AG)

The Schauspielhaus Zürich forged Max Frisch’s reputation as a playwright. Almost all his plays premiered there. He enjoyed a unique artistic relationship with the theatre and its ensemble.

Even as a young theatre goer, Max Frisch pondered as to “why people, adults who have enough pocket money and no homework, don’t spend every evening at the theatre. For that was the life.”

From the mid-1940s onwards, the Schauspielhaus became Max Frisch’s creative hub. There he met his patron, Kurt Hirschfeld, and it was during this period that he also met Bertolt Brecht. By 1961 at the latest, with the premiere of his play Andorra, he had become a celebrated playwright of international fame.

In the 1960s, Frisch was able to apply his dual expertise as playwright and architect  during the planning stages for the new Schauspielhaus.

But other, political dramas also played out on those “boards that mean the world”. When Emil Staiger gave his speech condemning contemporary literature in 1966, it was Max Frisch who protested strongly. Following the change of directorship in 1970, Max Frisch shunned the Schauspielhaus. His return, years later, caused a sensation.

The exhibition at the Max Frisch Archive provides an insight into Frisch’s long-standing ties with ‘his’ theatre. It explores influential constellations of patrons, competition in the literary world, and political controversies.

Max Frisch Archive at the ETH Library

Rämistrasse 101
8092 Zürich

+41 44 632 40 35

Tram 6/9/10: ETH/Universitätsspital

Exhibition in Reading Room Collections and Archives, ETH Library, HG H26
Photography not allowed

Opening Times

Monday: 10–17
Tuesday: 10–17
Wednesday: 10–17
Thursday: 10–17
Friday: 10–17

Until Thu, 31/03/2022

Closed on public holidays


Free admission

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