Ivan Stanev Vita

Ivan Stanev was born 1959 in Varna, Bulgaria. He enrolled into a German-language high school, while also studying intensively French, Russian and English.

He got his degree in Theatre Directing from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia. While a student in the academy, he founded a clandestine avant-garde theatre group, which led to severe conflicts with censorship in Communist Bulgaria. Not allowed to work as a theatre director anymore, he went on to study philosophy at the Sofia University, and started to translate the works of Theodor Adorno and Heiner Muller, in the meantime writing plays, poems and essays, all to be published much later.

In 1988, he was invited to present his theatre production called “The Wound Woyzeck” at a theatre festival in West Berlin. He decided not to return to Bulgaria and to live in exile instead. He began to write in German and to stage his own plays in Berlin. Since 1999, he has also worked on several major Franco-German theatre productions. Due to his growing interest in visual arts, he directed and produced two feature films: “Villa Dei Misteri” and “Luxor Las Vegas”.  In 2009 he finished his first independent film shot on 35 mm, called “Moon Lake”, produced by Donka Angelova.

He currently lives in Berlin and Paris and works in both Germany and France.


In Bulgarian

• The Exterminated Denizens (excerpts from the sketchbooks of a démodé modernist) – poetry, drama, theory: 1985-1987. Publishing house “Virga”, Sofia 1994, ([Избитите обитатели (из тетрадките на един закъснял модернист) – поезия, драма, теория 1985-1987] 

In German

• 1992 Lapsus Linguae, Autoren-Kollegium Berlin
• 2000 Postskriptum, a poem, Juliettes Literatursalon Berlin
• 2002 Villa Dei Misteri, Juliettes Literatursalon Berlin
• 2003 Luxor Las Vegas, Konkursbuch Verlag Berlin/Tübingen
• 2009 Moon Lake, a poem, Publishing house Altera
• 2017 Abrasax Asteroiden, a poem, Bleibende Steinzeit/Tumult, Sonderzahl Wien
• 2018 Place Fantôme, dramatic poem, Publishing house T.INTE Berlin

In English

• 2023 Poems in Posthuman Akkadian  (work-in-progress)


Films shot on video
• Villa dei misteri (2003)
• Luxor Las Vegas (2006)
• Le Bleu du Ciel (2016)
• Inge (2019)

Films shot on 35 mm
• Moon Lake (2009)

Web Television
• TTV – Totleben TV (2023)


• 1982 Wildwechsel (Deer Path) after Kroetz – banned performance
• 1984 The Love for Three Oranges by Ivan Stanev after Gozzi
• 1985 / 86 Alchimie de la douleur (The Alchemy of Sorrow) collage by Ivan Stanev after Chekhov, Wittgenstein, Baudelaire, Ionesco – banned performance
• 1987 / 88 Woyzeck. Die Wunde Woyzeck. Bildbeschreibung (The Wound Woyzeck) after Büchner / Müller, Theatre Sofia, Hebbel-Theater Berlin
• 1989 Betrogen / Gestern an einem sonnigen Nachmittag (Betrayal/Yesterday on a Sunny Afternoon) after Harold Pinter / Heiner Müller, Studiotheater München
• 1990/91 Schuld und Bühne (Rhyme and Punishment) by Ivan Stanev, Hebbel-Theater Berlin, Eurokaz Zagreb
• 1991 Hermaphroditus by Ivan Stanev, Hebbel-Theater Berlin, Kampnagelfabrik Hamburg, Mickery Amsterdam, Theater der Welt Essen
• 1992 Brüderchen und Schwesterchen (Brother and Sister), by Ivan Stanev, Podewil Berlin
• 1995 Die Möwe (The Seagull) by Chekhov, Volksbühne Berlin
• 1998 Sprechen-Schweigen (Speak-Fall Silent) after Ionesco/Wittgenstein, Podewil Berlin
• 1998 Good night, ladies after Shakespeare/Müller, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin
• 1999 Histoire de l’œil (Story of the Eye) by Georges Bataille,Théâtre de la Manufacture Nancy, Theatre Sofia
• 1999 Don Juan im Kumpelnest 3000 zu Berlin (Don Juan in Kumpelnest 3000 in Berlin), Sophiensaele Berlin
• 2000 Le bleu du ciel (The Blue of Noon) by Georges Bataille, Sophiensaele Berlin, Théâtre de Chartres, La rose des vents Lille, Théâtre Antoine Vitez Aix-en-Provence
• 2001 Villa Dei Misteri by Ivan Stanev, Sophiensaele Berlin, Théâtre de la Bastille Paris, Théâtre Antoine Vitez Aix-en-Provence, La rose des vents Lille, FFT Düsseldorf
• 2002 Luxor Las Vegas by Ivan Stanev, Sophiensaele Berlin
• 2004 Hollywood Forever by Ivan Stanev, Hebbel-Theater Berlin, Le Maillon Strassburg, La rose des vents Lille, FFT Düsseldorf, Gessnerallee Zürich
• 2004 Moon Lake, after a poem by Ivan Stanev, Norwegian Theatre Academy Fredrikstad
• 2010 Mord im Burgtheater (Murder in Burgtheater) by Ivan Stanev, Volksbühne Berlin, Le Maillon Strassburg
• 2011 Rustschuk – Die gerettete Zunge (Rustschuk – The Saved Tongue) by Elias Canetti, Theater Osnabrück
• 2018 Place Fantôme, written and directed by Ivan Stanev, Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin
• 2023 Toto Koopman, written and directed by Ivan Stanev, Fonds Darstellende Künste

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Ivan Stanev, Photo: Carline Seiser