Anaesthesia by Albert Ostermaier

Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins

Anaesthesia is a short solo audio play written by acclaimed German author Albert Ostermaier and translated by Charlotte Collins. In Anaesthesia, which was commissioned by the major German theater festival Theatertreffen on the theme of “Decline and Downfall of Western Civilization,” a singer injured in a car accident on her way to a performance struggles to make sense of what is happening to her as an anaesthetic is administered. The play emerges as a stream-of-consciousness monologue which is at once dreamlike, intimate, and tautly constructed.

The Play for Voices production of Anaesthesia was performed by Jane Kaczmarek and directed by Sarah Montague. Matt Fidler designed and mixed the audio. 

Play for Voices audio plays are recorded at Harvestworks by audio engineer Kevin Ramsay.

Play for Voices is produced by Matt Fidler, Anne Posten, Katrin Redfern, and Jen Zoble.

About the Author and Translator

Albert Ostermaier (author), born in 1967 in Munich, is one of Germany’s leading contemporary playwrights. His first play, Zwischen zwei Feuern: Tollertopographie, premiered at the renowned Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel in 1995. That same year, his first major volume of poetry, Herz Vers Sagen, was awarded the PEN Liechtenstein Poetry Prize. Ostermaier is the author of more than thirty plays, which have been performed in major theatres all over Germany and on the radio. He has published numerous volumes of poetry and four novels, and received several prestigious literary prizes, including the Kleist Prize, the Bertolt Brecht Prize, and, in 2011, the Welt Literaturpreis for his literary oeuvre. In 2015, he was inducted into the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Albert Ostermaier has been writer-in-residence and guest professor at institutions including the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, the Burgtheater Vienna, Washington University in St. Louis, the City University of New York, and others. He is also the goalkeeper for the German authors' national football team, and a curator for the DFB cultural foundation.

Charlotte Collins (translator) studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and worked as an actor and radio journalist in Germany and the UK before becoming a literary translator. She was awarded the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize in 2017 for her translation of A Whole Life by the Austrian author Robert Seethaler, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International. Charlotte's other translations include Seethaler's The TobacconistThe End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells, and Homeland by Walter Kempowski, and plays by contemporary German playwrights such as Nino Haratischwili, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, and Angela Richter.

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