Ivan Stanev

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Ivan Stanev
Ivan Stanev photographed by André Rival
Born Varna, Bulgaria
Residence Berlin, Paris
Occupation Theatre & Film Director, Author, Stage Designer, New Media Artist, Producer
Website http://ivanstanev.com

Ivan Stanev (Bulgarian: Иван Станев, born 29 June 1959[1]) is a Bulgarian-born German author, theatre and film director, stage designer and new media artist,[2] who has been living in Berlin since 1988,[3] and more recently in Paris.


Ivan Stanev was born in the city of Varna, Bulgaria. His mother, Donka Raikova, was a lawyer and poet and his father, Stanju Stanev, was an engineer and photographer.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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 experimental films: Villa Dei Misteri and Luxor Las Vegas. In 2009 he finished his first independent feature film, shot on 35 mm, called Moon Lake,[7] 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, (Bulgarian: Избитите обитатели (из тетрадките на един закъснял модернист) - поезия, драма, теория 1985-1987)
In German
In English


Films shot on video
Films shot on 35 mm
Web Television

Selected Major Productions[edit]

  • 1982 Wildwechsel (Deer Path) after Kroetz – banned performance
  • 1984 The Love for Three Oranges by Ivan Stanev after Gozzi
  • 1985, 1986 Alchimie de la douleur (The Alchemy of Sorrow) collage by Ivan Stanev after Chekhov, Wittgenstein, Baudelaire, Ionesco – banned performance
  • 1987, 1988 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
  • 2005 Digging Materials (Bulgarian: Изкопни материали) by Ivan Stanev after Platonov, Theater Sfumato, Sofia
  • 2009, 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
  • 2013 Bitte bei TOTLEBEN klingeln - written and directed by Ivan Stanev, sponsored by Kulturamt Pankow / Berlin
  • 2015 TTV. Live from Todessa - Totleben TV


  1. ^ nachtkritik.de
  2. ^ Theater der Zeit
  3. ^ Theaterlexikon. Von C. Bernd Sucher. Dt.Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1995
  4. ^ Postskriptum. Ivan Stanev schreibt lyrische Briefe vom Schwarzen Meer. Von Charlotte Inden. literaturkritik.de, Nr.8, August 2001
  5. ^ Die neue Freiheit. Herausgeber: Dorte Lena Eilers. Verlag: Theater der Zeit, Berlin, 2011 ISBN 978-3-940737-97-7
  6. ^ Das andere Ende der Sinnenlust. Ivans Stanevs Inszenierung von "Hermaphroditus" nach Antonio Beccadelli im Hebbel-Theater. Von Christoph Funke. Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin, 27.10.1991
  7. ^ The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
  8. ^ Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek

External links[edit]