The Point

The Point

theater.punkt | Sabine Mitterecker is a Vienna-based independent producer of contemporary, text-based theatre.

With theater.punkt, the theatre director and artistic director Sabine Mitterecker produces, cooperates and coproduces with partner institutions in Austria and abroad.

The core team around the director – the dramaturgical consultant Uwe Mattheiss, the sound designer and live electronic acoustician Wolfgang Musil, the agency 3007 for visual communication and the documentary film-maker Joerg Burger – getting together to work on new joint projects for quite some years now.


Heiner Müller

From the outset – back in the 2000s – our drive to create something new has stemmed from our delight in strong texts, premieres and first performances, as well as unusual and new forms of collaboration – with theatres and later with museums and on occasion galleries. Always with the aim of reading the authors in a new light based on the current social context, whether that be Johann Nestroy, Sophocles, Thomas Bernhard, Sarah Kane or Elfriede Jelinek, and of working with the actors to transfer their texts – understood as (musical) material – to the immediacy of the theatre.

Even though we do not work primarily on the proscenium stages of the 19th and 20th centuries, it’s still theatre, an immediate, direct encounter with the audience, it’s still about opening up spaces for thought and emotions, negotiating ‘life’ the way it is, the way we wish it were or fear it may be.

With each text and each new context, our aesthetic vocabulary, the form the evenings take on, the rhythm and the musicality all change.

An important partner in all this is the sound designer Wolfgang Musil, who refers to his work with us as ‘acoustic stage design’. Subtle amplification and editing of the human voice, as well as employing composed material, constructs acoustic ‘sets’ that create the intimacy of a theatre setting even in museums or industrial buildings, where everyone in the audience feels like the actors are addressing them personally and exclusively. Whenever possible, we remove the dividing line between the stage and the auditorium, with the actors and the audience instead moving around on the same level. Supported and even steered by the sound design, this results in new perspectives ‘on eye level’ for the audience.

Many productions, such as RECHNITZ (Anđeo uništenja) – since 2022, SCHATTEN (Eurydike sagt) – since 2016, SHADOW. Eurydice says – since 2022, FROST – since 2009, and KLEIST! Ob ich das will? – since 2011, remain in our repertoire for a long time and are shown in ever-new collaborations with theatres, museums and galleries, with sub- and surtitles in various languages and adapted to the architecture of each new setting.

By travelling, by being performed in new settings and contexts, they continue to grow.

With partner institutions in Austria and abroad, we get productions off the ground that perhaps do better justice to contemporary life in Europe than productions with only a few dates in a single setting. Surmounting language barriers, we discover shared values, address cultural barriers and economic inequality during the artistic process, and learn from each other by working with each other.

With Werner Schwab’s PRESIDENTET we travelled to Tirana and with Elfriede Jelinek’s RECHNITZ (Anđeo uništenja) to Sarajevo to work in the local languages there. We performed our English-language version of SHADOW. Eurydice says by Elfriede Jelinek in London, New York and Washington. Against the backdrop of different social realities in each of these places, these texts unlock their potential anew and in a completely different way than in the bubble of German-language theatre.

The journey continues – and with it our work with a ‘European ensemble’, which creates more visibility in the European context beyond linguistic and economic frontiers for art and artists in the countries of the Western Balkans.

Alexandra Sommerfeld, the protagonist in many theater.punkt productions, and Andreas Patton, who has been treading the boards with FROST since 2009, are the actors who have worked longest and closest with thp. Selma Alispahić, Jeanne-Marie Bertram, Ermira Gjata, Jelena Kuret Kordić, Barbara Kraus, Heidi Leupolt, Alexandra Pitz, Christina Scherrer, Notker Schweikhardt, and Eduard Wildner are named here as ‘stand-ins’ for the numerous associated artists who have worked with thp over the years. Our partner institutions include(d) the Schauspielhaus in Vienna, Volkstheater in Vienna, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, SARTR Theatre of War in Sarajevo, mumok Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (the Shakespeare Theatre in Gdańsk) and the Austrian Cultural Forums in London, New York, Sarajevo and Washington DC.

Our work was awarded the Nestroy Prize in 2000, 2002 and 2010,

posters designed by 3007 dranaz + fill at the European Design Award - Bronze 2019 (HAPPY DAYS), Gold 2022 (RECHNITZ (The Exterminating Angel)).

Sabine Mitterecker in May 2023