In 1904, Samuel Fischer expanded his publishing house by a theatre department.
The goal was then, as it is today, to make the plays represented known to potential theatres and to protect the performing rights of the dramatists. Today, there are 400 authors and more than 1500 plays in our programme.
Since the founding of the department, two major focuses have developed:
1. American Drama
Due to the American exile of the Berman Fischers during the Third Reich and thanks to the contacts they made during that time, the theatre department acquired the rights to the works of important American dramatists and became one of the leading German agencies in this respect: Playwrights such as Arthur Miller, Eugene O´Neill, Thornton Wilder and Tennessee Williams were the foundation. The plays of Edward Albee, Woody Allen, Ariel Dorfman, Christopher Durang, Athol Fugard, Arthur Kopit, Tony Kushner, Terrence McNally, Sam Shepard, Nicky Silver, Neil Simon, amongst others, were added in the course of the decades. In recent times, this focus has been continued with such award-winning, much performed authors as Ayad Akhtar and Tracy Letts.
2. Contemporary German Drama
Beside American Drama, the focus moved increasingly to new German plays since the early 90s. Dramatists such as Herbert Achternbusch, Igor Bauersima, Gesine Danckwart, Thomas Hürlimann, Helmut Krausser, Falk Richter, Roland Schimmelpfennig and Marlene Streeruwitz joined the publishing house and took hold on the German stages. Since the 2000s, they were followed by authors as Nuran David Calis, David Lindemann, Reto Finger, Stefan Hornbach, Wolfram Lotz, Maria Milisavljevic, Ewald Palmetshofer, Kathrin Röggla and Ferdinand Schmalz, amongst others. The discovery of new German language authors remains one of our main focuses today.
Literary films and radio plays have been dramaturgically handled and legally represented by the publishing house since the beginning.
Since 1996, we have aimed to take original radio plays and radio play adaptations into our programme, since 2002, we also take on original screenplays.
S. Fischer Audio negotiates and handles the licences of the authors we represent, in order to faciliate that
- audio books are developed out of the works of S. Fischer Verlage in cooperation with audio book publishers,
- original radios plays and radio readings are developed from the works of Fischer Verlage as well as from original radio plays and radio play adaptations by the authors we represent in cooperation with radio stations (and audio book publishers),
- operas and settings to music are developed in cooperation with composers and music publishers from the works of Fischer Verlage.
You will find selected radio play productions based on original radio plays, radio adaptations, stage plays and books of S. Fischer authors under “Audio/AutorInnen”
Since the beginnings, literary film adaptations have been legally represented and handled by the publishing house. Even the authors of the first generation, as, for instance, Carl Zuckmayer, Thomas and Heinrich Mann supplied literary material for such film classics as DER HAUPTMANN VON KÖPENICK, BUDDENBROOKS, DER BLAUE ENGEL, HENRI IV and DEATH IN VENICE. This list could easily be continued up to the present.
Mention should be made, for instance, of Stanley Kubrick’s last film, EYES WIDE SHUT which is based on TRAUMNOVELLE by Arthur Schnitzer, as well as of the film ALS WIR TRÄUMTEN, based on the novel by Clemens Meyer, which was nominated for the Silberner Bär at the Berlin Film Festival 2015.
For many years, we have been actively offering novels suited for film adaptations to producers; the interest in literary material has grown in times of pay TV and streaming services.
Since 2004, we have also been representing script writers in our script agency based within the S. Fischer Theater & Medien Verlag. Following the concept and tradition of the publishing house, we have our focus on conceptual and dramaturgical guidance and development of material and the encompassing and individual support of the authors. New ideas and impulses arise out of the constant creative and active exchange with each other. As a next stept, thanks to our ever growing network of creatives, we canvass directors and producers as suitable partners for the further development of the material which we follow through to the finished film, if desired. Acquiring script commissions by personally recommending an author suitable for a certain project is as much part of our skills as are the ensuing contract negotiations.
Work in the theatre is subject to change, the boundaries of genres become blurred –dramatists especially often work in other parts of the theatre, too. Some direct, others work as dramaturgs or as curators. And vice versa. There are more and more theatre artists who are looking for representation in their diverse professional activities. This is why S. Fischer Theater & Medien has begun working as an agency to represent stage directors, stage designers and dramaturgs. We consult, negotiate, network and support. And we offer our artists a comprehensive and individual service.