Maxi Obexer studied Comparative Literature, Philosophy and Theatre Studies in Vienna and Berlin. She writes fiction, stage and radio plays and made her name with political dramas and essays. Her work in recent years as a dramatist, author and lecturer has repeatedly examined European policies towards migration. She has been awarded prizes and scholarships by institutions including the Akademie Solitude, the Academy of the Arts, Berlin, and, more recently, she was the winner of the 2016 Eurodrama Prize for Illegal Helpers.
She has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College, USA, at the University of the Arts, Berlin, at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig and at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Maxi Obexer has a long-standing interest in advanced education in the field of dramatic arts. Together with Sasha Marianna Salzmann, in 2014 she founded NIDS, the “New Institute of Dramatic Writing”: www.nids.eu.
Obexer has also developed numerous performances in recent years as collaborations with artists working in contemporary visual arts and music. In 2008 she created the installation Defending Europe together with the sonic artist Hannes Hölzl for the European Art Biennial Manifesta 7.
The Ghost Ship, her most frequently performed play to date, is a critical examination of the responses to refugee crises: a modern requiem about the many dead washed up on Europe’s shores and the indifferent reactions to this (world premiere: Theaterhaus Jena, 2007).
Her plays have been performed at the state theatres in Brunswick and Dresden, the theatres in Basel and Freiburg, at the regional theatres in Swabia and Tübingen, Theaterhaus Jena and the Theatre die Rampe in Stuttgart.
Illegal Helpers was produced as a radio play by WDR in 2015. The eponymous stage play received its world premiere at Schauspielhaus Salzburg in January 2016, followed by a German premiere at the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam. HOT Potsdam then commissioned Maxi Oberer to write Going or Staying on the specific situation of refugees in Potsdam.
Obexer’s plays have been translated into several languages, including French, English, Bulgarian, Czech and Romanian.