Madis Kõiv


He started writing plays in the early 1960s but was discovered by the theatre in 1990s. Kõiv’s plays always work on the level of philosophical existence. His texts are never easily graspable for the audience; the plays are perceived like a multidimensional reasoning-theatre full of conceptual riddles. Kõiv’s approach has been described as the substantial integrity of different cognition levels, personal and universal, sensuous and abstract, logical and dreamlike irrational. His plays are mostly autobiographical but he concentrates less on local themes and more on the general intellectuality and humanity in a way that has widened the stance of Estonian playwrighting. The remarks in his plays are not only illustrative means for stage reality but independent figures that create an atmosphere.

Madis Kõiv studied physics in the Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences in University of Tartu. He is the honorary doctor of University of Tartu as well as of Estonian Music and Theatre Academy. Kõiv has been rewarded National Culture Award in 1994, 1998, 2002 and Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008.

Translated plays:

1976 Filling the Hay Barn (Küüni täitmine) – French

1993 Return to Father (Tagasitulek isa juurde) – Russian

1994 Philosopher`s Day (Filosoofipäev) – German

1997 The Evening Show of Vagabonds (Peiarite õhtumängud) – German

1997 The Pike (Haug), radio-play – English

2004 Another Story (Üks teine lugu), radio-play – English