Seeking Nietzsche (Full-length play)

With the nationalist composer Richard Wagner as Friedrich Nietzsche’s surrogate father and the Nazi’s appropriation of Wagner’s music and Nietzsche’s philosophy, many have questioned whether Nietzsche and his works are on the right side of history. Seeking Nietzsche ponders who determines the answer to this question. When Nietzsche falls into madness, his nationalist sister, Elisabeth, takes over the management...
With the nationalist composer Richard Wagner as Friedrich Nietzsche’s surrogate father and the Nazi’s appropriation of Wagner’s music and Nietzsche’s philosophy, many have questioned whether Nietzsche and his works are on the right side of history. Seeking Nietzsche ponders who determines the answer to this question. When Nietzsche falls into madness, his nationalist sister, Elisabeth, takes over the management of his literary estate, but knowing that the siblings disagree on just about everything, Nietzsche’s friend, Lou Salomé, takes it upon herself to recover Nietzsche’s legacy and reveal his inner psychology. Meanwhile, Elisabeth outlives Nietzsche by thirty-five years and becomes close to Hitler. Influenced by Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence, as well as his madness at the end of his life, the narrative jumps back and forth in time and into the afterlife to tell the tale of the ever-suffering philosopher.
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Seeking Nietzsche (Full-length play)

Recommended by

  • Kim E. Ruyle:
    5 Mar. 2022
    Much more than a dry history lesson or a discourse on nihilism, Seeking Nietzsche is a cleverly constructed and engaging story that took me on a journey through Neitzche’s life and relationships and on multiple side trips: the Tristan chord, Dionysus, Zarathustra, Schopenhauer, and more. Seeking Nietzsche is a tour de force!
  • Joe Swenson:
    19 Jan. 2022
    Marcia Eppich-Harris has created a mastery of art with this reality bending play about Fredrich Nietzsche. I can only imagine the amount of research that Eppich-Harris must have invested to come up with this brilliantly crafted, well interpreted play. From the first line, "Some men are born posthumously, as I was. But in that rebirth, I fear that I am greatly misunderstood." the playwright draws you in and not only holds your interest but captivates you. Amazing play. The playwright makes it easy to imagine with the specificity of the stage directions. Brilliant.
  • Ian Thal:
    31 Aug. 2021
    Eppich-Harris dramatizes not just Friedrich Nietzsche's efforts to break from 19th century orthodoxy as a philosophical provocateur, but the subsequent fights over what his philosophy means, personified by the struggle between his estranged friend, the intellectual Lou Andreas-Salomé, and his literary executor and estranged sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche who in pursuing her own political will-to-power was in the decades following his death reshaped his public image into a philosopher of something he despised: a philosopher of German nationalism. Eppich-Harris' writing is lyrical, psychologically complex, and ultimately political.

Character Information

  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    30s-40s
    24-54 years old in the play, but can be played by any middle-aged man. A philosopher, writer, professor, and polemicist.
  • Elisabeth Förester-Nietzsche
    late 20s - 80s
    Nietzsche's sister, 22-89 years old in the play, but should be played by middle-aged woman. A devout Christian, anti-semitic, and (eventually) supporter of the Nazis.
  • Lou Salomé
    25-35
    A writer, and eventually a psychiatrist and scholar, as well as the love of Nietzsche's life. Should be played by a beautiful woman between 25-35.
  • Richard Wagner
    50s-70s
    Famous composer, father figure to Nietzsche. 50s-70s in the play, should be played by a man in that age range.
  • Doctor
    50s-70s
    A physician who takes care of Nietzsche. (Can/should be doubled with WAGNER)
  • Hitler
    Yep, that Hitler. (Can/should be doubled with WAGNER -- not going for realism here.)
  • Nazi
    Any
    A Nazi soldier (Can/should be doubled with WAGNER)

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Southbank Theatre Company
    ,
    2022
  • Reading
    ,
    Indiana Playwrights Circle
    ,
    2021

Awards

Honorable Mention
,
Epiphanies New Play Festival
,
Wild Imaginings
,
2022