Drawing: Wojtek Klakla
Dagny Gioulami was born in Bern in 1970 to a Swiss father and a Greek mother. (Dagny is a Swedish forename – one of her grandmothers was from Sweden – and Gioulami is a Greek surname). She studied drama at the Zurich University of Fine Arts and was an actress in the permanent ensemble of the Städtische Bühnen Münster. She has also appeared in productions at the Schauspielhaus Zurich, Theater Basel, Stadttheater Bern and for many smaller companies.

Since 2000 Gioulami has been writing librettos and stage works, for companies such as the Opernhaus Zurich, Staatsoper Hannover, The Opera Group London, Stadttheater Bern or the Landschaftstheater Ballenberg. Her opera Birds. Barks. Bones. (music: Edward Rushton) won a 2005 British Composers Award.

Between 2010 and 2013 she studied at the Swiss Literary Institute (Schweizerische Literaturinstitut) in Biel (Master CAP, Bern University of Fine Arts). Her debut novel, Alle Geschichten, die ich kenne (All the Stories I Know) was published in early 2015 by weissbooks.w, Frankfurt am Main. Gioulami has received many accolades and awards for her novel, including the Literature Prize of the Canton of Berne, and it was on the shortlist of the Rauriser Literature Prize. She lives in Zurich.

Catalogue of Works

Mattemärli, play for children

Commissioned by the Stadttheater Bern, 2008

Noemi has run away from home in order to find her cuddly toy dog. After a mysterious trip down the lift to the Matte (a part of the city of Bern on the level of the River Aare) she lands in a strange and unknown world which seems at the same time to be the Matte. Can Noemi stop the Matte being flooded and also find her dog?

Bleu Électrique (collaborative work), stage play,

Developed and written together with Eleni Haupt and Claudio Schenardi (Theater Amalgam), Maxim Theater Zurich. First performance 2017.

Switzerland, 2035. A former (female) member of parliament breaks into one of her old rivals’ house in order to convince her to take part in a protest against a misogynistic popular referendum. Will the two old pioneers of women’s suffrage go to the barricades once more? Bleu électrique casts light on the history of women in Swiss politics and raises questions about equality in the world today.

Der Pfarrer und der Kapitän (The Priest and the Captain), stage play commissioned by the Landschaftstheater Ballenberg. First performance 2012

It is the beginning of the 20th Century, shortly before the aeroplane made its breakthrough as a popular means of air-travel. An ageing hot-air-ballooning pioneer is about to take off on an expedition across the Swiss Alps. His appearance in a small village community causes unrest, as forgotten stories come to light again.

Uruguay, stage play for young people

Commissioned by the Jugendclub MoMoll, Schaffhausen. First performance 2010

The suffering of the survivors of a famous air-crash in the Andes in 1972 is the story on which a gang of teenagers base their initiation ritual. Their reenactment of the incident in a forest somewhere in the Swiss provinces seems to be going well, until one of the girls disappears.

Zack und Zoé, stage play for young people

Classroom play about the influence gender roles in choosing a profession. Commissioned by the Department for Education and Culture of the Canton of Uri. First performance 2009

Zack and Zoé have lost contact with each other since they left school. They meet again in a classroom where they have been given the task of talking to the pupils about their apprenticeships and their jobs. They start digging up old conflicts about their previous relationship and about their various choices of profession. It soon becomes clear that they are still in love with each other. http://www.mytopjob.ch/index.php/theater

S' bluetig Pfand (The Bloody Pledge), historical festival-play

Commissioned by the Grüningen local authority, 2008

The play sheds light on two generations of the Gessler family, reeves in the city of Grüningen. Particular focus is on the reasons why Gessler “the Good”, who had to pawn Grüningen to the city of Zurich in the year 1408, became Gessler “the Bad” in the myth of William Tell.