Bronfen, Weber, Rickenbach, Böhmer & Huber

Zombie TV (1-6)

The Zurich director Barbara Weber, represented at the 2016 festival with the performative installation «The Making of Success», and the literary and cultural scientist Elisabeth Bronfen had planned to stage a TV-format at this year’s Theater Spektakel, This was to be a «Late Night Lecture Show» on the representation of women in positions of power. But then the virus arrived and jeopardised the stage format, raising new topics all together. After studying pandemic first-hand, including the political, social and media mish-mash of statistics, masks, safety distances, contact tracing, travel restrictions and self-responsibility, they now present their newly developed, multi-part project: «Zombie TV». In accordance with common Netflix habits and distributed via virus-safe online streaming, this cross-mapping mini series examines the question: Does the pandemic transform us all into zombies? Do we become a deadly threat to each other? «Zombie TV» is based on the cultural and scientific considerations of Elisabeth Bronfen in her book «Angesteckt: Zeitgemässes über Pandemie und Kultur», which is published this August by Echtzeit Verlag.

Together with scenographer Dominic Huber, comic-strip artist Kati Rickenbach and video artist Yannik Böhmer, the director Barbara Weber has translated Bronfen’s analysis and prognosis into six 15-minute episodes. For Bronfen — professor at the University of Zurich and New York University — the analogies between viruses and zombies are obvious and rooted in western cultural history. With verve and wit, she connects the Whore of Babylon with Gwyneth Paltrow’s part in the recently rediscovered virus blockbuster «Contagion» (2011) by Steven Soderbergh and finally with the outbreak of corona in Europe. Set in a cartoon world drawn by Kati Rickenbach, a core figure of the Swiss comic scene around the magazine «Strapazin», Bronfen’s considerations are scenically framed.

«Zombie TV», premiering at the Theater Spekakel, reflects and analyses the relationship between zombies and viruses in film, politics, research and media coverage in intelligent and brilliant ways. The six episodes – «Viren sind Zombies», «Shoppen und Sterben», «Superspreaders / Superwomen I», «Superspreaders / Superwomen II», «Zombies unknown» and «The revenge of nature» - can be watched on six evenings from the safety of your home. Who prefers en bloc, can come to one of the two public viewings when all episodes will be presented in a showdown - not shutdown. (rb)

Artistic direction and cast

Von & mitBarbara Weber, Elisabeth Bronfen, Dominic Huber, Kati Rickenbach, Yannik Böhmer
RegieBarbara Weber
SzenografieDominic Huber
CartoonsKati Rickenbach
VideoYannik Böhmer
DramaturgieFlorian Ronc
Kostüm & MaskeMikki Levy-Strasser, Jeanne-Vera Bourguignon
MusikMichael Haves
Assistenz SzenografieJana Brändle, Naemi Jael Marty


ProduktionsleitungPatricia Bianchi, Elena Conradt
ProduktionsassistenzKirill Tscheluchin
ProduktionTransit Productions
KoproduktionKaserne Basel und Zürcher Theater Spektakel
UnterstützungStadt Zürich Kultur, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Casinelli-Vogel-Stiftung
PremiereZürcher Theater Spektakel 2020

Lecture Cartoon Series / Public Viewing

Co-production, premiere


1:30 hrs



Post-Performance Talk

Post-performance talk with the artists

An inclusive event

accessible with wheelchair



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