Jedermann (play)

Jedermann (Everyman) is a play by the Austrian playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is based on several medieval mystery plays, including the late 15th-century English morality play Everyman. It was first performed on 1 December 1911 in Berlin, directed by Max Reinhardt at the Circus Schumann. From 1920, it has been performed regularly at the Salzburg Festival.

Cornelius Obonya and Peter Lohmeyer portraying Jedermann and Tod at the Salzburg Festival in 2014
Written byHugo von Hofmannsthal
  • Jedermann
  • Tod
  • Buhlschaft
Date premiered1 December 1911
Original languageGerman


God sends Death (Tod) to summon the rich bon viveur Jedermann who is then abandoned by his friends, his wealth and his lover (Buhlschaft).


The play was conceived by Hugo von Hofmannsthal in the tradition of medieval morality plays, based on the English Everyman, and on Hecastus by Hans Sachs.[1] It was first performed on 1 December 1911 in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt at the Circus Schumann (which later became the Großes Schauspielhaus).

In 1920, it was performed at the Salzburg Festival, again staged by Reinhardt, and performed on the square in front of the Salzburg Cathedral.[1] It has been performed annually there,[2] except between 1922 and 1925 and during the years of the Nazi annexation of Austria and World War II from 1938 until 1946.[3][4] Since then, the play has been performed there every year. Amongst the most famous actors performing the title role were Attila Hörbiger, Curd Jürgens, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Maximilian Schell and Gert Voss. As of 2019, Jedermann has been presented in 700 performances.[1]

The play has been made into a film at least eight times, including in 1958,[5] 1961,[6] 1970,[7] 1983,[8] 2000,[9] 2004,[10] 2010,[11] and 2013.[12] The 1961 film Jedermann, directed by Max Reinhardt's son Gottfried Reinhardt and filmed at the Salzburg Festival, was submitted as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 34th Academy Awards, but it was not selected as one of the five nominees in the category.[13]


  1. Sturminger, Michael (2019). ""Now is the time for weeping!"". Salzburg Festival. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. Banham, Martin, ed. (1998). The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge University Press. p. 491.
  3. Stevens, Martin (1 March 1973). "The Reshaping of "Everyman": Hofmannsthal at Salzburg". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  4. Salzburg Festival: Jedermann cast of 1946. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  5. Jedermann (1958) on IMDb
  6. Everyman (1961) on IMDb
  7. Jedermann (1970) on IMDb
  8. Jedermann (1983) on IMDb
  9. Jedermann (2000) on IMDb
  10. Jedermann (2004) on IMDb
  11. Jedermann (2010) on IMDb
  12. Jedermann (2013) on IMDb
  13. Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Media related to Jedermann at Wikimedia Commons
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