Dr Thomas Oberender
Dr Thomas Oberender was born in Jena in 1966 and has been Director of the Berliner Festspiele since 2012. He was previously Head of Theatre at the Salzburg Festival from 2006 to 2011. He was Chief Dramaturg and Co-Director of the Schauspielhaus Zürich in 2005/06 and Chief Dramaturg and a member of the artistic directorate at Schauspielhaus Bochum from 2005 to 2005.
Oberender has lived in Berlin before – from 1988 to 2000 – where he completed a doctorate on Botho Strauß at the Humboldt University in 1999. In 1997, he co-founded the theatre writer’s association Theater Neuen Typs (Theatre of a New Kind), dedicated to the dissemination of theatre texts by authors writing in German. He has published plays, reviews and essays on artists and on processes of political and aesthetic transformation.
Oberender has initiated long-running series formats for theatre, art and literature and curated time-based exhibitions. At the Berliner Festspiele he conceived and launched the Immersion series in 2016, whose projects have included opening up the planetarium as a site for the work of artists in the digital age. The exhibition by Philippe Parreno that he initiated at the Gropius Bau was selected as “Exhibition of the Year 2018” in 2019. He has also published numerous books on theatre and new artistic forms and since 2017 has increasingly devoted himself to re-examining the historical transformation of Eastern Germany.