Frank Castorf

Frank Castorf (born 1951) is a theatre and opera director born in East Berlin and former Artistic Director of the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin, where he worked from 1992 to 2017. His productions are among the most radical and influential events in 20th century theatre. In his works lasting several hours, plays and novels from world literature provide elements for collages together with associative material such as film quotations, other stage works, political and philosophical texts, song lyrics and improvised speeches. Together with the stage designer Bert Neumann, he turned the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz that he ran for 25 years not only into an anarchic, political and intoxicating theatre space, where the very different theatrical signatures of artists like Christoph Schlingensief, René Pollesch, Christoph Marthaler, Johann Kresnik and Dimiter Gottscheff could co-exist alongside each other, but also into a place where parallel to the theatre, a transdisciplinary programme of rock concerts, dance, films and political and philosophical symposia was created. Since 1998, Castorf has also increasingly directed opera, including Verdi’s “Otello” (Theater Basel), “La Forza del destino” (Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (Bayreuth Festival). He has worked as a guest director at international theatre and opera houses in Copenhagen, Paris, Sao Paulo, Zurich, Basel, Vienna, Stockholm, Hamburg and Munich. Castorf’s artistic work and achievement as an artistic director received numerous awards, among them the Fritz Kortner Prize, the Berlin Theatre Prize awarded by the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung, the International Theatre Institute Prize, the Schiller Prize of the City of Mannheim, the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin, the Friedrich Luft Prize, the Golden Laurel Wreath Award from the International Theater Festival MESS, the German Theatre Prize DER FAUST and the Berlin Art Prize.