Thomas Ostermeier

Thomas Ostermeier was born in 1968 in Soltau. From 1992–1996 he studied directing at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst „Ernst Busch“, Berlin. In 1990–1991 he worked as an actor in Einar Schleef’s “Faust”-Project at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 1993–1994 he was assistant director and actor with Manfred Karge in Weimar and at the Berliner Ensemble. In 1995 he directed “Die Unbekannte” by Alexander Blok in accordance with Meyerhold’s system of biomechanics. In 1996 he directed “Recherche Faust/Artaud” at the bat- Studiotheater der Hochschule für Schauspielkunst „Ernst Busch“, Berlin. From 1996–1999 Thomas Ostermeier was Artistic Director of the Baracke at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin. Productions there included “Fat Men in Skirts” by Nicky Silver (1996), “Knives in Hens” by David Harrower (1997 awarded with the Friedrich-Luft-Prize), Brecht’s “Mann ist Mann” (1997), “Suzuki” by Alexej Schipenko (1997), “Shopping and Fucking” by Mark Ravenhill (1998), “Below the Belt” by Richard Dresser (1998), “The Blue Bird” by Maeterlinck (1999). In 1998 the Baracke was nominated “Theatre of the Year”. In 1998 and 1999 Ostermeier directed “Disco Pigs” by Enda Walsh and “Fire Face” by Marius von Mayenburg at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg. His final production at the Baracke was “Suzuki II” by Alexej Schipenko.

Since September 1999 Ostermeier has been resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. He has also directed several productions at the Münchner Kammerspiele: 2002 “Der starke Stamm” by Marieluise Fleißer, 2005 “Vor Sonnenaufgang” by Gerhart Hauptmann, 2007 “Die Ehe der Maria Braun” by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (invited to the Theatertreffen 2008) and 2009 “Susn” by Herbert Achternbusch, at the Edinburgh Festival: “The Girl on the Sofa” by Jon Fosse, 2002 (awarded with the “Herald Angel Award”) and at the Burgtheater in Vienna: “The Master Builder” by Henrik Ibsen, 2004. In November 2004 Ostermeier was appointed artiste associé for the Festival d’Avignon by the artistic director of the festival, Vincent Baudriller, and has been presenting shows at the Festival almost every year since then.

Invitations to Theatertreffen Berlin with “Knives in Hens” (1997), “Shopping and Fucking” (1998), “Nora” (2003), “Hedda Gabler” (2006) and “Die Ehe der Maria Braun” (2008). Furthermore, in 2003 “Nora” has been awarded the NESTROY-Prize as well as the Politika Prize during the theatre festival in Belgrade BITEF. “Hedda Gabler” received in 2006 the audience award of the TheaterGemeinde Berlin, his “Little Foxes” was awarded the same prize in 2015. His productions “John Gabriel Borkman” and “Hamlet” have been awarded with international prizes as best productions in the season 2008/2009: “John Gabriel Borkman” with the Grand Prix de la Critique of France (April 2009) and “Hamlet” with the Barcelona Critics Prize (September 2009). Thomas Ostermeier’s production “The Cut” received the critic´s prize at the international theatre festival KONTAKT in Torun (Poland) in Mai 2010. For “Measure for Measure” he received the Friedrich-Luft-Prize for the “Best Theatre Performance in Berlin” in 2011. In Chile “Hamlet” has been awarded with the critic’s prize as “Best International Production 2011”, in Turkey with the honor award by the 18th Istanbul Theatre Festival 2012 and in Teheran as best direction at the FADJR International Theatre Festival in 2016. For his contributions to the European theatre, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Kent in 2016. In 2017, Ostermeier was awarded the Premio della Critica Teatrale for his production of “Richard III”.

In 2009 Thomas Ostermeier has been appointed “Officier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French ministry of culture, and promoted to the degree of “Commandeur” in 2015. In Mai 2010 Thomas Ostermeier has been announced as German president of the Deutsch-Französischer Kulturrat (DKFR), German-French Council of Culture. Thomas Ostermeier received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale for the entirety of his work in 2011.

His latest productions at the Schaubühne are “An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen (2012), “Death in Venice/Kindertotenlieder” after Thomas Mann/Gustav Mahler (2013), “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman (2014), “Richard III.” by William Shakespeare (2015), the world premiere of Yasmina Reza's “Bella Figura” (2015), “Professor Bernhardi” by Arthur Schnitzler (2016) and “Returning to Reims” after the book by Didier Eribon (2017).

His productions are touring worldwide to places like Adelaide, Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Belgrade, Bordeaux, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Bucharest, Caracas, Chennai, Copenhagen, Delhi, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kolkata, Krakow, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Madrid, Marseille, Melbourne, Moscow, Naples, New York, Novi Sad, Omsk, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Prague, Québec, Rennes, Reims, Santiago de Chile, Sarajevo, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tampere, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Venice, Vienna and Zagreb.

Source: Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin

As of March 2018

Thomas Ostermeier

© Brigitte Lacombe

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