Thomas Ostermeier is managing director of the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin and has long been regarded as a leading light of the German stage.
Thomas Ostermeier is just 43-years-old but he has already been recognized for his work as a director: in 2011 he received a Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Biennale film festival as a lifetime achievement award. Born to a soldier and a saleswoman in 1966, Ostermeier experienced a difficult childhood in Bavaria before he picked up his first stage experience from theatre director Einar Schleef in Berlin. He then went on to study direction at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin, from which he graduated in 1996.
Immediately afterwards, he was granted the privilege of directing on the "Baracke" stage, the Deutsches Theater's studio space. Ostermeier frequently directed plays by young British playwrights at the "Baracke" and it was voted theatre of the year in 1988. Just four years later, at the age of 31, Ostermeier got his big break and was made artistic director of the Schaubühne in Berlin, one of the most renowned theatres in the Germany. He has enjoyed a string of successes at the Schaubühne with a mixture of classics by Shakespeare and Ibsen. Today, he's managing director at the Schaubühne and his reputation is well known abroad. He has staged plays world wide and Ostermeier is constantly on the road, travelling between Berlin and the big theatre festivals from Avignon to Salzburg.
(First broadcast 15 April 2012)