Thomas Ostermeier + Maja Zade

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Director Thomas Ostermeier and playwright Maja Zade have collaborated for many years. In 2019, Thomas Ostermeier performed Maja Zade’s play abgrund at the Schaubühne. 

What kinds of situations, characters and constellations are interesting for the theatre? What makes a story worth telling on stage? In their online meeting for the FACYL festival, the two theatre creators give an idea of their work, their artistic approach and the difference in their approaches as playwright and director. 

Thomas Ostermeier, theatre director.
Maja Zade, playwright.

Thomas Ostermeier

Thomas Ostermeier (born 1968 in Soltau) studied conducting at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin from 1992 to 1996. From 1996 to 1999, he was Baracke’s Artistic Director at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Since 1999, he has been a resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Schaubühne. Ostermeier has directed over 50 plays and is a professor of conducting at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts. His productions tour around the world. As a director, he has worked at Vienna’s Burgtheater, Munich Kammerspiele, Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, and Comédie-Française in Paris. He was appointed “artiste associe” for the Festival d’Avignon in November 2004, “Officier des Arts et des Lettres” in 2009 and was promoted to the rank of “Commandeur” in 2015. Between 2010 and 2018, Ostermeier was the German president of the Franco-German Culture Council. For his contributions to European theatre, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Kent in 2016. Among many other awards, Thomas Ostermeier received the Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale for all of his work in 2011. 

Maja Zade

Maja Zade grew up in Germany and Sweden. She studied English Literature at the University of London and at Queen’s University in Canada. She worked on stage productions at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Between 1997 and 1999, she was a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Since 1999, she has worked as a playwright at the Schaubühne in Berlin. She has translated several plays into German, including works by Lars von Trier and Caryl Churchill, and has also translated works by Marius von Mayenburg, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Lars Norén and Falk Richter into English. Her play abgrund (without words) was staged by Thomas Ostermeier, while her play statu quo was staged by Marius von Mayenburg, both at the Schaubühne. Her next play reden über sex (talking about sex) will be staged next spring, again by Marius von Mayenburg. 

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