The Schaubühne was founded in 1962. Since 1999 it has been led by artistic director Thomas Ostermeier. The foundation of his tenure was laid in the formation of a new ensemble of permanently employed actors, who essentially have been working together ever since, regularly extended by new appointments.

The Schaubühne premieres a minimum of ten shows per season alongside a repertoire of over 30 existing productions. Starting from the concept of an ensemble theatre, the actors, dramatic characters and situations of a play take centre stage at the Schaubühne.

One of the theatre’s distinctive features is a stylistic variety in approaches to directing, which includes new forms of dance and musical theatre. The search for a contemporary and experimental theatre language which focuses upon storytelling and a precise understanding of texts – both classical and contemporary – is a unifying element. The repertoire encompasses the great dramatic works of world literature alongside contemporary plays from internationally renowned writers which, with over 100 world and German premieres during the past 18 years, have been a key component of the theatre’s work.

The search for new dramatic forms has benefited from a lively international exchange which has regularly brought the Schaubühne and its ensemble into close contact with other theatrical traditions. Alongside directors such as Thomas Ostermeier, Herbert Fritsch, Milo Rau, Falk Richter, Marius von Mayenburg, Mina Salehpour, Lilja Rupprecht and Patrick Wengenroth, the Schaubühne frequently offers a platform in Berlin to notable directors from abroad. Currently productions by Dead Centre, Katie Mitchell, Rodrigo García and Angélica Liddell are being shown at the theatre. At the same time, the Schaubühne showcases its productions abroad in over 100 performances every year: whether at big international theatre festivals like the Festival d’Avignon, the Salzburg Festival, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires (FIBA), the Istanbul Festival and the Territorija Festival in Moscow; or as guest performances at theatres around the world including in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Quebec, São Paulo, London, Moscow, Oslo, Ramallah, Melbourne, Ottawa, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Rennes, Barcelona, Adelaide, Tokyo, Prague, Sydney, Montreal and Beijing.

Every spring since 2000 the Festival of International New Drama (FIND) has given internationally renowned theatre makers the opportunity to show their work at the Schaubühne. The recent focus has been upon writer-theatremakers who write and direct their own work or substantially develop existing dramatic material. Since 2011 FIND has been complemented by the »FIND plus« workshop programme which is a forum for acting, directing and dramaturgy students from several European countries.