Thomas Ostermeier was born in 1968 in Soltau. From 1992-96 he studied directing at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst »Ernst Busch«, Berlin. In 1990-91 he worked as an actor in Einar Schleef‹s »Faust«-Project at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 1993-94 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 Berlin. From 1996-99 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 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 is resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Schaubühne. 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 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«), at the Burgtheater in Vienna: »The Master Builder« by Henrik Ibsen, 2004, at Théâtre-Vidy, Lausanne (»The Seagull« by Anton Chekhov, 2016) and at the Comédie-Française Paris (»Twelfth Night« by Shakespeare 2018). 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 regularly since then.
Invitations to Theatertreffen Berlin with »Knives in Hens« (1997), »Shopping and Fucking« (1998), »Nora« (2003), »Hedda Gabler« (2006), »Die Ehe der Maria Braun« (2008) and »Returning to Reims«. 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 Borkmann« and »Hamlet« have been awarded with international prizes as best productions in the season 2008/2009: »John Gabriel Borkmann« 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 honour award by the 18th Istanbul Theatre Festival 2012 and in Teheran as best direction at the FADJR International Theatre Festival in 2016. In 2017 Ostermeier was awarded the »Premio della Critica Teatrale« for his production of »Richard III«. In 2019 his staging of Shakespeare’s »Twelfth Night« at the Comédie-Française was awarded with the »Prix Molière« for the best performance of the season.
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.
From 2010 to 2018 Thomas Ostermeier was the German president of the Deutsch-Französischer Kulturrat (DKFR), German-French Council of Culture.
In 2011 Thomas Ostermeier received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale for the entirety of his work.
In 2016 he was appointed Honorary Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Kent for his contributions to the European theatre.
In 2018 he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the KYTHERA-Price for Culture.
In 2019 he was appointed Honorary Doctor at the University of Gothenburg.
Thomas Ostermeier is member of the Deutsche Akademie der Darstellenden Künste, oft he Académie de Berlin, oft he Deutsch-Französischer Kulturrat and the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
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), »Returning to Reims« after the book by Didier Eribon (2017) and »History of Violence« by Édouard Louis in June 2018. Followed by Ödön von Horváth’s »Italian Night« in (2018), the world premiere of »abgrund« by Maja Zade in (2019), as a coproduction with the Salzburger Festspiele, »Youth without God« by Ödön von Horváth (Berlin, 2019), »Vernon Subutex 1« by Virginie Despentes (2021), »ödipus« by Maja Zade (2021) and »Qui a tué mon Père« by Édouard Louis (2020).
His productions are touring worldwide to places like Adelaide, Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Beijing, 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.
Personenkreis 3.1 by Lars Norén, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2000)
Crave by Sarah Kane,Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2000)
Parasiten by Marius von Mayenburg, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (World Premiere, 2000)
The Name by Jon Fosse, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2000)
This is a Chair by Caryl Churchill, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2001)
Dantons Tod by Georg Büchner, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2001)
Supermarket by Biljana Srbljanovic, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (World Premiere, 2001)
»Better Days« by Richard Dresser, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2002)
Nora by Henrik Ibsen, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2002)
Wunschkonzert by Franz Xaver Kroetz, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2003)
Woyzeck by Georg Büchner, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2003)
»Suburban Motel 6: Risiko« by George F. Walker, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2003)
Der Würgeengel by Karst Woudstra, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2003)
Lulu by Frank Wedekind, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2004)
Eldorado by Marius von Mayenburg, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (World Premiere, 2004)
Blasted by Sarah Kane, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2005)
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2005)
Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O´Neill,Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2006)
A Midsummernight’s Dream William Shakespeare (with C. Macras), Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2006)
Liebe ist nur eine Möglichkeit by Christoph Nußbaumeder, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2006)
Product by Mark Ravenhill,Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2006)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2007)
Room Service by John Murray and Allen Boretz, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2007)
The City | The Cut by Martin Crimp and Mark Ravenhill, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (World Premiere, 2008)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2008)
John Gabriel Borkmann by Henrik Ibsen, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2008/09)
Demons by Lars Norén, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2010)
Othello by William Shakespeare, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2010)
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare,Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2011)
An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen,Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2012)
Death in Venice/Kindertotenlieder after Thomas Mann/Gustav Mahler, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2013)
The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2014)
Richard III. by William Shakespeare, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2015)
Bella Figura by Yasmina Reza, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (World Premiere, 2015)
Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2016)
Returning to Reims after Didier Eribon, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2017)
History of Violence by Édouard Louis, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2018)
Italian Night by Ödön von Horváth, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2018)
abgrund by Maja Zade, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (World Premiere, 2019)
Youth Without God by Ödön von Horváth, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2019)
Vernon Subutex 1 by Verginie Despentes, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2021)
ödipus by Maja Zade, Director: Thomas Ostermeier (2021)
Qui a tué mon père (Who killed my father), Director: Thomas Ostermeier by Édouard Louis (2021)
The Seagull by Anton Tschechow, Regie: Thomas Ostermeier (2023)