ETRN Conference – Thomas Ostermeier: Reinventing Directors’ Theatre at the Schaubühne Berlin

On the occasion of the performance of Ostermeier’s 2012 Schaubühne production of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (Ein Volksfeind) at the Barbican London (24-28 September 2014), we invite you to take part in an International Symposiumpresented by:

European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) / University of Kent, University of Essex, University of Birmingham, Université de Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, Goethe-Institut London, Institut Français & French Embassy London, Schaubühne Berlin and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

Thursday 25 & Friday 26 September 2014

Conference Programme:

Thursday 25 September 2014
Venue: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Map Location:; nearest underground stations: Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Line), Moorgate (Nothern Line)

5pm Conference Registration, Barbican Frobisher Room.

5.30pm Backstage Talk ‘Making Theatre at the Schaubühne’ with Ostermeier’s collaborators Jan Pappelbaum (set designer) and Florian Borchmeyer (dramaturg), hosted by designer Chloe Lamford and playwright Duncan Macmillan. This public event can be booked separately, see below.

7.45 performance ‘An Enemy of the People’ (Barbican Theatre; for ticket holders; running time 2hrs20mins, no interval), followed by a post-show discussion with Simon Mc Burney, Thomas Ostermeier and members of the company (Barbican Theatre)

Friday 26 September 2014

Venue: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, 62-64 Eton Avenue, London NW3 3HY
Map Location:, nearest underground stations: Swiss Cottage (Jubilee Line), Finchley Road (Metropolitan Line, ca 10 min walk)

Sessions take place at New Studio, except for Workshop 2 at Room D

9am arrival

9.30 Welcome from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the conference organisers Clare Finburgh (University of Essex), Vicky Angelaki (University of Birmingham) and Peter M Boenisch (University of Kent), followed byPlenary Session Art and the Political in Thomas Ostermeier’s Theatre, with presentations from:

*Jitka Goriaux Pelechová (Université Paris 8), The Baracke Phenomenon

*Hana Worthen (Barnard College, Columbia University), Liberal Humanism and Theatrical Propriety: Thomas Ostermeier’s Ein Volksfeind in New York 2013

*Marina Ceppi (University of Buenos Aires), Ostermeier in Buenos Aires: Transforming theater reception through politics.

*Arnaud Maïsetti (Université Aix-Marseille), Thomas Ostermeier: Le Dépli politique de l’histoire (Paper in French, English summary provided)

11.30 break

11.40 Professor Frédéric Maurin (Université de Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle), keynote lecture Thomas Ostermeier Within and Without the Schaubühne. Chair: Clare Finburgh, University of Essex.

12.30pm Lunch

1.30 Thomas Ostermeier (Schaubühne Berlin), lecture ‘Totus mundus agit histrionem’: Staging and Playing Shakespeare. Chair: Professor Simon Shepherd, Deputy Principal, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

2.15 Acting Ostermeier – Schaubühne ensemble actors Christoph Gawenda, Eva Meckbach, David Ruland and Moritz Gottwald in conversation with Ramin Gray (Artistic Director, Actors Touring Company) and Andrew Haydon (Theatre Critic, The Guardian, ‘Postcards from the Gods’-blog)

3.15 break


  • Workshop 1 – Ostermeier’s Directions: Texts, Techniques and Practices (New Studio); Chair: Clare Finburgh, University of Essex, with contributions from

*Jozefina Komporaly (De Montfort University), Regietheater or Collaborative Practice: Thomas Ostermeier’s Border Politics

*Benjamin Fowler, (University of Warwick), Perceiving the Cube: Ostermeier, Shakespeare & Sensuality

*Viktoria Volkova (Freie Universität Berlin), Rehearsing a sketch: Thomas Ostermeier’s work on Death in Venice/Kindertotenlieder

*Claire Legendre (Université de Montréal), La vérité comme enjeu theatral: Ostermeier entre théâtre dialectique et le naturalisme (title tbc)

3.30 Workshop 2 – Ostermeier around the world: Global perspectives (Room D); Chair: Vicky Angelaki, University of Birmingham

*Viktoria Ebel (University of Mainz), Ostermeier in France: Cultural Difference in Theatre Systems

*Yuh J. Hwang (Trinity College Dublin), Women, locked alone in a room with no exit: Ostermeier in Korea

*Andrew Goldberg (CUNY Graduate Center), Whistleblowing in the Age of WikiLeaks: Thomas Ostermeier’s An Enemy of the People and Individual Agency

*April Albert (University of Melbourne), A German national treasure: Kane or Ostermaier? The reception of Thomas Ostermaier’s Zerbombt in London and Berlin

5.10 break

5.15 Professor Marvin Carlson (CUNY), Thomas Ostermeier and Capitalist Realism. Lecture and Concluding Debate. Chaired by Kim Solga (Western University, Canada)


Conference booking at


Booking Options:

  1. Full Conference Package including Backstage Talk, Friday symposium day incl. lunch and performance ticket for Thursday 25 September incl. post-performance discussion: £50 full price; £35 conc.;
  2. Conference only incl. Backstage Talk and Friday symposium day incl. lunch: £30, £15 conc.;
  3. Backstage Talk ‘Making Theatre at the Schaubühne’ only, Thursday 5.30-7.15pm, Barbican Frobisher Room, with Jan Pappelbaum, Florian Borchmeyer, Chloe Lamford and Duncan Macmillan, £8, £6 conc.

Symposium conveners:

  • Peter M Boenisch, University of Kent
  • Clare Finburgh, University of Essex, & Vicky Angelaki, University of Birmingham