One of R.W. Fassbinder’s most extraordinary films is here reenvisaged for the stage with a canny sense of history. Maria Braun is widowed soon after marriage when her husband, Herman, returns to the battlefront. Working in a bar to make a living, she begins a relationship with a black GI. Only one night, Herman Braun returns and Maria takes a course of action that will reshape her life for ever. Here Ostermeier offers a telling portrait of modern Germany – the World War II years giving way to an economic boom that reshapes the world of its protagonist. Thrillingly performed this is a tight, taut staging realised with an impeccable sense of the possible and the probable. 

The Schaubühne was founded in 1962. Since 1999 it has been led by artistic director Thomas Ostermeier. 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 – consisting of an ensemble of permanently employed actors who essentially have been working together since 1999, regularly extended by new appointments –, 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 over the past 19 years, have been a key component of the theatre’s work.



This production plays on 23 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.


THOMAS OSTERMEIER director of the Schaubühne and playwright Mark Ravenhill in conversation with Peter M. Boenisch (Aarhus University and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) on why the Schaubühne matters and the role it plays in the German and wider international theatre landscape.

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This post was written by Directed by Thomas Ostermeier, Schaubühne (2009), Germany.

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