A heroine who is born a hero; or a hero who becomes a heroine – does it even matter? Orlando experiences four centuries of British and European human history — from the Court of Elizabeth I to the buttoned-up Victorian era. This is a life lived to the full that questions the absolutes of societal norms and conventions. Virginia Woolf’s playful interweaving of life, art, reality and fiction delivers a visionary work with a dazzling protagonist whose multiple identities leapfrog any narrow definition or rigid categorisation. In a production combining performance on stage with live video, Katie Mitchell and Alice Birch brilliantly explore Orlando’s queer journey through centuries of patriarchal history with verve and imagination. 

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 22 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.



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This post was written by Directed by Katie Mitchell, based on a play by Virginia Woolf, Schaubühne (2019), Germany.

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