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Thomas Ostermeier is using theater to take on Germany’s far right


A WATCHFUL EYE: Ostermeier’s theater, the Schaubühne in Berlin, was sued last year for its depiction of a right-wing politician. His next production tackles anti-Semitism.

ON A RAINY day in November, German theater director Thomas Ostermeier is sitting in the center of his loft in Berlin, wearing jeans, drinking a very good Chablis and staring at me. He has an intense gaze. Though we have met professionally several times—I regularly write online previews for the theater where he is the artistic director—I still feel he is studying every detail about me. During a previous interview, he told me he can entertain himself for an entire day just by sitting on a park bench observing people’s behavior, looking for “the moments when people are off guard, when their character shines through, when the mask falls.”

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