Born in 1968 in Soltau. He spent his youth in Landshut. From 1992-96 he studied directing at the »Ernst Busch« School for Performing Arts in Berlin. In 1995 he directed The Unknown Woman by Alexander Blok in accordance with Meyerhold’s system of biomechanics. From 1996-99 Ostermeier was Artistic Director of the Baracke at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Productions there included Fat Men in Skirts by Nicky Silver (1996), Knives in Hens by David Harrower (1997), Man Equals Man by Bertolt Brecht (1997), Suzuki by Alexej Schipenko (1997), Shopping & F***ing by Mark Ravenhill (1998), Below the Belt by Richard Dresser (1998), The Blue Bird by Maurice 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 Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. His final production at the Baracke was Suzuki II by Alexej Schipenko (1998).
Since September 1999 Ostermeier is member of the Artistic Direction and Resident Director of the Schaubühne. He has also directed The Strong Tribe by Marieluise Fleißer at the Münchner Kammerspiele (2002), The Girl on the Sofa by Jon Fosse at the Edinburgh International Festival (2002), The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen for the Burgtheater in Vienna (2004), The Marriage of Maria Braun by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (2007) and Susn by Herbert Achternbusch at the Münchner Kammerspiele (2009) and Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen with the Toneelgroep at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam(2011).
Invitations to the Theatertreffen in Berlin with Knives in Hens (1997), Shopping and F***ing (1998), Nora« (2003), Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (2005) and The Marriage of Maria Braun (2008).
He has been awarded with numerous international prizes, including the Europe Prize New Theatrical Realities in Taormina (2000), the Nestroy Prize and the Politika Prize for Nora (2003). In 2004 he was Artiste Associé for the Festival d’Avignon. In 2009 John Gabriel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen has been awarded with the Grand Prix de la Critique of France and Hamlet by William Shakespeare with the Barcelona Critics Prize. In the same year Ostermeier has been appointed Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2010 he has been announced as president of the German-French Council of Culture. His production The Cut received the critic’s prize at the international theatre festival KONTAKT in Torun (Poland) in 2010. He was awarded The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 41st International Theatre Festival by the Biennale in Venice in 2011. His productions are touring worldwide like Adelaide, Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Brussels, Caracas, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hong Kong, Krakow, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Marseille, Melbourne, Moscow, Naples, New York, Omsk, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Prague, Québec, Reims, Rennes, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Vienna.