The Seagull

© Gianmarco Bresadola

Program Information

Genre / City Theatre / Berlin
Dates 3 May at 14:00 , 4 May at 13:00, 5 May at 13:00, 6 May at 13:00
Venue at Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration 210 minutes with intermission
Language In German with Japanese surtitles
Seat Non-reserved seating
Direction Thomas Ostermeier
Written Anton Chekhov
Production Schaubühne Berlin

Coming soon!

© Gianmarco Bresadola
© Gianmarco Bresadola
© Gianmarco Bresadola


Thomas Ostermeier has been a resident director and co-artistic director at Berlin’s famed Shaubühne theater since 1999. Now, the renowned dramatist is bringing his latest production at the Shaubühne — Anton Chekov’s 1896 masterpiece, “The Seagull” — to audiences in Shizuoka.

Widely acclaimed at home for the ground-breaking changes his very realistic, contemporary approach introduced to the German theater world, Ostermeier’s challenging direction has since been welcomed by audiences around the world. Indeed, when this production opened in March 2023, the Shaubühne was overwhelmed with the demand for tickets.

“The Seagull”, one of Chekov’s four great tragedies [along with “Uncle Vanya”, “The Cherry Orchard” and “Three Sisters”], was written in the buildup to the attempted overthrow of traditional values in Russia’s failed 1905 revolution that left many young people groping for a new role in their country’s future.

Set around a country house by a lake, the ensemble drama about people who seek happiness through the arts and love became an important landmark in theater history. In this production, however, Ostermeier changes the setting to a modern city, though his play vividly questions the meaning of human life and the arts as Chekov did. 

A powerful theatre experience awaits audiences who will witness the artists’ sentiments right before their eyes.

In Shizuoka, when the Shaubühne company presented Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” at the World Theatre Festival in 2018, the power of the actors’ voices kept everyone’s attention glued to the stage. Now, in this production of “The Seagull”, a temporary on-stage seating area at Shizuoka Arts Theatre will ensure an almost physical involvement with the acting at close range.

Among the standout cast this time, Joachim Meyerhoff has often been acclaimed for his great acting, but is now also becoming highly rated as a writer. In “The Seagull”, as he plays the role of the novelist Trigorin, he doubtless draws on that experience — which perhaps accounts for his sarcastic lines producing lots of laughs.

Meanwhile, at that hot-ticket world premiere in Berlin in 2023, there was a symbolic giant tree in the middle of the stage whose branches covered the auditorium area. In this Shizuoka version, instead of that a magnificent landscape will be painted in front of the audience’s eyes.

So, a truly one-off theatre experience surely awaits audiences with Ostermeier back in town again. 


An aspiring writer named Treplev, who is pursuing innovation in the arts, writes and directs a play for his young lover, Nina. Though she yearns after fame and dreams about becoming a famous actress, Treplev’s play draws ridicule from his mother, the famous actress Arkadina. Meanwhile, Nina is attracted to the popular writer Trigorin, who is Arkadina’s lover, and sets off from home chasing him when he leaves for, but . . .

Director’s profile

©︎ Debora Mittelstaedt

Thomas Ostermeier
Thomas Ostermeier was born in 1968. Since September 1999 Ostermeier is resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Schaubühne. In November 2004 Ostermeier was appointed »artiste associé« for the Festival d’Avignon by the artistic director of the festival, Vincent Baudriller, and has been presenting shows at the Festival regularly since then.

His latest productions at the Schaubühne are »History of Violence« by Édouard Louis in June 2018. Followed by Ödön von Horváth’s »Italian Night« in (2018), the world premiere of »abgrund« by Maja Zade in (2019), as a coproduction with the Salzburger Festspiele, »Youth without God« by Ödön von Horváth (Berlin, 2019), »Vernon Subutex 1« by Virginie Despentes (2021), »ödipus« by Maja Zade (2021) and »Qui a tué mon Père« by Édouard Louis (2020).

Schaubühne Berlin ベルリン・シャウビューネ

The Schaubühne’s permanent ensemble of around 30 actors is at the core of its work. The theatre’s repertoire includes titles from the worldwide canon of drama as well as contemporary plays by internationally recognised writers which – with well over 100 world and German premieres during the last 22 years – have been a central part of the theatre’s output. Each season, the Schaubühne premieres around ten new productions. In addition, a repertoire of more than thirty plays can be seen in rotation.

The Schaubühne also presents its productions abroad in around 100 performances each year: both at the major international festivals such as Avignon, the Salzburg Festival, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Brandhaarden Festival in Amsterdam and the BITEF Festival in Belgrade. Supported by the Freunde der Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz e.V

©︎ Gianmarco Bresadola

Cast / Staff

Director: Thomas Ostermeier
Written by Anton Chekhov
In a version by the ensemble using the translation by Ulrike Zemme

With: Thomas Bading, Julia Schubert, Stephanie Eidt, Laurenz Laufenberg, Joachim Meyerhoff, David Ruland, Renato Schuch, Alina Vimbai Strähler, Hêvîn Tekin, Axel Wandtke

Stage: Jan Pappelbaum / Thomas Ostermeier
Co-Stage Design: Ulla Willis
Costume Design: Nehle Balkhausen
Music: Nils Ostendorf
Dramaturgy: Maja Zade
Lighting Design: Erich Schneider
Live Painting: Katharina Ziemke

Assistant Director: Christoph Buchegger
Touring Producer: Elisabeth Tobisch
Stage Manager: Marija Vahldiek

Prompter: Martina Brückner
Touring Producer: Elisabeth Tobisch
Technical Tour Manager: Christian Knöller
Chief Stage Technician: Stefan Papastefanou-Schmidt
Light Board Operator: Christof Ertz
Sound Engineer: Ruben Ferdinand, Jarmila Kremberg
Props: Jenny Sonnenschein
Dresser: Christina Halbfas, Anna Szarowicz
Makeup Artist: Sarah Hirth
Surtitle Operator: Jakob Gerber

Managing Director: Tobias Veit

Production: Schaubühne Berlin ベルリン・シャウビューネ
Supported by the Freunde der Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz e. V.

Stage Manager: HARAIKAWA Yukio
Stage: FURUYA Kazumi, TAKEISHI Morimasa, TSUCHIYA Katsunori, MORI Masashi
Lighting: KOBAYAKAWA Hiroya
Sound: TAKESHIMA Chisato, MAKI Daisuke
Wardrobe: MAKINO Saho, TAKAHASHI Kayako

Interpretation: TAKENOUCHI Etsuko, KINOSHITA Moe
Surtitle Translation: YAMAGUCHI Yoko (Using the translation by UCHIDA Kensuke)
Surtitle Supervisor: TODA Fumiko, SONODA Shoko
Production: KEIMI Aoi, SATO Misaki
Volunteers: SAWAI Toru, YAMASHITA Naoko

Technical Director: MURAMATSU Atsushi
Lighting Manager: HIGUCHI Masayuki
Sound Manager: SAWADA Yukino

Special Talk

◎Special Talk: Thomas Ostermeier: Present and Future
6 May, 10:30-11:30
Venue: Café Cinderella, Shizuoka Arts Theatre

Panelists: Thomas Ostermeier(Theatre director, Artistic director of of the Schaubühne)
MC: TOKUNAGA Kyoko(Theatre journalist)
Interpretation: TAKENOUCHI Etsuko
*An English audio guide is available

Entry fee: 1,000yen, reservation required


◎Pre-performance talk: Starting 40 minutes before each performance.


*Preschool children are not allowed to see this program.
*Be aware that there are loud noises in some scenes.
*In this production there will be a temporary on-stage seating area. If you are a wheelchair user and/or are frightened about using steps to get to the on-stage seating, please tell SPAC’s ticket center in advance.
*For directing reasons, it may be difficult to take you to your seat after the play has started. So, please allow plenty of time to avoid this situation.
*Shizuoka Arts Theatre’s family room — a separate room for infants and their parents – will not be available for this production. Instead, we will have a childcare service operating on May 6 only. To use this service, it is necessary to book by April 28. Please call us for more information.(SPAC Ticket center:+81-54-202-3399)

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