Jürgen Gosch was born in the city of Cottbus in eastern Germany in 1943. From 1962- 1964 he studied at the Ernst Busch School for Performing Arts in East Berlin. He first worked as an actor at the Parchirn Theatre in Mecklenburg. From 1967-70 he made his directorial debut at Theatre Potsdam. Fritz Marquardt brought him to the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin where he put together a production of Georg Büchner’s Leonce and Lena that was critical of the Communist system and was subsequently cancelled. That same year Gosch moved to West Germany. After productions at the Hanover State Theatre and Theatre Bremen, his big break came in 1984 at the Cologne Playhouse with his staging of Oedipus Rex. The following year the production won the European Theatre Prize at Venice’s Theatre Biennale. Starting in 1984 he worked as a director at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg, the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, the Bochum Theatre and the Frankfurt Theatre. From 1993 to 1999 Gosch was a director at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, then under the artistic direction of Thomas Langhoff. After that he worked as a freelance director at various theatres, including the Düsseldorf Playhouse and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. For his production of Gorky’s Summerfolk he was chosen Director of the Year for 2004 by the critics’ poll in the trade journal Theater Heute (Theatre Today). Gosch received that honour again in 2006 for his staging of Macbeth at the Düsseldorf Playhouse. That production also won the German Theatre Association’s Faust award. Many of Gosch’s productions have been invited to Berlin’s Theatertreffen – an annual theatre festival featuring the year’s top German-language productions – including his Deutsches Theater staging of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 2005, and his world premiere production of Yasmina Reza’s The God of Carnage for the Zurich Playhouse in 2007.
Between 2006 and 2009 Jürgen Gosch was one of the Deutsches Theater’s in-house directors. Here he staged: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; two Chekhov plays – Uncle Vanya and The Seagull, as well as his final production, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Idomeneus. Both Uncle Vanya and The Seagull were invited to the Theatertreffen festival – in 2008 and 2009 respectively – and Uncle Vanya was voted »Production of the Year« for 2008 by Theater Heute’s jury of independent critics. In 2009 Jürgen Gosch was awarded the World Theatre Day Prize by the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute. At the 2009 Theatertreffen festival, Gosch and his longtime set- and costume designer Johannes Schütz were honoured with the Berlin Theatre Award for their »outstanding contribution to Germanlanguage theatre«. Jürgen Gosch was also made an honorary member of the Deutsches Theater on May 26, 2009. The director passed away on June 11, 2009.