Dimiter Gotscheff

Born 1943 in Bulgaria, died in Berlin 2013. Dimiter Gotscheff came to East Berlin in the 1960s to study veterinary medicine. However, within a short time he became a pupil of, and assistant to director Benno Besson – first at the Deutsches Theater and later at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Gotscheff made his directorial debut in Nordhausen with Heiner Müller’s Die Weiberkomödie (Women’s Comedy). In 1979 Dimiter Gotscheff left East Germany in connection with the expatriation of songwriter and dissident Wolf Biermann, and returned to Bulgaria. Since the mid-1980s he has worked at theatres throughout Germany and Austria. Gotscheff’s stagings have frequently been invited to Berlin’s Theatertreffen festival, including Black Battles with Dogs by Bernard-Marie Koltès, Chekhov’s Ivanov (both Volksbühne productions), and Molière’s Tartuffe (a co-production of the Salzburg Festival and Hamburg’s Thalia Theater). Several of his stagings have been named »Production of the Year« by a jury of theatre critics and his Ivanov won the 3sat Innovation Prize at the Theatertreffen festival in 2006. Dimiter Gotscheff became one of the Deutsches Theater’s in-house directors during the 2006/2007 season. Here he staged Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Germania.Plays based on texts by Heiner Müller, Ödön von Horváth’s Tales from the Vienna Woods and Ben Jonson’s Volpone. Gotscheff’s staging of The Persians was named Production of the Year 2007 by the critics’ poll in the trade journal Theater Heute (Theatre Today). His most recent DT productions include Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine, Chekhov’s Ward No. 6 and Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man Without a Past. Dimiter Gotscheff has been honoured with the Peter Weiss Award of the city of Bochum. In 2009 he was nominated for a “Faust” in the Best Theatre Director category for his staging of Dejan Dukovski’s The Powder Keg (a spielzeit’europa/Deutsches Theater co-production). Together with his actors Samuel Finzi, Wolfram Koch and Almut Zilcher, Dimiter Gotscheff is the winner of the 2011 Berlin Theatre Award, handed out by the Preussische Seehandlung Foundation in recognition of “outstanding contributions to German-language theatre.”
Photo: Arno Declair