Artistic Direction

Milo Rau


Born in 1977 in Berne, Switzerland, is a director and author. He has been the artistic director at NTGent in Belgium since the 2018/19 season. Rau studied sociology as well as German and Romance language and literature in Paris, Berlin and Zurich under scholars including Pierre Bourdieu and Tzvetan Todorov. Critics have called him, among other things, the ‘most influential’ (Die Zeit), ‘most distinguished’ (Le Soir), ‘most interesting’ (De Standaard), ‘most controversial’ (La Repubblica), ‘most scandalous’ (New York Times) and ‘most ambitious’ (The Guardian) artist of our time. His output since 2002 encompasses over fifty plays, films, books and initiatives. His theatre productions have been staged at all major international festivals, including the Berliner Theatertreffen, the Festival d’Avignon, the Biennale di Venezia, the Wiener Festwochen and the Brussels Kunstenfestivaldesarts, and have toured to over thirty countries worldwide. Rau has been honoured with many awards, such as the 2017 3sat-Preis, the 2017 Saarbrücker Poetik-Dozentur für Dramatik and, as the youngest artist since Frank Castorf and Pina Bausch, the prestigious Welttheatertag’s ITI-Preis in 2016. In 2017 Milo Rau was chosen ‘theatre director of the year’ in the survey conducted by Die Deutsche Bühne, in 2018 he received the Europe Theatre Prize for his lifetime achievement and in 2019 he was named, as the very first artist, Associated Artist of EASTAP, the European Association for the Study of Theatre and Performance. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Lund University (Malmö) in 2019 and Ghent University in 2020. In 2020 he received the renowned Münsteraner Poetikdozentur for his oeuvre, and his plays have been selected among the ‘best of the year’ in critics’ polls in over ten countries. In September 2020, the book “Why Theatre?” was published, in which Rau asked 100 leading intellectuals and artists from all over the world to answer this question. In February 2021 Milo Rau staged “La Clemenza di Tito” in Geneva – Mozart’s last opera and Rau’s first.


Rau’s films (such as The Last Days of the Ceausescus, Hate Radio, The Moscow Trials, The Congo Tribunal and The New Gospel) have received many honours (including a special award at the Festival des Deutschen Films, the Zürcher Filmpreis and the Amnesty International Prize, among others). His most recent film, The Congo Tribunal, was nominated for such distinctions as the Deutscher Filmpreis and the Schweizer Filmpreis. ‘Milo Rau ennobles cinema,’ said the Zürcher Filmpreis jury. Alongside his activity as a director, Rau is also a television critic, lecturer and an exceedingly productive author. His fifteen publications to date have been translated into, among other languages, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Mandarin and Norwegian. Rau’s writings have earned him a number of the most prestigious German literary awards, including the Hörspielpreis der Kriegsblinden (2014) – the ‘Oscars of audio drama’ – and the two most eminent German literary prizes for socially engaged literature: the Peter-Weiss-Preis (2017) and the Gerty-Spies-Literaturpreis (2020). As early as 2014, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper wrote, ‘Milo Rau is the gold standard of postdramatics.’ Rau’s work is a fixture in the education of theatre and literature scholars at many universities.




List of works


  • School of Resistance (Film and Discussion series 2021)
  • La Clemenza di Tito (Opera 2021)
  • The New Gospel  (Film 2020)
  • Everywomen (Theatre 2020)
  • Why Theatre (Book 2020)
  • The Art of Resistance (Book 2020)
  • The New Gospel & The Revolt of the Dignity (Campaign, Spectacle, Film 2019)
  • The historical feeling. Ways to a global realism. Saarbrücken Poetics Lectureship for Drama (Book 2019)
  • Orestes in Mosul (Performance, Book 2019)
  • Ghent Altarpiece (Performance, Book 2018)
  • Global Realism (Book, 2018)
  • The Repetition. Histoire(s) du théâtre (I) (Performance, 2018)
  • The Congo Tribunal (Film, Book, 2017)
  • General Assembly (Performance, Book, 2017)
  • Repetition and Ecstasy (Book, 2017)
  • Lenin (Performance, Book, 2017)
  • 120 Days of Sodom (Performance, Book, 2017)
  • Empire (Performance, Video Installation, Book, 2016)
  • Five Easy Pieces (Performance, 2016)
  • Compassion. The History of the Machine Gun (Performance, Radio Play, 2016)
  • Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany 1944 (Performance, Radio Play, 2015)
  • The Hands of Althusser (Book, 2015)
  • The Congo Tribunal (Performance, 2015)
  • The Dark Ages (Performance, Radio Play, Video Installation, Book, 2015)
  • The Civil Wars (Performance, Video Installation, Book, 2014)
  • The Berlin Dialogues (Talkshow, 2013/14)
  • What is to be done? Critique of postmodern reason (Book, 2013)
  • The Revelation of the Real (Exhibition, Book, 2013)
  • The Zurich Trials (Performance, TV Film, Book, 2013)
  • The Moscow Trials (Performance, Feature Film, Book, 2013)
  • Breivik’s Statement (Performance, 2012)
  • Hate Radio (Performance, TV Film, Book, Radio Play, 2011/14)
  • City of Change (Performance, TV Film, 2010/11)
  • The Last Days of the Ceausescus (Performance, Feature Film, Book, 2009/10)
  • Montana (Performance, 2007)
  • Pornografia (Performance, 2006)
  • The Greatest Happiness (Performance, 2006)
  • Dial “A” for Avant-garde (Performance, 2005)
  • Amnesia (Performance, 2005)
  • Demons (Performance, 2005)
  • The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Show (Performance, 2003)
  • Paranoia Express (Feature Film, 2002)
  • Art, Theatre, Reality: Kleist’s ‘Penthesilea’ as Reflected in Contemporary Aesthetic Theories (2002)