BirthMeiningen, former German Democratic Republic (1956)
German director. Astrid Griesbach received her training in the Department of Puppetry (Abteilung Puppenspielkunst) at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst “Ernst Busch” (Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art) in Berlin. Her fields of study were puppetry arts (1980-1983) and directing (1988-1992). Her first experiences as a puppeteer were on the stages of the city of Gera (1983-1988). In 1992, she became artistic director of the Theater des Lachens (Theatre of Laughter) in Frankfurt an der Oder. In 1999, she transformed that theatre into an independent company and moved with it to Berlin.
Astrid Griesbach’s style is based on the traditions of popular theatre – the commedia dell’arte, the Grand Guignol – and the theories of Russian director Alexander Tairov. Her productions feature the archetypes of popular puppet theatre. These observe and comment on the action from the popular viewpoint of the irreverent fool (Antigone, 2000). The puppet-like stylization of the role of actors (Danton’s Death, 1999) as well as the reduction, concentration and variation of dramatic action (King Lear, 2001) is typical of the work of Astrid Griesbach.