Claus Peymann (German director, 1937) first attracted national attention with his production of Peter Handke's Offending the Audience (Frankfurt, 1966). After a short period as a co-director at the new Schaubühne in Berlin (1971), he worked freelance at major theatres. From 1974 to1979 he was artistic director at Stuttgart's State Theatre. He moved with his troupe to Bochum where he remained until 1986. An year later he was appointed at the Burgtheater in Vienna, where he successfully fought for Thomas Bernhard’s dramatic works in spite of fierce controversy. Since 1999 he has been the artistic director of the Berliner Ensemble. Peymann is representative of a group of German directors in the late 1960s who tried to reform the established theatre through a combination of collective management and politically inflected productions. His productions are characterized by careful dramaturgical preparation and topical interpretations of the classics. He has developed special relationships with Austrian dramatists such as Handke, Thomas Bernhard, and Peter Turrini, directing many of the first productions of their plays.