Thomas Oberender, born in 1966 in Jena, GDR, is an author, curator, and festival organizer. He has worked as co-director of the Schauspielhaus Bochum and Zurich and head of theater of the Salzburg Festival. From 2011 to 2021 he was the artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele / Gropius Bau. He founded 2016 the multi-year formats «Immersion» and 2017 «The New Infinity», which opened planetariums to the work of artists of the digital age. In curatorial teams he designed time-based exhibitions such as «Limits of Knowing» and «Welt ohne Aussen». He programmed and produced groundbreaking formats and commissions for contemporary artists at the intersection of theater and the visual arts, including the reconstruction of the demolished East Berlin «Palace of the Republic» as a «Palace of Counter-Narratives» in West Berlin, the first emission-free exhibition on climate change «Down to Earth» at the Gropius Bau in Berlin and the project dedicated to David Bowie «The Sun Machine is Coming Down» at the ICC Berlin. He has worked closely with artists such as Susanne Kennedy, Markus Selg, Vegard Vinge and Ida Müller, Ed Atkins, Philippe Parreno and Tino Sehgal.

He wrote his doctoral thesis on Botho Strauß in 1999 and was co-founder of the authors’ theatre association «Theater neuer Typs» in 1997. He has published plays, reviews and essays on artists and political and aesthetic transformation processes. His most recent books are «The Living Exhibition» (Spector Books 2022) and «Empowerment Ost», published by Tropen Verlag Berlin (2020). He works as a consultant for state institutions and individuals.