Born in Göppingen in 1980, Bastian Kraft studied Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen. He was taught by the likes of Heiner Goebbels, Viviane de Muynck and René Pollesch on this course, which is best compared to Art Academy theatre training – he was encouraged to experiment with form and content, with the aim of developing his own independent artistic approach. He staged his first productions while he was still studying.
He then spent three seasons as an assistant director at the Vienna Burgtheater, and in 2008 Kraft staged the evening ‘beautiful lies, recognise imposters’, as well as Oscar Wilde’s ‘Dorian Gray’ in 2010. His production of Franz Kafka’s ‘America’ (Thalia Gauß) was invited to the 2010 ‘Radikal jung’ Festival, where he won the audience prize. In 2012, Kraft returned to ‘Radikal jung’, this time with an adaptation of Thomas Mann’s ‘Felix Krull’ (Munich Volkstheater).
Since then, Kraft has directed many productions at the Vienna Burgtheater, the Frankfurt Schauspiel, the Zurich Schauspielhaus, the Stuttgart State Theatre and the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. At Thalia Gauß, Bastian Kraft has staged Kafka’s ‘America’, the world premiere of ‘Axolotl Roadkill’ (2010) based on the novel by Helene Hegemann, Woolf’s ‘Orlando’ (2011) and Fassbinder’s ‘Veronika Voss’ (2014).
He directed his first production for the main stage at Thalia during the 2012/13 season, Kleist’s ‘The Broken Jug’ and was awarded the Rolf-Mares Prize in the category of ‘Outstanding Production’. This was followed with ‘Everyman’ by Hugo von Hofmannsthal as a co-production with the Salzburg Festival, and in 2015 ‘Das Käthchen von Heilbronn’ by Heinrich von Kleist and ‘Angels in America’ by Tony Kushner.
In 2017, Bastian Kraft was awarded the Friedrich Luft Prize for ‘Death of a Salesman’ (Deutsches Theater, Berlin).
During the 2020/21 season, he staged a production of ‘Death in Venice’ by Thomas Mann.