Yael Ronen © Esra Rotthoff

Yael Ronen (GER/ISR)

is a writer and director for theater and film/TV. She was born in Jerusalem and started her theater work with productions in Tel Aviv (among others Habima Theater, Kameri Theater).

Her first international production THIRD GENERATION, a co-production between Schaubühne Berlin, Habima Theater and Ruhrtriennale in 2010 with actors from Germany, Israel and Palestine, was highly acclaimed and presented at festivals worldwide. Commissions in Austria and Germany followed, including HAKOAH WIEN at Schauspielhaus Graz. In 2012, she moved to Berlin and became director in residency at the Maxim Gorki Theater in 2015. There she developed numerous projects such as COMMON GROUND, ROMA ARMEE, THE SITUATION and SLIPPERY SLOPE – ALMOST A MUSICAL with music by Shlomi Shaban.

Many of her plays have been invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen and received awards and prizes. Yael Ronen also worked at the Volkstheater Vienna [LOST AND FOUND], the Kammerspiele Munich [POINT OF NO RETURN, GENESIS] and the Thalia Theater Hamburg [(R)EVOLUTION], where she is currently developing a new production STATE OF AFFAIRS (world premiere on May 4, 2024).

In addition to her theater projects, Yael Ronen is currently developing the TV project THE SITUATION with Dimitrij Schaad and Irina Szodruch.

AWARDS (SELECTION)

2017  – Europe Prize for Theatrical Realities
2016  – Nestroy Prize for LOST AND FOUND
2016  – THE SITUATION – Play of the Year
2013  – Nestroy Prize for HAKOAH WIEN

Works (selection)

STATE OF AFFAIRS, by Yael Ronen & Roy Chen

2024

Premiere: May 4, 2024 at Thalia Theater Hamburg

A play about interpersonal entanglements, private and collegial sensitivities and the question of the responsibility of art in times of crisis and war.

BUCKET LIST, by Yael Ronen & Shlomi Shaban

2023

Premiere: Schaubuehne Berlin

The production is invited to the Theatertreffen 2024.
In this musical, Yael Ronen reflects on memory mechanisms: What do we want to be able to remember before we kick the bucket? Can memories of unpleasant, painful and conflict-laden events be readjusted with technological help? And what does this step mean for the collective culture of remembrance if we artificially format our own memory?

PLANET B, by Yael Ronen & Itai Reicher

2023

Premiere: Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin

A not-so-distant future: climate change has continued unabated, many species have already extincted, vast land areas are barely inhabitable… A race begins to see who deserves to survive. Welcome to the alien entertainment reality show, where humans compete with chicken, panda, ant, etc. for the repopulation of the Earth as the only surviving species!

BLOOD MOON BLUES, by Yael Ronen & Orit Nahmias

2022

Premiere: Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin

It is a tremendously palatable and cleverly written play. […] There are scenes of confrontation between the actresses that get deep under the skin, but at the same time are very funny, and contain deep and uncomfortable truths about the relationship between parents and children, especially mothers and daughters. It’s conventional, but not at all sentimental and corny.“ – André Mumot, Deutschlandfunk Kultur (originally in German)

Elinor is in her mid-50s, has found enlightenment and lives in a cave.
After a call that can be interpreted as an emergency, Luna, Elinor’s daughter, and Gabriella, Elinor’s ex-lover, want to find her. Accompanied by Greg, Elinor’s 20-year-old lover, they cross the dangerous Dead Sea desert and plunge into an ocean of hurt feelings. Due to her bipolar disorder, Elinor seems to have failed all-around as a person, a partner, and a mother. Now she has cancer in its final stage. She has just enough time to celebrate a full moon ceremony and to bequeath her tangled manuscripts.

OPERATION MINDFUCK, by Yael Ronen & Dimitrij Schaad

2022

Premiere: Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin

[Yael Ronen and her co-author Dimitrij Schaad] have knitted a sparking political tabloid comedy out of the conspiracy theme – and Ronen has directed it full steam ahead, as usual.“ – Fabian Wallmeier, rbb24 (originally in German)

The troll factories – they really exist. Here, the most blatant stories are hatched day and night and carefully packaged into news, stories and social media posts. The Queen is a reptile! JFK is still alive! Fact checking was yesterday, these days only likes count. And so, just before the election in an influential country, this lies’ machine catapults a ‘people’s candidate’ to the political top….

SLIPPERY SLOPE – ALMOST A MUSICAL, by Yael Ronen & Shlomi Shaban

2021

Premiere: Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin

The production was invited to the Theatertreffen 2022.

The music is a blast. Composer Shlomi Shaban has given the actors and actresses, who perform sensationally, a motley mix that ranges from melancholy blues to cheerful pop. The lyrics are witty, the music rousing.“ – Katrin Pauly, Berliner Morgenpost (originally in German)

DEATH POSITIVE – STATES OF EMERGENCY

2020

Premiere: Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin

The inventor of the crisis boulevard genre, with her disaster-steeled cast, achieves the feat of a melancholy, perplexed, personal and comic performance. Gorki visitors are guaranteed to get through the crisis mentally healthier (and in a better mood) than the pitiful rest of the population.“ – Peter Laudenbach, tip Berlin (originally in German)

(R)EVOLUTION, by Yael Ronen & Dimitrij Schaad

2020

Premiere: Thalia Theater Hamburg

Despite an occasional superficial slipperiness, this evening proves one thing for sure: theater is still salvageable – because no artificial intelligence in the world will ever be able to reproduce the tongue-in-cheek magic with which the joyfully committed players encounter here the big questions of being a human.“ – Stefan Forth, nachtkritik (originally in German)

Works (film/TV)

THE SITUATION, TV-series, by Yael Ronen & Irina Szodruch

in progress