ABOUT (english)

Gil Mehmert

Gil Mehmert studied directing under August Everding at the prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. After graduating he was awarded a Rotary scholarship and gained his first work experience in 1991/92 in various New York theaters, one of them being the Metropolitan Opera. To date, he has directed more than 130 stage productions in about 50 different theaters in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China, South Korea and Japan. His works comprise a variety of genres from straight plays to musical theater.

He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Director´s Award at Impulse Theatre Festival (2001), the leading event for independent theater in German-speaking countries, and the award for Best Direction of a Production at the Bayerische Theatertage (2005), one of Germany´s largest theater festivals. His productions have furthermore received the INTHEGA award (2006, Of Mice and Men), the Hamburg Theater Award – Rolf Mares (2008, The Elephant Man), the Monica Bleibtreu Award (2019), the Austrian Music Theater Award (2021, Cabaret) and the Cologne Culture Award (2021, the new musical Himmel und Kölle).

Gil Mehmert has acquired a reputation as specialist for the stage adaptation of films. In 2014 he worked with Stage Entertainment to develop the musical Das Wunder von Bern (based on the popular German film) as author and director. The show had its world premiere at the Theater an der Elbe in Hamburg, a 1850-seat theater built specifically for the production, and ran eight times a week for more than two years. Gil Mehmert has also written the book for and directed the musical stage versions of Waris Dirie´s Desert Flower (world premiere 2020) and critically acclaimed German films GOETHE! (2021) and Knocking on Heaven´s Door (2021).

His productions are characterized by a high degree of musicality and often feature the scenic inclusion of accompanying musicians or revolve around music as a theme, like in the recent German language premiere of ONCE (based on the film and Broadway production of the same name) for which he created a new version and also translated the dialogue into German.

Apart from his theatrical works, Gil Mehmert is a sought-after director for large-scale cultural live events. He directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the European Capital of Culture “RUHR.2010” (Live on German national TV) and the Open Air Theater Spectacle of the hit musical Elisabeth in front of Vienna´s Schönbrunn Palace in 2022 (Live on Austrian national TV). In 2021, he spent time at Bellevue Palace in Berlin to stage a memorial event for the incidents of November 9 at the request of the German government and its president Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Live on German national TV).

In 2003, Gil Mehmert became a professor at the renowned Folkwang University of the Arts, the largest school for theater and music in German-speaking countries.

Photo: Felix Rabas