Marie Schleef is a theater maker. Her work is characterized by an interest in the forgotten, the suppressed, and the unseen. Emphasizing and clarifying structural grievances, the performative texts integrate precisely researched facts in a kind of ‘stream of (un)consciousness’, helping to create an interactive archive. Forming a constant point of reference, research and documentation are woven into the fictional source material of her work. In this way, the structural signs and conditions that have created past, present, and future social relations are addressed and concretized in Marie Schleef’s productions.
In 2014, Schleef received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Performance from Bard College in New York. She then went on to complete a degree in theatrical directing at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst „Ernst Busch“. Following her studies, Schleef worked as a directing assistant at the Volksbühne Berlin, including for Susanne Kennedy (Women in Trouble and Coming Society). In October 2018, her thesis production, To the Lighthouse, based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, was performed at the Volksbühne Berlin and subsequently invited to the 2019 Körber Studio für Junge Regie in Hamburg. Via her Instagram account (@marieschleef), she is constantly expanding her online project #womenwhoshouldnotbeforgotten, which, in short bilingual (DE/ENG) texts, deals with both the narratives of forgotten women as well as little-known aspects and curiosities surrounding the female experience. In the 2020/2021 theater season, the long durational performance NAME HER. In Search of Women+ premiered at the Ballhaus Ost and was invited to 58th Berlin Theatertreffen. Moreover, her version of Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum premiered at Schauspiel Köln. In December 2021 Marie Schleef was awarded the CHANEL Next Prize, which honors ten emerging and innovative artists world-wide. With The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, she will now complete the trilogy about rooms of emancipation.