Alvis Hermanis (born in 1965) – Trained as an actor at the Theatre Department of the Latvian State Conservatory. In his performances Hermanis often plays with different concepts of post-modern aesthetics, signs, images and symbols of the Eastern and Western cultures. His performances are very different aesthetically, but all of them are characterised by a perfect sense of form, style and epoch. His theatre is a quest for new experience and new limits of reality, involving audio and visual arts – using video projections, slides and phonograms. He has also been a playwright, stage designer and an actor in his own productions. His productions have participated in international theatre festivals in Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, Finland, Germany, Austria, the US, Canada, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Kingdom, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia and Korea.
At the Salzburger Festspiele in 2003 Hermanis received the Young Directors Project Award (Max Reinhardt’s pen). In 2007 he won the European Theatre Prize for the New Theatre Reality in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2008 he was awarded the Stanislavsky Prize in the Foreign Theatre category, Russia, Moscow.
Since 1997 he has been artistic director of the New Riga Theatre. Parallel to his work at the New Riga Theatre, Hermanis has staged plays in the Von Krahli Teatter Tallinn, Estonia (Šalajased pildid II, Loomav Pimedus, 1994), at the Latvian National Opera (Fire and Night, 1996), Schauspielfrankfurt (Kollektives Lesen eines Buches mit Hilfe der Imagination in Frankfurt, 2005), Schauspielhaus Zürich (The Blazing Darkness, by A. Buero – Vallejo, 2006; Fathers, 2007; Idiot. The Beginning of the
Novel, by Dostoevsky 2008) Schauspielhaus Köln (Cologne Affairs, 2008; Die Geheimnisse der Kabbala, by Isaac Bashevi Singer, 2009), Theatre of Nations, Moscow (Stories by Shukshin, 2008), Wiener Burgtheater (Eine Familie, based on Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, 2009), Münchner Kammerspiele-Werkraum (Späte Nachba, by Isaac Bashevi Singer, 2009).