Roland Schimmelpfennig was born in Göttingen in 1967. After a prolonged stay in Istanbul as a journalist, he studied stage direction at the Otto-Falkenberg-School in Munich. Following his studies he became assistant director at the Kammerspiele Munich from 1995 onwards he was a member of the artistic direction of the theatre.
He has been working as a freelance author since 1996. In 1998 he went to the United States for a year and there primarily worked as a translator. Schimmelpfennig worked as dramaturg at the Schaubühne Berlin from 1999 to 2001. In the season of 2001/2002 he was author-in-residence at the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. Since 2000 he has been commissioned to write plays for the State Theatres in Stuttgart and Hannover, the Schauspielhaus Hamburg, the Burgtheater Vienna, the Schauspielhaus Zurich, the German Theatre Berlin and international theatres in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Toronto and Tokyo. In 2010, Roland Schimmelpfennig received the Mülheim Dramatists’ Prize for his play The Golden Dragon the world premiere of which had taken place at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 2009 in the direction of the author. In 2016, his first novel An einem klaren, eiskalten Januarmorgen zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts (On a clear, freezing cold January morning at the beginning of the 21st century) was nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair. Roland Schimmelpfennig lives in Berlin and Havanna.
“Roland Schimmelpfennig is the leading German dramatist.” (Frankfurter Rundschau)