Johanna Pfau was born in 1971 in Dahme /Brandenburg. After her school-leaving examination, she began studying languages at Cologne, but changed in 1991 to the study of stage and costume design under Achim Freyer at the College of Arts in Berlin. For her graduating work, she designed the stage for Andreas Kriegenburg’s 1996 production of Ibsen’s The Vikings at Helgeland. Thereafter she got in touch with Thomas Ostermeier and became part of the original team of the ‘Barracks’ at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Beginning in 1997 she has worked several times in the independent scene, and has at the same time gained a position in the German-speaking municipal and state theatre world without having to take the long way round through assistantships: she has designed stages in Munich and Nuremberg for Simone Blattner, in Basel for Karin Beier, at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin for Stefan Bachmann, and many times for Andreas Kriegenburg at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg.
Johanna Pfau has three children and lives in Berlin.