Jessner, Leopold

▪ German director and producer
born March 3, 1878, Königsberg, Germany [now Kaliningrad, Russia]
died October 30, 1945, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

      theatrical producer and director associated with the German Expressionist (Expressionism) theatre. His bold innovations in the 1920s gained him an international reputation.

      Jessner worked as a touring actor in his youth. He began directing in 1904, and from 1905 to 1915 he was a director at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg. As director of the Berlin State Theatre (1919–30), he produced classic and contemporary plays on a bare stage featuring graduated levels and flights of steps (Jessnertreppen) that served in the place of scene changes as platforms for different actions. Among the memorable performances at the Berlin State Theatre were Schiller's Wilhelm Tell (1919), Shakespeare's Richard III (1920), and a modern-dress Hamlet intended to criticize the Germany of the 1920s. Most of these productions featured the prominent German actor Fritz Kortner (Kortner, Fritz) in the leading roles.

      Jessner trained his actors to adopt an oversimplified, antinaturalistic manner, which was especially effective for interpretations of the possessed and frenzied characters in the plays of the early Expressionist Frank Wedekind (Wedekind, Frank). Many of Jessner's productions also employed his theory that rhythm could be used symbolically to underscore the dramatic action. This was evident in his most famous production, Wedekind's Marquis von Keith (1920), which was performed at double speed. A Socialist and a Jew, Jessner was an active innovator in the theatre until 1933, when he emigrated from Nazi Germany to work with touring ensembles in Rotterdam and Tel Aviv. In 1939 Jessner moved to Hollywood, where he engaged anonymously in film work until his death.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JESSNER, LEOPOLD — (1878–1945), German theatrical director and manager. Starting as an actor, Jessner was director at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg (1904–15). He later directed the Neues Schauspielhaus in his birthplace Koenigsberg (1915–19). From 1919 to 1930 he… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jessner, Leopold — (1878 1945)    Director. Jessner was best known for his work during the Weimar Republic, when he was appointed intendant of the Prussian State Theater, the tradition bound, Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed Royal Theater on Gendarme Square near… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Jessner, Leopold — (1878 1945), actor, director, and theater* manager; Berlin s* most renowned director in the Republic s early years. Born in Kö nigsberg, he began his stage career in 1897 as an actor with the Cottbus Stadt theater. Soon after 1900 he acted and… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Jessner, Leopold —    см. Йеснер, Леопольд …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Jessner — Leopold Jessner (* 3. März 1878 in Königsberg; † 13. Dezember 1945 in Hollywood) war ein deutscher Theater und Filmregisseur. Er gilt als wichtiger Vertreter des Bühnenexpressionismus und des politischen Theaters der zwanziger Jahre. Bekannt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leopold Jeßner — Leopold Jessner (* 3. März 1878 in Königsberg; † 13. Dezember 1945 in Hollywood) war ein deutscher Theater und Filmregisseur. Er gilt als wichtiger Vertreter des Bühnenexpressionismus und des politischen Theaters der zwanziger Jahre. Bekannt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leopold Jessner — (* 3. März 1878 in Königsberg; † 13. Dezember 1945 in Hollywood) war ein deutscher Theater und Filmregisseur. Er gilt als wichtiger Vertreter des Bühnenexpressionismus und des politischen Theaters der 1920er Jahre. Bekannt wurde er zudem als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leopold Jessner — est un metteur en scène allemand, directeur de théâtre et réalisateur, né le 3 mars 1878 à Königsberg (Prusse Orientale (aujourd hui Kaliningrad, Russie), mort le 13 décembre 1945 à Los Angeles (Californie). Il a participé… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leopold Jessner — (March 3, 1878 ndash;December 13, 1945) was a noted producer and director of German Expressionist theater and cinema. His first film, Hintertreppe (1921), is considered a major turning point which paved the way for the later German Expressionist… …   Wikipedia

  • Fritz Jessner — (* 19. August 1889 in Stolp in Hinterpommern; † 9. Juli 1946 in Boston, USA) war ein deutsch amerikanischer Theaterdirektor und Regisseur. Jessners Vater war Samuel Jeßner, ein Dermatologe in Königsberg. Fritz Jessner studierte an der Universität …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.