Piscator, Erwin

▪ German dramatist
born December 17, 1893, Ulm, Germany
died March 30, 1966, Starnberg, West Germany

      theatrical producer and director famed for his ingenious Expressionistic (Expressionism) staging techniques. He was the originator of the epic theatre style later developed by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht (Brecht, Bertolt).

      Having studied at the König school of dramatic art and at the university, Piscator began as a volunteer at the Hof Theater in Munich; he became in turn an actor and a director. Working in Berlin during the Weimar Republic (1919–33), Piscator frankly used the theatre to convey radical political instruction. Although he was not a communist, he sympathized at the time with the German working class. A bold innovator, he used films and newsreels to enlarge landscapes and convey mass events, and he employed many optical, acoustical, and mechanical devices to create an experience of total theatre. His passion for machinery could be self-defeating: blaring loudspeakers, flashing lights, air-raid sirens, and revolving sets sometimes obscured his message.

      During the Nazi era, Piscator sought outlets outside of Germany. He traveled to Russia in 1934 to direct his only film, the well-regarded Vostaniye rybakov (“The Revolt of the Fishermen”). From 1939 to 1951 he headed the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research in New York City. He returned to West Germany in 1951 as director of West Berlin's Volksbühne. Among his sensational productions of that period were Rolf Hochhuth's Deputy, a study of the role of Pope Pius XII during the Third Reich, and The Investigation by Peter Weiss (Weiss, Peter), dealing with the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Additional Reading
John Willett, The Theatre of Erwin Piscator: Half a Century of Politics in the Theatre (1979); Erwin Piscator, The Political Theatre, trans. by Hugh Rorrison (1978, reissued 1980; originally published in German, 1929); Maria Ley-Piscator, The Piscator Experiment: The Political Theatre (1967, reissued 1970).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Piscator, Erwin — (1893 1966)    Director. Piscator s experience of frontline duty in World War I had a lifetime impact on his work. The German army drafted Piscator into infantry service when he was a student in Munich, and the daily experience on the Western… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Piscator, Erwin — (1893 1966)    theater* director and playwright; best known for his concept of political theater. He was born in the village of Ulm, near Wetzlar, to a local pastor; the family soon moved to Marburg. In 1913 he began studies in art history and… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Piscator, Erwin — ► (1894 1966) Director teatral alemán. Introdujo el escenario rodante, decorados en diferentes planos, etc. En Nueva York, fundó la escuela de arte dramático The Dramatic Workshop …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Piscator, Erwin —    см. Пискатор, Эрвин …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Erwin Piscator — Erwin Piscator, Gips Büste von Hermann zur Strassen, 1958 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erwin Piscator — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Erwin Piscator Fotografía de Erwin Piscator (c. 1927) Nombre real Erwin Friedrich Maximilian Piscator Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erwin Piscator — Erwin Friedrich Maximilian Piscator (17 December, 1893 in Greifenstein Ulm – 30 March, 1966) was a German theatre director and producer who, with Bertolt Brecht, was the foremost exponent of epic theater, a form that emphasizes the sociopolitical …   Wikipedia

  • PISCATOR (E.) — PISCATOR ERWIN (1893 1966) Erwin Piscator est avec Max Reinhardt l’un des grand rénovateurs de la mise en scène théâtrale en Allemagne, particulièrement sous la république de Weimar, où se déroule la partie la plus féconde de sa carrière. Il peut …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Piscator — (Erwin) (1893 1966) metteur en scène et directeur de théâtre allemand. Il a monté, avec des audaces formelles, des pièces progressistes …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Piscator — (De Piscator, astrólogo milanés.) ► sustantivo masculino Almanaque con pronósticos meteorológicos. * * * piscator (de «Piscator», nombre de un astrólogo milanés) m. *Calendario con pronósticos meteorológicos. * * * piscator. (De …   Enciclopedia Universal

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.