Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966

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Piscator had emigrated to the U.S. in 1939, settling in New York City, where he founded and led the Dramatic Workshop at the New School for Social Research, and the associated Studio Theatre.

From the description of Correspondence with Franz Werfel, 1943, 1945. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155864619

Erwin Friedrich Maximilian Piscator (17 December 1893 in Greifenstein-Ulm - 30 March 1966) was a German theatrical director and producer who, with Bertolt Brecht, was the foremost exponent of epic theater, a genre that emphasizes the socio-political context rather than the emotional content or aesthetics of the play. Piscator worked experimentally in Berlin as a stage director and later as managing director at his own theater (on Nollendorfplatz), he produced social and political plays especially suited to his theories. In 1931 Piscator went to Moscow to make a motion picture for Mezhrabpom, the Soviet film company associated with the International Workers' Relief Organization, but with Hitler's rise to power in 1933, Piscator's stay in the Soviet Union became political asylum. He left the Soviet Union three years later, with the firm belief that he never wanted to work under a communist dictatorship again. In 1937 he married dancer Marie Ley in Paris. Piscator and Ley subsequently emigrated to the United States in 1939. In New York City Piscator became director of the Dramatic Workshop which he founded at the New School for Social Research in 1940. Among Piscator's students at the Dramatic Workshop were Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Judith Malina, Walter Matthau, Harry Belafonte, Elaine Stritch and Tennessee Williams. Piscator had to return to West Germany during the McCarthy era in 1951. He was appointed manager and director of the Freie Volksbühne in West-Berlin in 1962. To much international critical acclaim, Piscator premiered the controversial play The Deputy by Rolf Hochhuth "about Pope Pius XII and the allegedly neglected rescue of Italian Jews from Nazi gas chambers" in 1963. Until his death in 1966, Piscator became a major exponent of contemporary and Documentary theatre. Piscator's wife, Maria Ley, died in New York city in 1999.

From the description of Erwin Piscator papers, 1930-1971. (Southern Illinois University). WorldCat record id: 318993029

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Jean Stock Goldstone papers, 1937-1949 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn George Grosz papers, 1893-1981 (inclusive) 1919-1959 (bulk). Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). War and Peace / by Leo Tolstoy ; adapted by Erwin Piscator, translated by Robert David MacDonald, 1988 - Teacher's Study Guide. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). War and Peace / by Leo Tolstoy ; adapted by Erwin Piscator ; translated by Robert David MacDonald ; directed by Duncan McIntosh, 1988 - Production Photos. University of Guelph
referencedIn Living Theatre records, 1945-1991 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn George Grosz papers, 1893-1981 (inclusive) 1919-1959 (bulk). Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Living Theatre (New York, N.Y.). Living Theatre records, 1945-1991. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn H. A. Condell papers, 1929-1969 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1886-1987. Catharine Sargent Huntington papers, 1919-1973 (inclusive). Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1929-1937. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Theatre Arts Monthly, collection of portraits, ca., ca., 1924-1939 (bulk), 1916-1964 (inclusive). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Wolfgang Roth Collection, 1910-1960s Leo Baeck Institute Archives
referencedIn Register to the Papers of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, 1890-1984, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). War and Peace / by Leo Tolstoy ; adapted by Alfred Neumann, Erwin Piscator and Guntram Pruefer ; translated by Robert David MacDonald ; directed by Duncan McIntosh ; technical drawings by John Ferguson, 1988. University of Guelph
referencedIn New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.). Dramatic Workshop. Dramatic Workshop records, 1939-1950. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn John Randolph Papers, Bulk, 1940-1999, 1918-1999, (Bulk 1940-1999) Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. The papers of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, 1890-1984 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Sam Jaffe Papers, 1915-1991, (bulk 1925-1984) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
creatorOf Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. Correspondence with Franz Werfel, 1943, 1945. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Jaffe, Sam, 1891-1984. Sam Jaffe papers, 1915-1991 (bulk 1925-1984). Library of Congress
referencedIn Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. The papers of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, 1890-1984 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Klein, Robert, 1892-1958. Robert Klein papers, 1909-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. Erwin Piscator papers, 1930-1971. Southern Illinois University, Morris Library
referencedIn Delafield, Eugene. Eugene Delafield collection on American poetry, 1904-1968. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Condell, H. A. (Heinz A.). H.A. Condell papers, 1929-1969. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars records, 1927-1949, 1933-1945 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Lania, Leo, 1896-1961. Papers, 1916-1959. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Robert Klein papers, 1909-1957 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Campbell, Louise. person
associatedWith Condell, H. A. (Heinz A.) person
associatedWith Crawford, Cheryl, 1902-1986. person
associatedWith Deeter, Jasper, d. 1972. person
associatedWith Delafield, Eugene. person
associatedWith Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars corporateBody
associatedWith Feinberg, Leo. person
associatedWith Goldschmidt, Alfons, 1879-1940. person
associatedWith Goldschmidt, Lina. person
associatedWith Goldstone, Jean Stock, 1906? - person
associatedWith Greenberger, Sanford J. person
associatedWith Grosz, George, 1893-1959 person
associatedWith Hays, Arthur Garfield, 1881-1954. person
associatedWith Held, Ernest. person
associatedWith Hume, Arthur Carter. person
associatedWith Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1886-1987. person
associatedWith International Union of Revolutionary Theatre. corporateBody
correspondedWith Jaffe, Sam, 1891-1984. person
associatedWith Kearney, Patrick, 1894-1933. person
associatedWith Kertesz, Andrew. person
associatedWith Klein, Robert, 1892-1958. person
associatedWith Lania, Leo, 1896-1961. person
associatedWith Lenya, Lotte person
correspondedWith Ley-Piscator, Maria, 1905- person
associatedWith Living Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Moerman, Sidney. person
associatedWith New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.). Dramatic Workshop. corporateBody
associatedWith New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.). Dramatic Workshop. corporateBody
associatedWith Paseltiner, Solomon. person
associatedWith Phillips, Miriam. person
associatedWith Randolph, John, 1915-2004 person
associatedWith Reinheimer, Howard E. person
associatedWith Roth, Wolfgang, 1910-1988 person
associatedWith Schmulbach, Morris. person
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shubert, Milton I., 1901-1967. person
associatedWith Troyanovsky, Alexander A., b. 1882. person
associatedWith Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Germany
France
Subject
Theater--20th century
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1893-12-17

Death 1966-03-30

Germans

German,

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 10173402