Erwin Piscator

1893 (Greifenstein, Germany) – 1966 (Starnberg)

Piscator (even before Brecht) evolved socio-politically-engaged ‘epic theatre’; his radical approaches to staging have been massively influential. He was Brecht’s mentor, colleague and friend. Gropius designed a theatre for him; Heartfield, Grosz and Moholy-Nagy designed sets. Huelsenbeck, Eisler and Weill were friends both in Berlin and in New York (where Brando, Williams, Malina and Belafonte were among his students). Mann, Ruttmann, Pabst, Lenya, Toller, Meisel, Nono, Hochhuth, Warren and Weiss were among his many collaborators. He went to meet Reinhardt in Salzburg, while Craig bore Goebbels’ plea to him in Moscow.

Erwin Piscator knew…