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Erwin Piscator papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Manuscripts by Erwin Piscator

Manuscripts by Maria Piscator

Play and production manuscripts

Financial Records

Educational Records

Publicity Records

Miscellaneous Records

Photographic Records

Printed Ephemera and Miscellaneous Publications

Packages

Diaries

Junior Dramatic Workshop


Erwin Piscator papers, 1930-1971 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Erwin Piscator papers, 1930-1971Add to your cart.

ID: 1/3/MSS 031

Primary Creator: Piscator, Erwin (1893-1966)

Extent: 203.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Arranged in 11 series including:  1) Correspondence, 2) Manuscripts by Erwin Piscator, 3) Manuscripts by Maria Piscator, 4) Plays and production manuscripts, 5) Financial records, 6) Educational records, 7) Publicity records, 8) Miscellaneous records, 9) Photographic records, 10) Printed ephemera and miscellaneous publications, and 11) Packages.

Subjects: Ley-Piscator, Maria, 1905-, Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966., Theater - France - 20th century, Theater - Germany - 20th century

Forms of Material: Corporation records., Correspondence., Diaries., Ley-Piscator, Maria, 1905- - Correspondence, Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. - Correspondence, Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. - Diaries, Theater programs, Writings.

Languages: English, French, German

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Erwin Piscator papers document Piscator's work during the periods 1936-1951 when he was in France and the United States and 1962-1966 when he was in Germany. The collection contains a large amount of correspondence to and from Erwin Piscator; manuscripts by Erwin and Maria Piscator, as well as various other authors; play and production manuscripts; records of various kinds (financial, educational, publicity, miscellaneous, photographic); and a guide, Classification and Arrangement of Papers, for further details (Microfilm 61).

The manuscript collection includes Erwin Piscator's papers, influenced by and concerning to a great extent the problems and main figures of the international theatre. The collection also includes manuscripts of various authors (1920-1970) which concern theatre matters.

The collection also contains financial records, a large number of educational records from 1940-1961, publicity records (1930-1970), and large number of photographic records as well as printed ephemera and Picastor's diaries  which begin in August 1912 and end approximately in 1917.  The beginning marks the time when Piscator left school (Gymnasium), at which time he was confronted with the question of the choice of a profession.  The diaries end with the time when Piscator served as a soldier in the trenches of Flanders.

There are about 280 loose pages of poems and prose.  These pages had been bound in different copy books but were ripped out later apparently by Piscator himself when he wrote the fair copies.  There are many poems on loose pages which reappear later in one of the diaries.

Biographical Note

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.

Subject/Index Terms

Ley-Piscator, Maria, 1905-
Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966.
Theater - France - 20th century
Theater - Germany - 20th century

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Alternate Extent Statement: 97.5 linear feet; 11 packages

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Gift

Related Materials: Microfilm 61 (Map Room) includes a name index for the Piscator correspondence.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Erwin Piscator Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Other Note: MSS 092 and MSS 094, Erwin Piscator diaries were added to original collection in 2009


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts by Erwin Piscator, 1936 - 1966],
[Series 3: Manuscripts by Maria Piscator, 1927 - 1970],
[Series 4: Play and production manuscripts],
[Series 5: Financial Records, 1934 - 1963],
[Series 6: Educational Records, 1940 - 1964],
[Series 7: Publicity Records, 1930 - 1970],
[Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, 1938 - 1968],
[Series 9: Photographic Records],
[Series 10: Printed Ephemera and Miscellaneous Publications],
[Series 11: Packages],
[Series 12: Diaries],
[Series 13: Junior Dramatic Workshop],
[All]

Series 13: Junior Dramatic WorkshopAdd to your cart.
Box 200Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence A - Y A-YAdd to your cart.

Andes, Gladys - December 30, 1944

 

Dawner, Charles - July 19, 1945

 

Dehn, Mura - December 2, 1954

 

Donovan, Esther - January 14, 1946

 

Dyer, Choteau - January 30, 1946

 

Freedley, George - December 11, 1945

 

Gordon, D.L. - December 7, 1945

 

Judge, Mrs. William - December 1, 1945

 

Kerz , Leo - September 9, 1945

 

Kritzer, Jean - n.d.

 

Lark, Trude - October 31, 1945

 

Lawson, Mrs. S.E. - February 25, 1946

 

Marshall, Rita - January 18, 1946

 

Nadelstein, Rosalid - February 13, 1945

 

Neviasky, Hannah - September 23, 1935

 

Piscator, Maria Ley - n.d., to Rose Schissel

 

Piscator, Maria Ley - January 16, 1946, to S.H. Collins

 

Piscator, Maria Ley - n.d., to Marianne Oswald

 

Piscator, Maria Ley - December 4, 1945, to Mr. "______"

 

Piscator, Maria Ley - December 4, 1945, to Mura Dehn

 

Severance, Paul - November 17, 1945

 

Welch, Mary - n.d.

 

Wendriver, Mr. - November 6, 1945

 

Wendriver, Mr. - December 20, 1945

 

Young, Matilda - February 14, 1945

Folder 2: Correspondence of Erwin PisctaorAdd to your cart.

Celli, Marion - May 27, 1942

 

Dana, H.W.L. - May 20, 1942

 

Freud, Esti D. - January 31, 1946

 

Fuller, Edmund - May 28, 1942

 

Gassner, John - n.d.

 

Gross, Sylvia - November 29, 1945 (Piscator's reply included)

 

Hojda, Nathen - June 21, 1942

 

Johnson, Alvin - June 1, 1942

 

Piscator, Erwin - September 2, 1943

 

Wiley, Margaret  - n.d.

 

Williams, Tennessee - n.d.

Folder 3: Miscellaneous CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.

Bloomstein, George - n.d.

 

Casey, Francis - n.d.

 

Dion, Eugene - July 23, 1946

 

Dyer, Chotaue - September 8, 1943

 

Greenstein, Eli - August 11, 1946

 

Lieberman, Molla P. - December 3, 1945

 

Strinati, E.  - March 12, 1943

 

Weiser, Jacob - June 19, 1942

Folder 4: Series II - Financial RecordsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Series III - Educational RecordsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Series IV - Publicity RecordsAdd to your cart.
Box 201Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Die Dame von FlorenzAdd to your cart.
Die Dame von Florenz, by David Garrick, Film adaptation by Maria Ley Piscator
Folder 2: Die MogadorAdd to your cart.
Die Mogador, screenplay by Willi Wolfradt
Folder 3: Eine Frau Ohne BedetungAdd to your cart.
Eine Frau Ohne Bedetung, by Oscar Wilde, film adaptation by George Klaren and Isle Paul Czech, and E.P.’s Prologue to the Cherry Blossom Festival
Folder 4: The Golden Gate, n.a.Add to your cart.
Folder 5: La Grande Epreuve, n.a.Add to your cart.
Folder 6: The Lady of FlorenceAdd to your cart.
The Lady of Florence, by D. Garrick, prelude by Maris Ley
Folder 7: Lope de Vega - n.a.Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Paris on DaleAdd to your cart.
Paris on Dale, n/a.  German & English versions
Folder 9: Soldier for freedomAdd to your cart.
Soldier for freedom – by Frank Volney
Folder 10: Terra BassaAdd to your cart.
Terra Bassa, by Eugenio d’Albert
Folder 11: TieflandAdd to your cart.
Tiefland, by Angel Guimera
Folder 12: Tierra BajaAdd to your cart.
Tierra Baja, Film adaptation by J. Carner Ribaltz
Box 202Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Published WorksAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Copybook in English & FrenchAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Unidentified manuscript fragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Unidentified manuscript fragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Untitled script fragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Manuscript fragment, "E.P's Prologue to the Cherry Blossom Festival"Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Manuscript fragmentsAdd to your cart.
Manuscript fragments, author presumed to be Philippe Halsman
Folder 8: Manuscript fragments, unbound lecture notesAdd to your cart.
Box 203Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Notes, addresses, letter fragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Drawings, sketches, photographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspaper clippings, stationeryAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Scrapbook of clippingsAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts by Erwin Piscator, 1936 - 1966],
[Series 3: Manuscripts by Maria Piscator, 1927 - 1970],
[Series 4: Play and production manuscripts],
[Series 5: Financial Records, 1934 - 1963],
[Series 6: Educational Records, 1940 - 1964],
[Series 7: Publicity Records, 1930 - 1970],
[Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, 1938 - 1968],
[Series 9: Photographic Records],
[Series 10: Printed Ephemera and Miscellaneous Publications],
[Series 11: Packages],
[Series 12: Diaries],
[Series 13: Junior Dramatic Workshop],
[All]

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