Dorn, Dieter

(1935- )
   Director. Dorn is closely associated with theater work in Munich, where he worked for nearly a quarter-century leading the city's Kammerspiele. The city and the state of Bavaria have honored him with several orders of citation. Dorn began theater studies in Leipzig but left the German Democratic Republic in 1956 to study in West Berlin. He remained there and began an acting career until the Staatstheater Hannover offered him a job as an assistant director in 1961, while working on radio broadcasts of plays in Cologne with the NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) network. In 1964 he began directing plays full-time at the Hannover Landesbühne, and in 1968 he left for Essen and Vienna's Burgtheater. In 1971 Dorn began working regularly in Hamburg, where he staged the German-language premiere of Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist; it was subsequently invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen and helped establish Dorn's national reputation as a director.
   In 1977 Dorn began work as the Oberspielleiter (chief director) of the Munich Kammerspiele, where he began his fruitful collaborations with actress Cornelia Froboess. His staging of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's Minna von Barnhelm with Froboess in the title role won him another Theatertreffen invitation, as did productions of Botho Strauss's Gross und Klein (Big and Small) and Frank Wedekind's Lulu plays, all of which prominently featured Froboess. His most monumental Kammerspiele production was a bizarre rendition of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Faust, Part 1, with Helmut Griem in the title role; Froboess played Martha in that production. Other Theatertreffen invitations included Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and the Botho Strauss world premiere of Schlusschor (Final Chorus).
   Dorn had several successes in Munich, and in the latter half of the 20th century he provided the city with a justifiable pride in its longstanding theater traditions. The city government nevertheless fired him from his Kammerspiele post in 2001. The next year, state government officials named him intendant of the Bavarian State Theaters, where he is scheduled to remain through the first decade of the 21st century.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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