Ekhof, Konrad

(1720-1778)
   Actor, manager. Ekhof directed the first full-time subsidized court theater with a repertoire in German, beginning in 1774 at the court in Gotha. Prior to that achievement, Ekhof had toured for decades, having begun his career with the Konrad Ernst Ackermann-Sophie Schröder troupe. Ekhof continued the effort with remnants of that troupe under the leadership of Johann Friedrich Schönemann, helping to establish theater in the German language as a respectable enterprise. Ekhof continued in the Caroline Neuber reformist tradition, distancing acting in particular from its dubious associations with prostitution, tooth pulling, and improvisation. He insisted that actors be literate, have good memorization skills, overcome the impulse toward self-aggrandizement, and continue to learn new roles throughout their careers. He applied those dictates to himself, which led in large measure to his success in roles by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. His Tellheim in Minna von Barn-helm and Odoardo in Emilia Galotti helped to solidify Lessing's stature as a playwright, though Ekhof unfortunately continued to play these leading-man roles even into his fifties, somewhat tarnishing his earlier reputation. In 1764 he joined Ackermann's permanent troupe in Hannover, and later went with the troupe for its ill-fated attempt to found a theater in Hamburg. Ekhof was physically unimpressive, but he was blessed with a sonorous voice. He concentrated on acting in a subdued, unmannered style, convincing fellow actors to forgo grand gestures and vocal bombast in favor of a more measured performance that resembled everyday comportment. Lessing praised him extensively, holding him up in his Hamburg Dramaturgy as a model for all German actors to emulate. At the time of his death, several critics referred to Ekhof as "the father of German acting," though he had for the most part continued traditions that Neuber had already established.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ekhof, Konrad — ▪ German actor in full  Hans Konrad Dieterich Ekhof , Ekhof also spelled  Eckhof  born Aug. 12, 1720, Hamburg, Den. [now in Germany] died June 16, 1778, Gotha, Saxe Gotha [Germany]       actor and director who, with Caroline Neuber (Neuber,… …   Universalium

  • Ekhof — Ekhof, Konrad, s. Eckhof …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ekhof — Ekhof, Konrad, Schauspieler, geb. 12 Aug. 1720 zu Hamburg, gest. 16. Juni 1778 in Gotha als Mitdirektor des Hoftheaters; der eigentliche Schöpfer naturwahrer Darstellungskunst. – Vgl. Uhde (»Neuer Plutarch«, Bd. 4, 1876) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Konrad Eckhof — Conrad Ekhof, Porträt von Anton Graff, 1774. Hans Conrad Dietrich Ekhof (auch Konrad Eckhof; * 12. August 1720 in Hamburg; † 16. Juni 1778 in Gotha) galt als einer der besten deutschen Schauspieler des 18. Jahrhunderts. Er führte den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Konrad Eckhoff — Conrad Ekhof, Porträt von Anton Graff, 1774. Hans Conrad Dietrich Ekhof (auch Konrad Eckhof; * 12. August 1720 in Hamburg; † 16. Juni 1778 in Gotha) galt als einer der besten deutschen Schauspieler des 18. Jahrhunderts. Er führte den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Konrad Ekhof — Conrad Ekhof, Porträt von Anton Graff, 1774. Hans Conrad Dietrich Ekhof (auch Konrad Eckhof; * 12. August 1720 in Hamburg; † 16. Juni 1778 in Gotha) galt als einer der besten deutschen Schauspieler des 18. Jahrhunderts. Er führte den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ekhof — Conrad Ekhof, Porträt von Anton Graff, 1774. Hans Conrad Dietrich Ekhof (auch Konrad Eckhof; * 12. August 1720 in Hamburg; † 16. Juni 1778 in Gotha) galt als einer der besten deutschen Schauspieler des 18. Jahrhunderts. Er führte den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Konrad Ekhof — (born August 12, 1720 in Hamburg, Germany; died June 16, 1778) was a German actor.In 1739 he became a member of Johann Friedrich Schönemann s (1704 1782) company in Lüneburg, and made his first appearance there on the 15th of January 1740 as… …   Wikipedia

  • Ekhof — (Eckhof), Konrad, der Vater der deutschen Schauspielkunst, geb. 12. Aug. 1720 in Hamburg, gest. 16. Juni 1778 in Gotha, war in seiner Jugend in Hamburg und in Schwerin Schreiber, betrat 15. Jan. 1740 bei der Schönemannschen Gesellschaft in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ackermann, Konrad Ernst — (baptized Feb. 4, 1712, Schwerin, Mecklenburg died Nov. 13, 1771, Hamburg) German actor manager. After training with a theatre company that specialized in German adaptations of French plays, he led a troupe on tour throughout Europe in the 1750s …   Universalium

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