Arnold, Franz

(1878-1960)
   Playwright, actor. Arnold was among the most commercially successful playwrights in the Weimar Republic. He began his career as an actor in 1897 and worked for a decade in a series of provincial venues before his Berlin debut in 1907 as Giesecke in Oskar Blumenthal and Gustav Kadelburg's Im weiss'n Rössl (The White Horse Inn). In 1909 he made his debut at the Lustspielhaus, a theater wholly devoted to comedy production. There he met Ernst Bach, under whose direction he acted and with whom he frequently performed. Their first triumph written together was Die spanische Fliege (The Spanish Fly, 1913), in which Arnold played the central character Klinke, while Bach played his imaginary son Gerlach. Their collaboration was interrupted by the war's outbreak, and Arnold subsequently acted and directed in an army theater on the Western Front. After the war he returned to Berlin and again began writing plays with Bach, directing them himself. They became known as "the firm of Arnold and Bach," turning out hit plays season after season. In every season except 1923-1924, their plays were among those most often performed during the Weimar Republic. The partnership ended with Bach's death in 1929.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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