August Wilhelm Iffland
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Iffland, August Wilhelm
Born Apr. 19, 1759, in Hannover; died Sept. 22, 1814, in Berlin. German actor, playwright, and director.
Iffland, the son of a pastor, received a religious education. From 1777 to 1779 he was an actor in the theater of Gotha. From 1779 to 1796 he performed in Mannheim Theater, becoming its principal director in 1792. Iffland began working in the Berlin Royal Theater in 1796. He portrayed Franz Moor and Phillip in Schiller’s The Robbers and Don Carlos, Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, and the title role in Les-sing’s Nathan the Wise. His best performances were in his own plays or in plays written by A. von Kotzebue.
Iffland’s plays are representative of the genre known as bourgeois drama. In his plays Crime From Vainglory (1784) and The Hunters (1785; Russian translation, 1802) the virtuous little world of the burgher, into which evil intrudes in the person of the nobleman, is depicted. His only political drama, The Cockades (1791), reflects the events of the Great French Revolution and ends with the revolutionaries’ abandonment of their struggle. As a director, Iffland devoted a great deal of attention to the staging of a performance. His memoirs, My Career in Theater (1798; Russian translation, 1816), reflect his experiences.
WORKSDramatische Werke, vols. 1–16. Leipzig, 1798–1802.
REFERENCESTroitskii, Z. “Avgust-Vil’gePm Iffland.” In Karl ZeideVman iformirovanie stsenicheskogo realizma v Germanii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Klingenberg, K. H. Iffland und Kotzebue als Dramatiker. Weimar, 1962.