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(real surname, de Schildenfeld). Born Mar. 14, 1887, in Krakow; died Mar. 25,1954, in Warsaw. Polish theatrical figure, director, and pedagogue. Member of the Polish United Workers’ Party from 1948.
Schiller worked in a number of theaters in Warsaw: he was a director at the Teatr Polski from 1917 to 1920 and at the Reduta Theater from 1922 to 1924; together with W. Horzyca and A. Zelwerowicz he ran the W. Boguslawski Theater from 1924 to 1926. During the 1930’s, Schiller headed theaters in Poznań, Łodź, and Lwów (L’vov). His productions, which included Mickiewicz’s Dziady, Slowacki’s Kordian, Krasiński’s The Undivine Comedy, and Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, were marked by revolutionary romanticism and conveyed a protest against the social injustice of the bourgeois world.
Schiller was in charge of the Teatr Wojska Polskiego in Łódź from 1946 to 1949 and of the Teatr Polski in 1949 and 1950. He played a decisive role in the development of 20th-century Polish theater and molded the aesthetic principles upon which the Polish monumental style of theater is based. Relying heavily on the traditions of Polish romanticism, he endowed his productions with strong social overtones. Schiller undertook pedagogical work in 1933. He founded the quarterly Pamietnik teatralny in 1952.
Schiller was a deputy to the Sejm from 1947 to 1952. He served as president of the Association of Polish Theater and Film Artists from 1950 to 1954. Schiller was awarded the State Prize of the Polish People’s Republic in 1948.
WORKSTeatr Ogromny. Warsaw, 1961.
REFERENCESCsató, E. Leon Schiller. Warsaw, 1968.
Timoszewicz, J. “Dziady” w inscenizacji Leona Schillera. Warsaw, 1970.