Born May 11, 1874, in Tartu; died there Mar. 5, 1941. Estonian director.
From 1893 to 1901, Menning attended the theological faculty of the University of Tartu. He spent the years between 1904 and 1906 studying theater productions in Paris, Vienna, and Berlin and the directing technique of M. Reinhardt. In 1906 he headed the Vanemuise Theater in Tartu. Menning was the founder of professional directing in the Estonian theater; he strove consistently for realism. Some of his best productions were Ibsen’s Pillars of Society (1907) and An Enemy of the People (1908), Hauptmann’s Drayman Henschel, (1907), Gorky’s The Lower Depths (1909), and Kitzberg’s The Werewolf (\9\\) and God of the Purse (1912). Menning encouraged the talent of the out-standing Estonian actors A. Altleis-Heisler, A. Markus, A. Sunne, and A. Teetsov.
In 1914, Menning was forced to leave the theater because of conflicts with influential bourgeois circles that rejected his artistic principles. Up to 1918, he was a drama critic; he later became a diplomat and served in that capacity until 1937.