Born Feb. 14, 1891, in Hamburg; died May 10, 1966, in West Berlin. German actor and stage director of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Engel graduated from a drama school in Hamburg in 1910. He performed in various German theaters and mainly staged antiwar plays. His work with B. Brecht on the theory and practice of epic theater in the early 1920’s had a considerable effect on his aesthetic views. In the late 1940’s, Engel helped establish the Berliner Ensemble, which he headed from 1956 to 1966. He staged Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Master Puntila and His Man Matti (both 1949), The Life of Galileo (1957), The Threepenny Opera (1960), and Schweik in the Second World War (1962). He also directed films, including The Blum Affair (1948).
Engel won the National Prize of the GDR in 1949 and 1957.