Maxim Vallentin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vallentin, Maxim


Born Oct. 9, 1904, in Berlin. German director and theater figure. Member of the Communist Party of Germany (now the United Socialist Party of Germany) since 1926. Works in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Vallentin graduated from the acting school attached to the State Theater (Berlin) and became an actor. During the 1920’s he was active as an organizer and director of an amateur workers’ agitprop group called the Red Megaphone. In 1933 he emigrated to the USSR, where he was a radio director, and studied the Stanislavsky system.

In 1945 he returned to his native land and took part in establishing the first German theater institute in Weimar; instruction there was conducted according to the Stanislavsky system. Using the first graduating class of this institute as a basis, Vallentin created the Young Ensemble Studio in 1950; in 1952 it became the Maxim Gorky Theater in Berlin. Among Vallentin’s important works as a director are For Those at Sea by Lavrenev (1952), Dostigaev and the Others by Gorky (1954), and The Robbers by Schiller (1955). Vallentin won the State Prize of the GDR in 1955 and 1962.


Vom Stegreif zum Stück. Berlin, 1949.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The answer may lie in the high morale instilled in the theater group by its leader, Maxim Vallentin. (After the war, he founded and became the director of the Maxim Gorky Theater in Berlin.) He helped them develop feelings of mutual respect and a spirit of collectivity, which enabled the members to remain committed anti-Fascists and, even in the darkest days, to trust one another and not to panic.