Panso, Voldemar

Panso, Voldemar


Born Nov. 30, 1920, in Tallinn. Soviet Estonian actor, director, and teacher. People’s Artist of the Estonian SSR (1968). Candidate of art history (1964).

In 1941, Panso graduated from the Tallinn School of Theatrical Art, and in 1955 from the directing department of the State Institute of Theatrical Arts. From 1941 to 1950, 1955 to 1958, and 1964 to 1965 he worked in the V. Kingissepp Estonian Theater in Tallinn; in 1970 he became the theater’s principal director. He founded the Estonian Youth Theater in Tallinn and was its principal director from 1965 to 1970.

As a director, Panso has a keen sense of staging and an innovative approach to theatrical style and genre. Among his best productions are Smuul’s The King Is Cold (1955), The Atlantic Ocean (1956), and The Wild Captain (1964, 1966); Brecht’s Master Puntila and His Man Matti (1958); Tammsaare’s Man and God (1962; Soviet Estonian Prize, 1965) and Man and Man (1972); Shaw’s Back to Methuselah (1965); Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1966); and Ibsen’s Master Builder (1974). His roles as an actor have included Vozhak in Vishnevskii’s Optimistic Tragedy and Pobedonosikov in Mayakovsky’s Bathhouse.

Panso has also acted in films. Since 1957 he has taught in the acting department of the Tallinn Conservatory. He has written several books.


Maailm arlekiini kuues. Tallinn, 1973.
In Russian translation:
Trud i talant v tvorchestve aktera. Moscow, 1972.
Udivitel’nyi chelovek. Moscow, 1972.
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