Schröder, Friedrich Ludwig

Schröder, Friedrich Ludwig

(frē`drĭkh lo͞ot`vĭkh shrö`dər), 1744–1816, German actor, manager, and dramatist. He introduced Shakespeare in Germany. The son of actors, Schröder had a difficult, demanding childhood and youth. On the stage from the age of three, he lived for a time in a deserted theater, learning acrobatics from traveling companies that occasionally worked there. Greatly influenced by the acting of Konrad Eckhof, Schröder further developed the realistic school and became the most celebrated German actor of his day. He raised the standard of taste in Germany with his excellent ensemble productions, initiating reforms in costume, scenery, and acting. In 1771 he and his mother assumed the management of the Hamburg National Theater. He produced his own translations of 11 plays by Shakespeare (1776–80), as well as his own plays and those of the new Sturm und DrangSturm und Drang
or Storm and Stress,
movement in German literature that flourished from c.1770 to c.1784. It takes its name from a play by F. M. von Klinger, Wirrwarr; oder, Sturm und Drang (1776).
..... Click the link for more information.

Schröder, Friedrich Ludwig


Born Nov. 3, 1744, in Schwerin; died Sept. 3, 1816, in Rellingen. German actor, stage director, teacher, and theater figure.

Schröder, son of the famous tragedienne S. S. Schröder, is considered, along with G. E. Lessing, to have been the greatest representative of the German Enlightenment theater. Making his stage debut as a child, he performed in the company of his stepfather, K. Ackermann, until 1756 and again in 1759 and 1760. From 1756 to 1759 he performed in the circus troupe of M. Stuart as a dancer, juggler, and acrobat and appeared in farces with J. F. von Kurz’ company. Schröder helped found the Hamburg National Theater, and during the years 1771–80, 1785–98, and 1811–12 he headed the company. From 1781 to 1785 he worked in the Vienna Burgtheater. In Ackermann’s company, Schröder played comic roles, becoming known as a master of improvisation. He also staged and composed approximately 70 ballets.

Schröder was the first German actor to play the role of Truffaldino in Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters. He was the first to present Shakespeare’s tragedies, notably Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello, on the German stage. These productions were in his own translations, and Schröder played the leading roles. Schröder also performed in the dramas of F. Schiller and in D. Diderot’s bourgeois drama The Father of the Family.

Schröder established a national German repertoire, affirmed realist principles in stage design, and taught a natural, psychologically truthful and inspired method of acting. His acting harmoniously combined inner emotion with carefully conceived outward means of expression.


Gvozdev, A. A. “Ot akrobatizma k tragicheskomy iskusstvu.” In his Iz istorii teatra i dramy. Petrograd, 1923.
Hoffmann, P. F. Friedrich Ludwig Schröder als Dramaturg und Regisseur. Berlin, 1939.