Max Reinhardt can be described as one of the greatest directors in history. A great innovator and a master of spectacle, he staged giganticproductions,full of pageantry and color.Reinhardt became one of thefirst theatrical directors to achieve widespread recognitionas a major creative artist, working in Berlin, Salzburg, New York City, andHollywood.His work summed up all theater before him and opened new doorways for the theater that followed.
Max Reinhardt was born Max Goldmann on September 9th, 1873 in Baden, near Vienna.He was the oldest of the seven children born to Wilhelm and Rose Goldmann, an Orthodox Jewish couple. With his only brother, Edmund, young Max played long hours with puppets and from their balcony watched the real puppets in the streets.”He was educated at the Untergymnasium, and was in a banking business till seventeen” (Carter 33).
“Thoughhis parents were remote from theatrical life, they were sympathetic to hisfascination with the actors of the Vienna Burgtheater, and, at the urging of one of these, they allowedtheir son to exchange his boredom as a bank clerk for the excitement of drama school” (Britannica). Although he proved to be an inhibited actor, needing a beard and heavy makeup to release his talents, Reinhardt won local fame and friends in Salzburg where he studied.In 1890 he began his career under the name Max Reinhardt and in 1894 was invited to Berlin by Otto Brahm, director of the Deutsches Theater.His life took a dramatic turn when on the eve of one of Brahm’s production an actor named Muller, cast to play an old skipper, committed suicide.Brahm was devastated, no understudy had rehearsed and the production company risked loss of money.Reinhardt stepped up and performed in Mullers place, saving Brahm’s production and establishing his presence, especially in Brahm’s eyes.Fr!
om this moment his progress was assured.
Under Brahm Reinhard…