Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy 85th Birthday Fritz Marquard

Fritz Marquardt was born on July 15, 1928. During World War II in 1945, he was interned in a labor camp in Siberia. After a hospital stay, and his release, he worked as a farm worker, tractor driver and warehouse worker. From 1950 to 1953 he completed his schooling at the Workers 'and Peasants' Faculty, then from 1953 to 1958 he studied philosophy and aesthetics at the Humboldt University in Berlin. After a short stint as an assistant at the university he was editor of a village newspaper, then district secretary for youth initiation in Seelow and construction laborers in Kombinat Schwedt oil.
From 1959 to 1961, Marquardt was the editor of the journal Theater der Zeit. During this time he formed a friendship with Heiner Müller. His enthusiasm for Müller's play Die Umsiedlerin oder das Leben auf dem Lande after the piece was premiered on 30 September 1961 (directed by BK Tragelehn) was banned in the GDR for 15 years and was only in 1976, now under Marquardt's direction, it was shown again.
Then Marquardt worked as an archivist at the Volksbühne in Berlin, then as head of dramaturgy at the State Theatre Parchim. In the second half of the 1960s he worked as a lecturer for scene study at the film school in Babelsberg. Since then he has also been seen sporadically as a film actor. He had major appearances in films by Siegfried Kühn, including his most memorable role, the superfluous by the electrification of the railway crossing keeper in “The Mind of Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Platov” (1973). The film was rejected by DEFA and Helmut Baierl, the author of the story, and was only shown in the GDR in small art movie theaters.
Finally, Marquardt moved in 1969 back to the Volksbühne where Marquardt he staged in a  
"Strengen poetischen Bildersprache” and other contemporary plays, where he occasionally appeared as an actor. Particularly influential were his production of Heiner Müller's “The Peasants” (1976).
In 1980 Marquardt left the stage and worked abroad until 1985, especially with Hans Croisets Publiekstheater in Amsterdam, but also in Mannheim, Munich and Bochum. 1985 brought him back to East Berlin and to the Berliner Ensemble, where he continued the GDR premiere of Heiner Müller's “Germania Death in Berlin” (1989).
Following the resignation Wekwerths in July 1991 Marquardt was briefly interim director, then from August 1992 together with Matthias Langhoff, Peter Palitzsch, Peter Zadek and Heiner Müller, the five members of the Executive Board of BE. BE 1993 was converted into a limited company with shareholders as the director. In summer 1995, Marquardt resigned as director and finished with Ibsen's “Little Eyolf” his directorial work. Since then he has lived on his farm in Uckermark and appears only occasionally as an actor.
Marquardt appeared in two DEFA Euro-westerns: “The Falcon’s Trail” (1967) and “The Long Ride from School” (1981).
Today we celebrate Fritz Maqrquard’s 85th birthday.

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