August Wilhelm Iffland



  • (1759 - 1814) German actor, dramatist, and director. Originallydestined for the Church, Iffland began his acting career (in the faceof strong parental opposition) under Konrad Ekhof at Gothain 1777. Following Ekhof's death a year later the Gotha company transferreden masse to the newly opened National Theatre at Mannheim, where Ifflandrose to a position of considerable influence.

    Although his forte was sophisticated comedy, Iffland attractedmuch praise for his creation of Franz Moor in Schiller's Die Räuber(1781). It was also at Mannheim that Iffland's own plays, sentimentalmelodramas that are now largely forgotten, were first produced togreat acclaim.

    Iffland remained at Mannheim until 1798, when he was appointeddirector of the Berlin National Theatre; in 1811 he became director-generalof all royal theaters in Prussia.