Hansgünther Heyme

Hansgünther Heyme
Hansgünther Heyme.jpg
Heyme in 2017
Born (1935-08-22) 22 August 1935 (age 84)

Hansgünther Heyme (born 22 August 1935)[1] is a German theatre director and prominent figure in the Regietheater movement of the 1960s and 70s. Born in Bad Mergentheim, he studied at Heidelberg University and then under the German director Erwin Piscator. Heyme was the artistic director of the Staatstheater Wiesbaden from 1964 to 1967, the Schauspiel Köln (Cologne's principal theatre) from 1968 to 1979, the Württemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart from 1979 to 1986, the Ruhrfestspiele theatre festival from 1990 to 2003, and the Theater im Pfalzbau in Ludwigshafen from 2004 to 2014. Now in his 80s, he continues to work as a freelance director.[2]

Early years

Heyme was born in Bad Mergentheim. His parents were ballroom dancers who had run away together as adolescents to run a dance school in Cologne. After his father's death from typhoid in World War II, his mother Erika married Kurt Joachim Fischer who became a prominent journalist and screenplay writer in post-war Germany. After the war, the family settled in Heidelberg where Heyme received his secondary education at the Helmholtz Gymnasium. After graduating from the gymnasium in 1955, he briefly studied architecture in Karlsruhe, but then moved to Heidelberg University where he spent seven semesters studying sociology, German studies and philosophy as well as taking acting lessons.[3][4]

Heyme was Erwin Piscator's pupil and assistant in Berlin and Mannheim in 1956. He then worked as an assistant director at the Heidelberg Castle Festival and as an organizer of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg. He also appeared in Bernhard Wicki's 1958 cult film Warum sind sie gegen uns? [de] for which his stepfather had written the screenplay.[3][5]

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