After attending the Roßleben monastery school and graduating from high school in Thale in 1953, Dresen studied German language and literature in Leipzig from 1953 to 1959, where he was an amateur player and director of the Leipzig student theater . During an internship at the Berliner Ensemble , he got to know the playing style of epic theater . After completing his studies, he worked from 1959 to 1962 as a theater director in Magdeburg and then in Greifswald. It was here that he was released in 1964 after a controversial production of Hamlet . For this reason he worked as an unskilled worker on a derrick in the Grimmen Oil Combine (Mecklenburg).
From 1965 to 1977 Adolf Dresen was a director at the Deutsches Theater Berlin . His staging of Goethe's Faust , which he was responsible for together with the director of the German Theater at the time, Wolfgang Heinz , was particularly significant . They interpreted Faust by no means as the model figure she was until then in the socialist interpretation, but rather as an "intellectual plagued by self-doubt and resigned". The premiere was one of the biggest theater scandals in the GDR. The party and state leadership missed “everything positive” and saw the performance as a “withdrawal of Goethe's humanism”. Extensive changes were requested. In order to circumvent a ban, the director and director made concessions. The production was then staged with great success for five years and was the initial spark for a new reception of classics in the GDR theater.
1977 moved Dresen after the expatriation of Wolf Biermann to West Germany through. This was followed by an engagement at the Vienna Burgtheater from 1977 to 1981 (there, among others, Emilia Galotti with Klaus Maria Brandauer ) and in 1979 first opera works in Hamburg. From 1981 to 1985 Dresen was acting director in Frankfurt am Main. He then worked as a freelance opera director at numerous stages and operas in Europe, including Brussels ( Fidelio , 1989), Paris Théâtre du Châtelet , Vienna State Opera (1986 Wozzeck by Alban Berg , set design, costumes: Herbert Kapplmüller , conductor Claudio Abbado ; 1992 Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner , set design, costumes: Kapplmüller, conductor Christoph von Dohnányi ) and at the Royal Opera London .
In addition to his theater work, Dresen was also active as a writer. He left behind 420 poems, 65 prose texts, some autobiographical and dream notes.
Adolf Dresen died in Leipzig in 2001 .
- 1964: William Shakespeare : Hamlet
- 1965: Sean O'Casey : The moon shines on Kylenamoe ( Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1965: Sean O'Casey: Hall of Healing (Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1965: Sean O'Casey: Withdraw a pound (Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1966: William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure (Deutsches Theater Berlin)
- 1968: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : Faust. The tragedy first part (In the prelude: Dichter ) - Direction with Wolfgang Heinz (Deutsches Theater Berlin)
- 1970: Helmut Baierl : The Long Road to Lenin (Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1970: Isaak Babel : Maria (Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1971: William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure (Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1972: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Clavigo (Deutsches Theater Berlin - Kammerspiele)
- 1973: Ignati Dworetzki : The Man from Outside (Deutsches Theater Berlin)
- 1974: Else Lasker-Schüler : Die Wupper ( Münchner Kammerspiele )
- 1975: Heinrich von Kleist : The Broken Jug (Deutsches Theater Berlin)
- 1975: Heinrich von Kleist: Prince Friedrich von Homburg or the Battle of Fehrbellin (Deutsches Theater Berlin)
- 1977: Heinrich von Kleist: Michael Kohlhaas (Deutsches Theater Berlin)
- 1977: The poor cousin (Barlach) Basel
- 1979: Eugen Onegin (Tchaikovsky) Hamburg State Opera
- 1980: The Fledermaus (Strauss) in Bochum
- 1999: Iphigenie auf Tauris (Goethe) Burgtheater Vienna
- 1975: Juno and the Peacock (theater recording)
- 1994: Tales from the Opera (TV miniseries)
- 1973, 1975 and 1988 Critics' Prize of the Berliner Zeitung
- 1989 Hessian Culture Prize
- 2000 Prize of the International Theater Institute (ITI)
- 2001 Lessing Prize from the Free State of Saxony
- 2002 German Critics' Prize (posthumous)
- Siegfried's Forgetting: Culture between Consensus and Conflict. Ch. Links Verlag , Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-86153-041-4 . (New edition 2011)
- with Thomas Zabka: poets and directors: remarks about the director's theater. Wallstein, Göttingen 1995, ISBN 3-89244-182-0 .
- Adolf Dresen - How much freedom does art need? Speeches, letters, verses, games 1964 to 1999 (= Theater of Time / Research. 3). Edited by Maik Hamburger. Theater der Zeit, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-934344-00-3 .
- Marx Studies 1976: On the Critique of Marx's Economy . Basisdruck-Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86163-124-8 .
- The individual and the whole. On the critique of Marx's economy. (Theater of Time / Research 93). Edited by Friedrich Dieckmann. Theater der Zeit, Berlin, 2012, ISBN 978-3-943881-04-2 .
- Opposition with classics. My work at the Deutsches Theater . In: Through the Iron Curtain. Theater in divided Germany from 1945 to 1990 . Edited by Henning Rischbieter. Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH & Co. KG, Propylaen Verlag Berlin 1999, pp. 98-105
- Maik Hamburger (Ed.): Adolf Dresen: The void between the stars: stories, poems & dreams (= archive sheets. 20). Academy of Arts, Archive, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-88331-148-7 .
- Short biography for: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 . . In:
- Barbara Honigmann : Pictures by A. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-446-23742-1
- In connection with Dresen's book How Much Freedom Does Art Need? Opernwelt magazine commented in 2001: "An intellectual worker who pushes his nose outside the box to oil rigs or iron smelting, inevitably enjoys the bonus of [...] not being locked in the ivory tower of high culture. At a time when theater subsidies having to assert with difficulty against their other […] dispositions, it is a clever move, naturally elitist reflections on the question: 'Why did Hamlet kill Polonius?' to be combined with a handy proof of adherence to the ground "( Christoph Kammertöns , review in Opernwelt 6/2001, p. 62).
- Petra Stuber: Scope and Limits. Studies on the GDR theater . Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-86153-171-2 , p. 231
- Adolf Dresen: Opposition with classics. My work at the Deutsches Theater . In: Through the Iron Curtain. Theater in divided Germany from 1945 to 1990 . Edited by Henning Rischbieter. Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH & Co. KG, Propylaen Verlag Berlin 1999, p. 98
- http://www.adk.de/de/programm/?we_objectID=25072 , accessed on October 24, 2016
- Literature by and about Adolf Dresen in the catalog of the German National Library
- Literature about Adolf Dresen in the state bibliography MV
- Adolf Dresen in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Audio with Adolf Dresen's lecture on judgment
- Christoph Hein : We slowly forgot our concept: Teachable doubter. Eulogy for the director, writer, philosopher and curious person Adolf Dresen . Laudation for the award of the Lessing Prize of the State of Saxony to Adolf Dresen, held in Kamenz on January 20, 2001. In: der Freitag . January 26, 2001.
- Adolf Dresen archive in the archive of the Academy of Arts, Berlin
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German director|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 31, 1935|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Eggesin|
|DATE OF DEATH||July 11, 2001|
|Place of death||Leipzig|