David Esrig

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David Esrig 2005

David Esrig (born September 23, 1935 in Haifa ) is a Romanian director .


He studied directing at the Bucharest Theater and Film University "IL Caragiale" and graduated in 1958 with a diploma. After receiving his doctorate in 1968 and his habilitation in 1970, he was promoted to Dr. phil. habil. in 1978.

David Esrig worked successfully for many years and became the most famous Romanian theater director of his time. He still created legendary productions today, such as Rameau's nephew or Troilus and Cressida at the Teatrul de Comedie in Bucharest. From 1959 to 1961 he was director of the studio for drama at the Jewish State Theater in Bucharest and worked from 1961 to 1968 under the direction of Radu Beligan at the Teatrul de Comedie as a director a. a. from "Der Entenkopf" by Ciprian, "Der Schatten" by Jewgeni Schwarz and "Herr Caragiales Prozes" by Stefanescu. In the sixties he made numerous guest appearances in Moscow, Leningrad, Berlin (East), Weimar, Chemnitz, Dresden, Bonn and at the "Théâtre des Nations" in Paris. There he also received the French Critics' Prize for the best foreign production (ex-aequo with Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet").

In 1973 he left Romania due to the increasingly rigid dictatorship of Ceausescu , after he had been banned from two productions, Waiting for Godot and The Tempest by William Shakespeare. He fled to France and experimented there with theater at the Théâtre national de Chaillot in Paris. He later moved to Germany . He received German citizenship in 1975 . He was acting director at the National Theater Bucharest, the City Theater Bern (1979–1980) and the City Theater Essen (1981–1984). In the eighties Esrig worked as a freelance director in Munich and from 1976 to 1979 had a teaching position at the Munich Theater University. There he also founded the association “Athanor eV” to promote the art of theater, which was a kind of advanced training course for actors. In 1990 he made the film The Romanian Passion (Bayerischer Rundfunk), which one year after the revolution in Romania shed light on the events of the coup.

Since 2007 Esrig has also been the coordinator of the private theater schools of the UNESCO ITI Chair program.

In 1995 Esrig founded the Athanor Academy for Performing Arts in Burghausen , an academy for acting and directing in the fields of theater and film, which moved its headquarters to Passau in 2014.

Productions (selection)


  • Tabarin (1974)
  • Commedia dell'arte - A picture history of the art of the spectacle , Nördlingen, Delphi published by Franz Greno, 1985.



  • Honorary Professor of the Theater and Film University Bucharest (1991)
  • Honorary President of the III. European Meeting of Drama Schools in Bucharest (1995)
  • National Culture Prize of Romania (2003)
  • National Order of Merit for services to the promotion of democracy and Romanian culture in the world (2004)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Bucharest (2005)
  • Honorary Citizen of the City of Bucharest (2006)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Music, Theater and Fine Arts, Chișinău, Moldova (2012)

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Noteworthy here u. a. Esrig's staging of the Gorki play " Nachtasyl " in the Essen " Zeche Carl ", which has been converted into a cultural center ; see. Literature workshop in the VHS-Essen (Ed.), Intermediate stations to the night asylum (1982); with foreword by Herbert Somplatzki , David Esrig and Gerd Hergen Lübben ; ISBN 9783923865000 .