READ Famous Playwrights from Germany

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List of notable or famous playwrights from Germany, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in Germany and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to Germany. If you're trying to find out the names of famous German playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from Germany is included when available.

List is made up of people like Hans Henny Jahnn and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

This historic playwrights from Germany list can help answer the questions "Who are some German playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from Germany?" These prominent playwrights of Germany may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected German playwrights.

Use this list of renowned German playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (55 items)

1
Alois Senefelder is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 63 (1771-1834) Johann Alois Senefelder was a German actor and playwright who invented the printing technique of lithography in 1796.

2
August Stramm is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 41 (1874-1915) August Stramm was a German poet and playwright who is considered one of the first of the expressionists. He also served in the German Army and was killed in action during World War I. He worked ...more

3
Bertolt Brecht is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 58 (1898-1956) Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director. A theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter ...more

4
Carl Sternheim is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Carl Sternheim Dec. at 64 (1878-1942) Carl Sternheim was a German playwright and short story writer. One of the major exponents of German Expressionism, he especially satirized the moral sensibilities of the emerging German middle ...more

5
Carl Zuckmayer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 81 (1896-1977) Carl Zuckmayer was a German writer and playwright.

6
Christian Dietrich Grabbe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Christian Dietrich Grabbe Dec. at 35 (1801-1836) Christian Dietrich Grabbe was a German dramatist of the Vormärz era. He wrote many historical plays conceiving a disillusioned and pessimistic world view, with some shrill scenes. Heinrich ...more

7
Christian Friedrich Hebbel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 50 (1813-1863) Christian Friedrich Hebbel, was a German poet and dramatist.

8
Erich Mühsam is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 56 (1878-1934) Erich Mühsam was a German-Jewish antimilitarist anarchist essayist, poet and playwright. He emerged at the end of World War I as one of the leading agitators for a federated Bavarian Soviet ...more

9
Ernst Hardt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Ernst Hardt Dec. at 71 (1876-1947) Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Hardt, born Ernst Stöckhardt, was a German playwright, poet, and novelist. Hardt was born in Graudenz, West Prussia. He is the author of Priester des Todes, Bunt ist ...more

10
Ernst Ottwalt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Ernst Ottwalt Dec. at 42 (1901-1943) Ernst Ottwalt was the pen name of German writer and playwright Ernst Gottwalt Nicolas. A communist, he fled Nazi Germany in 1934 and went into exile in the Soviet Union, where he fell victim to ...more

11
Ernst Toller is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 46 (1893-1939) Ernst Toller was a German left-wing playwright, best known for his Expressionist plays. He served in 1919 for six days as President of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic, and was ...more

12
Frank Wedekind is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 54 (1864-1918) Benjamin Franklin Wedekind, usually known as Frank Wedekind, was a German playwright. His work, which often criticizes bourgeois attitudes, is considered to anticipate expressionism, and he was ...more

13
Franz Xaver Kroetz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Franz Xaver Kroetz age 72 Franz Xaver Kroetz is a German author, playwright, actor and film director. His plays have been translated and performed internationally.

14
Friedel von Wangenheim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 62 (1939-2001) Friedel von Wangenheim was a screenwriter, songwriter, actor and playwright.

15
Fritz Oswald Bilse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Fritz Oswald Bilse Dec. at 73 (1878-1951) Fritz Oswald Bilse was a German novelist, playwright and a lieutenant in the Prussian Army. He also used the pseudonyms Fritz von der Kyrburg and Fritz Wernthal.

16
Georg Kaiser is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 67 (1878-1945) Friedrich Carl Georg Kaiser, called Georg Kaiser, was a German dramatist.

17
George Furth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 76 (1932-2008) George Furth was an American librettist, playwright, and actor.

18
Gerhart Hauptmann is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 84 (1862-1946) Gerhart Hauptmann was a German dramatist and novelist. He is counted among the most important promoters of literary naturalism, though he integrated other styles into his work as well. He ...more

19
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 52 (1729-1781) Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. His plays and ...more

20
Gustav Freytag is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 79 (1816-1895) Gustav Freytag was a German novelist and playwright.

21
Hans Henny Jahnn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 65 (1894-1959) Hans Henny Jahnn was a German playwright, novelist, and organ-builder. As a playwright, he wrote: Pastor Ephraim Magnus, which The Cambridge Guide to Theatre describes as a nihilistic, ...more

22
Hans Rehberg is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Hans Rehberg Dec. at 62 (1901-1963) Hans Rehberg was a writer and playwright.

23
Hans Sachs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 82 (1494-1576) Hans Sachs was a German meistersinger, poet, playwright, and shoemaker.

24
Heiner Müller is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 66 (1929-1995) Heiner Müller was a German dramatist, poet, writer, essayist and theatre director. Described as "the theatre's greatest living poet" since Samuel Beckett, Müller is arguably ...more

25
Heinrich Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Heinrich Beck Dec. at 43 (1760-1803) Heinrich Christian Beck was a German actor and playwright. Beck began his theatrical career with August Iffland and Johann David Beil at the Hoftheater in Gotha and, like most of the ensemble, ...more

26
Heinrich von Kleist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 34 (1777-1811) Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist was a German poet, dramatist, novelist and short story writer. The Kleist Prize, a prestigious prize for German literature, is named after him.

27
Helmut Krausser is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Helmut Krausser age 53 Helmut Krausser is a German author, poet and playwright who was born in Esslingen am Neckar.

28
Hermann Sudermann is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Hermann Sudermann Dec. at 71 (1857-1928) Hermann Sudermann was a German dramatist and novelist.

29
Jakob Ayrer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Jakob Ayrer Dec. at 62 (1543-1605) Jakob Ayrer was a German playwright and author of Fastnachtsspiele.

30
Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz Dec. at 41 (1751-1792) Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz was a Baltic German writer of the Sturm und Drang movement.

31
Friedrich Schiller is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 46 (1759-1805) Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life, Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, ...more

32
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 83 (1749-1832) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an ...more

33
Jörg Buttgereit is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
age 54 Jörg Buttgereit is a German writer/director known for his controversial films. He was born in Berlin, Germany and has lived there his entire life. He is best known for his 1987 film ...more

34
Josef Magnus Wehner is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Josef Magnus Wehner Dec. at 82 (1891-1973) Josef Magnus Wehner was a German writer and playwright. Celebrated as a "great German poet" his reputation is criticized for the militarism displayed in his work and his allegiance to ...more

35
Julius Bacher is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Julius Bacher Dec. at 79 (1810-1889) Julius Bacher was a German playwright and novelist from Ragnit, Province of East Prussia.

36
Karl Vollmöller is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 70 (1878-1948) Karl Gustav Vollmöller, usually written Vollmoeller was a German playwright and screenwriter. He is most famous for two works, the screenplay for the celebrated 1930 German film Der Blaue ...more

37
Leo Birinski is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 67 (1884-1951) Leo Birinski was a playwright, screenwriter and director. He worked in Austria-Hungary, Germany and in the United States. As a playwright in Europe he gained his biggest popularity in 1910 – ...more

38
Lion Feuchtwanger is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 74 (1884-1958) Lion Feuchtwanger was a German-Jewish novelist and playwright. A prominent figure in the literary world of Weimar Germany, he influenced contemporaries including playwright Bertolt Brecht. ...more

39
Ludwig Fulda is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Ludwig Fulda Dec. at 77 (1862-1939) Ludwig Anton Salomon Fulda was a German playwright and a poet with a strong social commitment. He lived with Moritz Moszkowski's first wife Henriette, née Chaminade, younger sister of ...more

40
Ludwig Ganghofer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Ludwig Ganghofer Dec. at 65 (1855-1920) Ludwig Ganghofer was a German writer who became famous for his homeland novels.

41
Marieluise Fleißer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Marieluise Fleißer Dec. at 73 (1901-1974) Marieluise Fleißer was a German author and playwright. Her best-known works are two plays, Purgatory in Ingolstadt and Pioneers in Ingolstadt. Bertolt Brecht persuaded the director Moriz ...more

42
Martin Sperr is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 58 (1944-2002) Martin Sperr was a German dramatist and actor. He was born in Steinberg near Marklkofen and died in Landshut.

43
Nelly Sachs is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 79 (1891-1970) Nelly Sachs was a Jewish German poet and playwright whose experiences resulting from the rise of the Nazis in World War II Europe transformed her into a poignant spokeswoman for the grief and ...more

44
Otto Devrient is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Otto Devrient Dec. at 56 (1838-1894) Otto Devrient was a German actor and playwright. Devrient was the son of Philipp Eduard Devrient. He first went on stage in 1856, training in Stuttgart, Berlin and Leipzig. In 1863, he entered ...more

45
Paul Kornfeld is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Paul Kornfeld Dec. at 53 (1889-1942) Paul Kornfeld was a Czech-born German-language Jewish writer whose expressionist plays and scholarly treatises on the theory of drama earned him a specialized niche in influencing contemporary ...more

46
Paul Maar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
age 80 Paul Maar is one of the most important modern German writers for children and young people. He is a novelist, playwright, translator and illustrator.

47
Philipp Eduard Devrient is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Dec. at 76 (1801-1877) Eduard Devrient was a German baritone, librettist, playwright, actor, theatre director, and theatre reformer and historian. Devrient came from a theatrical family. His uncle was Ludwig Devrient ...more

48
Philipp Nicodemus Frischlin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Philipp Nicodemus Frischlin Dec. at 43 (1547-1590) Philipp Nicodemus Frischlin, German philologist, poet, playwright, mathematician, and astronomer, born at Erzingen, today part of Balingen in Württemberg, where his father was parish

49
Rolf Hochhuth is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
Rolf Hochhuth age 87 Rolf Hochhuth is a writer.

50
Saul Rubinek is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Playwrights from Germany
age 69 Saul Rubinek is a Canadian actor, director, producer and playwright, known for his work in TV, film, and stage. His first roles were in the TV films The Suicide Murders and Murder Sees the ...more