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Martin Julius Esslin

Martin Julius Esslin, Hungarian author, critic, director, drama educator. Decorated Order British Empire. Member of Garrick (London).


  • Esslin, Martin Julius was born on June 8, 1918 in Budapest, Hungary. Son of Paul and Charlotte (Schiffer) Pereszlenyi.

  • Education

    • Diploma, Reinhardt Seminar of Dramatic Art, Vienna, 1938. D. Little (honorary), Kenyon College, 1978.


    • Scriptwriter, director British Broadcasting Corporation, London, 1940-1955, assistant head European productions department, 1955-1960, assistant head radio drama, 1960-1963, head drama, radio, 1963-1977. Professor drama Stanford University, California, since 1977. Literature advisory Royal Shakespeare Company, London, 1963-1972.

      Chairman drama panel, Arts Council Great Britain, 1976. Dramaturg Magic Theatre, San Francisco, 1977.


    • BRECHT:A CHOICE OF EVILS (Modern Theatre Profiles)
    • "A brilliantly perceptive study of the most ambiguous and perpetually fascinating figure of the twentieth century European theatre" (Kenneth Tynan) Brecht's influence on the theatre may well be as powerful as Kafka's influence on the novel and this study of Brecht's life and work was unanimously well received when first published just after the writer's death in 1959.
    • The Theatre of the Absurd (Bloomsbury Revelations)
    • The 'Theatre of the Absurd' has become a familiar term to describe a group of radical European playwrights - writers such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet and Harold Pinter - whose dark, funny and humane dramas wrestled profoundly with the meaningless absurdity of the human condition.
    • The Theatre of the Absurd
    • In 1953, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot premiered at a tiny avant-garde theatre in Paris; within five years, it had been translated into more than twenty languages and seen by more than a million spectators.


    Member of Garrick (London).


    • Married Renate Gerstenberg, September 13, 1947. 1 daughter, Monica.
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    Born June 8, 1918
    • 1938
      Reinhardt Seminar of Dramatic Art
    • 1978
      Kenyon College
    • 1940 - 1955
      Scriptwriter, British Broadcasting Corporation
      London, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    • 1940 - 1955
      director, British Broadcasting Corporation
      London, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    • 1977
      professor, drama Stanford University
      California, United States