German puppeteer, set designer and director. Given the poor economic situation, Carl Schröder left his career in the technical field in 1925 to become a vocational teacher. Inspired by the performances of Max Jacob, Werner Perrey and Carl Iwowski, he became himself, in the late 1920s, a professional puppeteer. He performed together with his wife Henriette (“Henny”) née Quoadt (1900-1982). At first, he adopted the style of Max Jacob’s Hohnstein puppet theatre, but later was drawn to Oswald Hempel. Schröder himself wrote the scripts for his productions of fairy tale-like Kasper plays for children and comedies for adults.
During the war, he played all over Europe for the German troupes. After being injured and having suffered censorship, from 1946 Schröder travelled with his wife from village to village. It was in the 1950s that their theatre met the most success. With the staging of Der Bauer als Millionär (The Peasant as Millionaire) for adults and Pinocchio for children, he made an international breakthrough. In 1961, the couple had to stop performing for health reasons.
From 1961 to 1964, Schröder was producer of glove puppet films for the DEFA cartoon studio and then, from 1965 to 1969, he was director of the newly founded Staatliches Puppentheater Berlin (State Puppet Theatre of Berlin). In 1972, he began a new career as an independent director, author and creator of puppets for numerous productions at the state puppet theatres in the GDR. During that time he returned to his proven successes, such as Pinocchio and Dr. Faust.
Carl Schröder served for many years as head of UNIMA-GDR and received many awards.
- Carl Schröder. Puppenspieler, Gestalter, Regisseur [Carl Schröder. Puppeteer, Designer, Director]. Meißen: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 1981.