German puppeteer and puppet theatre manager. Fritz Leese began his career as a puppeteer in 1928. In his productions of the 1950s he used puppets built by a number of specialists, including Fritz Herbert Bross and Hansjürgen Fettig. In his theatre, the Soldiner Puppenbühne (Soldin Puppet Stage), he produced many shows, often varying the sets: Kasper stories and tales but also shows for adults. He seemed to be relatively innovative, especially in the choice of repertoire. He was thus one of the first in Germany to stage Bällchen, Schnellchen (1963), by the Czech director and playwright, Jan Malík, with marottes.
Co-founder in 1968 of the Verband Deutscher Puppentheater e.V. (VDP) (Association of German Puppet Theatre), Fritz Leese led this professional organization until 1977. He worked to unite, support and promote professional puppetry artists in West Germany. He also participated extensively in the creation of the archives of this federation. Furthermore, he contributed to the re-organization of UNIMA in Prague in 1957, and from 1981 he was editor of the quarterly Newsletter of UNIMA, Lettre de l’Unima, until its replacement with the magazine Das andere Theater (The Other Theatre).
- Leese, Fritz. Kann man davon leben… ? Ein Puppenspieler erzählt [Can One Live… ? A Puppeteer Tells]. Frankfurt: Puppen und Masken, 1986.