German puppeteer. Harro Siegel founded his marionette theatre in 1928, designing his repertoire according to the trends of the young German musical movement of the time. He accompanied German and English singing and dancing groups on their tours to Britain and Denmark. An important aspect of Harro Siegel’s work was the fact that he engaged in projects that assured him artistic activities while avoiding financial risk. We can thus understand why he allowed himself to start in 1938 as artistic director of the Reichsinstitut für Puppenspiel (Institute of the Third Reich for Puppetry) in Berlin. He later regretted this decision, while embellishing his artistic productions and minimizing his position within the Nazi bureaucracy.
After World War II, Harro Siegel directed the Werkkunstschule in Braunschweig (Technical College of Art in Brunswick) where he produced string puppet shows with the participation of students such as Michael Meschke. He also founded the festival Woche europäischen Puppenspiels (Week of European Puppetry), the first of which was devoted in 1957 to the latest developments in puppetry arts in Western and Eastern Europe. This led subsequently to the creation of an international week of puppet theatre in the city of Braunschweig that lasted more than four decades.
Harro Siegel is the author of a book on his work, Harro Siegels Marionetten (Harro Siegel’s String Puppets/Marionettes, 1982).
- Siegel, Harro, and Heinrich Mersmann. Harro Siegels Marionetten. Frankfurt am Main, Propyläen Verlag, 1982.