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MAURICE, CHARLES:

Theatrical director; born at Agen, France, May 29, 1805; died in Hamburg Jan. 27, 1896. Maurice, who was of French descent, was educated in his native city, and until his twenty-second year, when he accompanied his father to Hamburg, was totally ignorant of the German language. Although unfamiliar with theatrical matters, Maurice assumed charge of a minor playhouse in Hamburg in 1831 and proved so successful that, when the great fire of 1842 destroyed the structure, aid came to him from all quarters, and he was enabled to replace it with the present Thalia-theater. In 1847 he assumed the management of the Stadttheater also, relinquishing it, however, in 1854. From that time on Maurice's energies were devoted to the Thaliatheater, which obtained world-wide fame under his direction. In 1885 he retired from active participation in its affairs, but in 1893 he was forced, by the death of his son and successor Gustav, to resume the management. Maurice celebrated in 1881 the fiftieth anniversary of his entry upon the theatrical field, and was the recipient of a series of remarkable felicitations.

Maurice was not merely a clever manager from the commercial point of view, but also it student of human nature remarkable for his discernment of histrionic talent. It was Maurice who developed the immature talent of Bogumil Dawison and of Friederike Gossman, and encouraged Emil Thomas, Marie Barkany, Franz Wallner, and others, when their fame was still embryonic.

Bibliography:
  • Kohut, Berühmie Israelitische Männer und Frauen, pp. 245-249.
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