Vintage Photos Featuring Dancer Maria Ley-Piscator (1920s)

Maria Ley-Piscator (b. Friederike Czada 1898 – 1999) was born in Vienna and was educated as a solo dancer. She found international succes in the 1920s.

She is best known as the wife of Erwin Piscator – Germany’s famous left-wing theater director.

In the 1930s she studied literature at the Sorbonne, where she met Erwin Piscator during his exile in 1936. By then she had been married twice. Her first husband Robert Bauer had disappeared without a trace and her second husband, AEG heir Frank Deutsch,  had committed suicide in Paris after Hitler came to power.

After marrying in Paris, the couple moved to Manhattan in 1939, where they founded the Dramatic Workshop at the New School for Social Research. Their students included Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando and Tony Randall. Ley-Piscator directed several theatrical productions off Broadway.

During the 1970s she worked as a teacher at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale and at Stony Brook University. Ley-Piscator died in New York in 1999 at the age of 101.

Maria Ley 1922 via


Maria Ley 1924 by Madam d´Ora via

Maria Ley c.1926 via


Maria Ley at Roger Wolfe Kahn’s Club by Madam d’Ora via