Evelina “Eva” Palmer-Sikelianos (1874 – 1952) was an American woman notable for her study and promotion of Classical Greek culture, weaving, theater, choral dance and music. Palmer’s life and artistic endeavors intersected with numerous noteworthy artists throughout her life.
She was both inspired by or inspired the likes of dancers Isadora Duncan and Ted Shawn, the French literary great Colette, the poet and author Natalie Barney and the actress Sarah Bernhardt.
She would go on to marry Angelos Sikelianos, a Greek poet and playwright. Together they organized a revival of the Delphic Festival in Delphi, Greece. Embodied in these festivals of art, music and theater she hoped to promote a balanced sense of enlightenment that would further the goals of peace and harmony in Greece and beyond.
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.