Born in 1926 in Chemnitz, Germany, Shri Fritz Bennewitz was educated at the University of Leipzig and later attended the Theatre-Institut, Weimar. He was Chief Director, Das Meininger Theatre, from 1954 to 1960 and since then has been Resident Director of the Deutsches National Theatre, Weimar.
Shri Fritz Bennewitz has been involved with Indian theatre since 1970, when he directed Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera for the National School of Drama, Delhi. In 1973 he collaborated in the production of C.T. Khanolkar’s Ajab Nyaya Vartulacha — the Marathi version of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle — with Shrimati Vijaya Mehta In Bombay. In the last two decades he has chiefly directed Brecht and Shakespeare in India for various theatre groups including the National School of Drama Repertory Company, Rang- mandal, and Ninasam. Among his notable productions are Chopra Kamaal Naukar Jamaal (National School of Drama, 1979), Insaaf Ka Ghera (Rangmandal, 1983), and Habbada Hanneradeneya Raatri (Ninasam, 1991). Apart from making Brecht a living presence in Indian theatre, Shri Fritz Bennewitz has played a role in promoting Indian drama in Europe. It was at his instance that Shrimati Vijaya Mehta directed Mudrarakshasa (1976) at Weimar with a German cast, followed by Shakuntala (1980) and Hayavadana (1984).
Shri Fritz Bennewitz receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to theatre in India.