Hans Sondheimer


DOB: 12/6/1901 Location: Gelhausen, Germany
DOD: 9/1/1984           Location: New York, New York 


  • Institute of Technology, Munich, Germany; Diploma Ingenieur in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1925)
  • Assistant to Professor Adolf Linnebach, Bavarian State Theatre, Munich, Germany, (1924-1926)

Employment history:

  • Technical Assistant, Die Konigs Kinder, State Theatre, Munich, Germany (1925)
  • Construction Supervisor, Hamburg Opera House, Germany (1925-1927)
  • Technical Director, State Theatre Darmstadt, Germany (1927-1929)
  • Technical Director; Berliner, German Art Renaissance, Lessing and Schiller Theatres, (1929-1933)
  • Technical Director, Berliner Theatre in Kommandantern St, Berlin (1933-1939)
  • Editor’s note: Mr. Sondheimer emigrated to USA in 1939 and became a naturalized citizen in 1944.
  • Instructor and Technical Director, Erwin Piscator’s Dramatic Workshop of the New School, NYC (1939-1957) Editor’s note: Mr. Sondheimer also taught classes in stagecraft, design and production.
  • Technical Director, St Joan, Civic Theatre, Washington DC (1940)
  • Technical Director, North Shore Playhouse, Marblehead, Mass (Summer 1940)
  • Projection Consultant, Second Sound Show at Stevens Institute, Hoboken, NJ (1941)
  • Technical Director, Children’s Christmas Story, New York City Center (1943)
  • Technical Director, St Matthew Passion, Metropolitan Opera, NYC (1943)
  • Lighting Director, Innocent Voyage, Theatre Guild, Belasco Theatre, NYC (1943)
  • Lighting Consultant, South Pacific, Cort Theatre, NYC (1943)
  • Lighting Director, Jacobowsky and the Colonel, Martin Beck Theatre, NYC (1944)
  • Technical Advisor, Lighting Designer, Stage Manager Technical Director, and Production Coordinator: New York City Opera Company (1944-1980)
  • Technical Director, American Opera Company, Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA, (1945-1951)
  • Designer, Construction Supervisor, and Technical Director, Lennox Theatre, Mass (Summer 1946)
  • Theatrical Consultant, White Barn Theatre, Westport, Connecticut (1949)
  • Production Stage Manager, Peer Gynt, ANTA, New York City (1951)
  • Production Manager, Die Fledermaus tour, New York City Opera (1951)
  • Technical Director, La Boheme and The Marriage of Figaro, Central City Opera Company, Colorado (Summer 1951)
  • Technical Director and Production Manager, Industrial shows, Music Corporation of America, New York City (1952-1966)
  • Production Designer and Lighting Director, The Abduction of Seraglio, Katonah, New York (1953)
  • Consultant, New York City Opera Company, 1980 – 1984
  • Theatre Consultant on new performing spaces in the U.S.  Projects of interest include: John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington DC; Music Hall, Cincinnati; New York State Theatre at Lincoln Center; Opera House, Sydney, Australia; Wolf Trap Farm Park, Vienna, Virginia
  • Technical Advisor to European companies touring in the U.S. Companies include: Hamburg Schauspielhaus; Hamburg State Opera; Munich Residenz Theater; Stuttgart Ballet; Vienna Burgtheater
  • Lecturer on theatrical technique at City College of New York, the New York Public Library, and Cooper Union in New York City.

USITT Involvement and Offices Held:

  • Founding member and signer of Certificate of Incorporation, 1960
  • Board of Directors
  • First Chairman, Engineering Committee (1960-1964)
  • Founding member, U.S. Center of the International Organization of Scenographers and Theatre Technicians (1967)
  • Frequent U.S. delegate to international meetings of the OISTAT

Awards and Honors:

  • Elected USITT Fellow (1977)
  • Joel E. Rubin Founders Award (1978)
  • Gold and Honorary Pin of the German Organization of Technical Directors (Deutsche Technische Gesselshaft) (1979)
  • Decorated Officers Cross, Order of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany, 1967