Farewell Ursula Strätz

Ursula_1.serendipityThumbAction-Theater founder dies aged 70

Ursula Strätz was born in Schweinfurt on September 28, 1940. In March 1967 she and Horst Söhnlein founded the Action-Theater in Munich. It was there, some six months later, that the author, actor and director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who was then at the very beginning of his career, saw a production based on Sophocles’ “Antigone” and met its director Peer Raben. Fassbinder was subsequently invited by Ursula Strätz and Peer Raben to join the Action-Theater as a director and actor, and while working with the ensemble Fassbinder also met other later collaborators, including Kurt Raab. Fassbinder’s own play KATZELMACHER was premiered by the Action-Theater in April 1968, and when in the summer of that year the Action-Theater became the antiteater, Fassbinder had already established himself as the de facto leader of the theater group founded by Ursula Strätz.

The actress and later painter Ursula Strätz worked on five Fassbinder films, including LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH (1969) and EFFI BRIEST (1974). She also appeared in Peer Raben’s film ADELE SPITZEDER (1972) and worked with other directors associated with the New German Film movement such as Reinhard Hauff, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Werner Schroeter and Josef Rödl. On September 15, two weeks before her seventy-first birthday, Ursula Strätz died in Burglengenfeld, Bavaria.

Photo: Ursula Strätz, Munich 1969 © RWFF