Neuber, Friederike Caroline

BORN 9 Mar 1697, Reichenbach (Vogtland) - DIED 30 Nov 1760, Dresden, Sachsen: Laubegast
BIRTH NAME Weissenborn, Friederike Caroline
GRAVE LOCATION Dresden, Sachsen: Friedhof Leuben, Pirnaer Landstra▀e 13, Leuben

Known as "Die Neuberin". She played an important part in the modernisation of the German theatre and helped to improve the social and artistic status of the actors.

She was born Friederike Caroline Weissenborn. Her father was a legal court inspector. Her mother learned her French, but her father was tyrannical and probably beat her. In 1702 the family moved to Zwickau. Her mother died in 1705 and she lived with her father until in 1717 she she eloped with Johann Neuber (1697-1759), a clerk who had worked for her father. They married in 1718 in Braunschweig and they joined travelling companies of actors led by Christian Spielberg and Karl Caspar Haack. They formed their own company in 1727 and were allowed to perform at the Leipzig Easter Fair. They played in at least nineteen cities over the years.

In 1725 her style of acting was noticed by the critic Johann Christoph Gottsched and she cooperated with Gottsched and his poet wife Luise, to improve the quality of the German theatre. Gottsched was the one who came up with "The Neuberin". They cooperated until 1739.

After the young Gotthold Ephraim Lessing met Caroline he became interested in the theatre and in 1748 she produced his first play "Der junge Gelehrte" ("The Young Scholar"). Financial difficulties forced her to give up her company in 1750. In 1753 she appeared in Vienna but without success. She lived in Dresden in poverty. During the Seven Years War she was forced to move to the nearby Laubegast and there she died in 1760. She was buried without a ceremony at the Leuben Cemetery but in 1776 a grave monument was erected for her. After her death, Goethe based Madame Retti in his "Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre" (1795/1796) on her.

Related persons
• was written about by Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• cooperated with Lessing, Gotthold Ephra´m


The grave of Caroline Neuber at the Friedhof Leuben, Dresden.
Picture by Androom (07 Aug 2016)


Memorial for Caroline Neuber in Zwickau.
Picture by Androom (04 Aug 2016)


Friederike Caroline Neuber - Wikipedia

Neugebauer, Alfred

Published: 17 Sep 2016
Last update: 20 Apr 2022