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Vivica Bandler-von Frenckell
(5 February 1917 - 30 July 2004) Finland

Vivica Bandler

Theatre director


Born in Helsinki in the year Finland gained its independence, Bandler worked as a movie director's assistant in France in the 1930s and planned a director' career for herself, but her gender and finally the war prevented this.

Vivica von Franckell was married in the early 1940s to Kurt Bandler, a Jew from Vienna who was a volunteer in the Finnish Winter War. Their childless marriage lasted for two decades.

She studied at the University of Helsinki and graduated in 1943. Working in her farm, the Saari manor, was in accordance with her studies but theatre, which had replaced film-work, became her occupation.

Bandler's prominent career started in 1955 when she purchased Lilla Teatern (Little Theatre) and made it one one of the most important avant-garde theatres in the Nordic countries.

In Bander's life, her homosexuality was never a dominating factor, despite being a generally known fact. Her way f avoiding homosexuality in her work may reflect a desire to preserve her privacy.


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001

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