German Theatre at the University of Aberdeen

Every year, the German Drama Group at the University of Aberdeen works with one of our GETs to bring a German play to the stage. Recent performances included Dürrenmatt, Borchert and Horvárt. Please see below for recent productions.


WOHNEN. UNTER GLAS - nach Ewald Palmetshofer, March 2021

Performances
24/25/26 March 2021 via Live Stream

The audience is shown a digital artwork of an intersection. It’s a metaphor for the possibilities of life. A man’s voice off camera describes the pressure he faces due to societal expectations. Individuals were expected to have a vision, a perspective, the voice explains. Amidst a “panorama of vision perspectives”, the voice concludes, “you invent some perspective vision shit” yourself. The adaption of Ewald Palmesthofer’s play Wohnen. Unter Glas, premiered 2008 at Schauspielhaus Vienna, addresses life’s invisible obstacles which prevent progress. From 24th to 26th March, the play is performed in German by the German Department’s drama group at the University of Aberdeen.

Under the direction of Lea Steinebrey the play tells the story of three former flatmates Jeani, Babsi and Max, (played by Alicja Grzelak, Lucy Stenhouse and Harrison Stuart) who meet again in their thirties. During their stay at a hotel they realize that they’ve changed and that their lives have taken different courses. While searching for similarities in their lives, they are confronted with personal failure and their lack of achievements. Animations by Dawn Liu frequently interrupt the main plot with the existential trains of thought the protagonists are experiencing. Narrated by Malwina Powala and Rossella Miccoli, the performance was recorded in advance and is presented to its audience digitally via YouTube.

The dialogue and syntax are mostly confusing. Sentences are unfinished, key words constantly repeated. Therefore, communication is distorted, and it often appears as if the characters are speaking in monologues rather than dialogues. However, “words are not the only medium”, states Rossella Miccoli. The atmosphere of ‘being lost’ is transported through isolation, too. The actors communicate with each other via zoom, which highlights that we are all “interacting through glass” at present and therefore, come across barriers. It’s just one of the glassy obstacles which affect communication within the play, and it creates a palpable atmosphere of helplessness and standstill. Swearwords put emphasis on what it means to be lost in a world fuelled by self-optimization. It is not a “classic theatre play”, highlights Malwina Powala. The play blends as much into life in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, as it reflects society’s capitalist ethos. It combines our present situation of stagnancy and routine with the overwhelming pressure to perform and to improve.

As a GET student, Lea Steinebrey holds on to an old tradition of theatre productions between GET students and students of the University of Aberdeen. According to the team, they had to step out of their comfort zone and “to adopt to what’s available” under currently complicated circumstances. “The group has never met in person and we were sitting in three different time zones”, explains Steinebrey. Nonetheless, they managed to get to know each other online. “I think the fascination for language was our biggest common interest”, she continues. During preparation time, the members of the group intensively talked about their native tongues and discussed “quirks of the German, English, Finnish and Polish language”. The audience was impressed by the performance and especially emphasized that the adaption captured a collective mood. 

 


Frühlings Erwachen - Spring Awakening, March 2019

Performances
12th and 13th March, 2019, 7 p.m. at the Arts Lecture Theatre

Frank Wedekind was a modern-period Swiss-German writer, dramatist and actor. His works act as social critiques dealing with subjects such as morality, sexuality and mental health. Amongst his most famous plays are Spring Awakening and Lulu. Frühlings Erwachen - Eine Kindertragödie was published in 1891, but due to its controversial themes only first performed in 1906. Dealing with themes of coming of age, academic pressure, and societal repression, the teenaged protagonists struggle with growing up in a world they don't understand. As the adults refuse to give them the tools they need to make good decisions, ignorance leads to tragedy.

Many thanks to our GET Calvin Hüttner for helping to make this production possible!

This year's production was kindly sponsored by GET across borders, the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, the University of Aberdeen, the DAAD, the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Consulate General of Germany in Edinburgh.

Thanks to everyone for this successful performance!


Hoppla, wir leben! - Nach Ernst Toller, March 2018

Performances
7th and 9th March 2019, 7 p.m. at the Arts Lecture Theatre

Ernst Toller was a German dramatist who contributed largely to the Weimarer Expressionism. Shortly after the First World War, he became known as an expressionist writer.

Many thanks to our GET Angelika Sumyk for helping to make this production possible!

This year's production was kindly sponsored by GET across borders, the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, the University of Aberdeen, the DAAD, the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Consulate General of Germany in Edinburgh.

Thanks to everyone for this successful performance!


Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder - nach Berthold Brecht, March 2017

Performances
2nd and 3rd March 2017, 7 p.m. at the Arts Lecture Theatre

Many thanks to our GET Theresa Schmitt for helping to make this production possible!

This year's production was kindly sponsored by GET across borders, the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, the University of Aberdeen, the DAAD, and the Consulate General of Germany in Edinburgh.

Thanks to everyone for this successful performance!