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May, 2006 - Nr. 5


The Editor
Paul Bernhard Berghorn
Austria - 3 Mal 3
48 Years Club Hansa
Stuttgart - Best Loved
BMW Student Awards
Inventor of the Year
Water Report Flawed
Merkel on Aerospace
Moratorium on Deportations
KW & Beyond
Herwig Wandschneider
In Memoriam Concert
Meet the Europeans
Der April Vortrag
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Not German?
Off to the World Cup
Stratford Summer Music
Living Arts Centre
Evening with Chopra
Events at Harbourfront
ALOUD & Milk Festival
Rebuild to Former Glory
Berlin Academy of the Arts
A Bitter Heritage

Theaterakademie Vorpommern
at U of Waterloo

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

As part of an International Exchange Programme (sponsored by the Consulate General of Germany, the Dean of Arts, the Federation of Students and the Office of Business Operations), graduating students from the Theaterakademie Vorpommern recently presented "Carlo Herren" first at U of Toronto, then at U of Waterloo, in a total of 4 German-language performances.

In return, young actors from University College (U of T) and from the University of Waterloo drama departments will tour north-east Germany and respectively present Bouchard’s drama "The Orphan Muses" and Wertenbaker’s drama of "Our Country’s Good" at Theater Magdeburg and the Vorpommersche Landesbühne Anklam.

Diener zweier Herren   [photo: Herwig Wandschneider]

Such drama-student exchange is bound to be exciting and interesting for the students and their respective drama staff. But it has to be somewhat disappointing, when – as in Waterloo Saturday evening – only some 60 people were in the audience to experience the performance of nearly 10 actors plus support crew. A problem of advertising? Apparently not, since it was announced in all the relevant media, on posters and in e-mails, particularly of course to the German community. The price? A mere $12, only $10 for students and seniors.

The response to Saturday evening’s performance ranged from laughter by the younger people to disappointment by the mature people in the audience. The latter seemed to be stunned by this modern interpretation of a classic comedy, the fast and loud language, which for a good part was difficult to understand, and the use of inappropriate gestures and motions. In the process, many of the funny sequences did not come across as funny – at least not for most of the mature section of the audience.

Whatever the purpose of the presentation – for example, to satisfy, to capture the interest and involvement of the audience, to stimulate the intellect and discussion, or to just amuse - was not achieved for the most part. The purpose of sponsoring such a student exchange is what? Who selects the play? And for which audience? Is it intended to represent the theatrical style of modern-day Germany? And in return, Canada? Or is it to encourage and award the learning process of the most talented actors? Whichever the purpose, it would be more rewarding for actors and audience alike to fill the house and to send them home satisfied that they came.


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