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Goethe's Stella Re-imagined by German 304 Students

Submitted by Andrew M Bedell on June 18, 2012 - 10:58am
Poster for German 304 Performance of Stella

What does it look like when classic German meets the modern American stage? During the spring quarter, German 304 attempted to answer this question, as an overarching theme, by recontextualizing the work of a classic German playwright in modern theater. The primary goal of the course, taught by graduate students Jan Hengge and Michele Fernandez-Cruz, was to allow students to improve their language skills, presenting them with a unique opportunity to perform a German play in front of an audience. During the final week of spring quarter, the class staged contemporary performances of Goethe’s Stella on May 31st and June 1st, playing to full houses on both nights. Unlike other traditional takes on Goethe’s work, the play was restaged in a present-day setting and incorporated a surprise ending. Students were specifically encouraged to identify with elements of Stella that are relevant to their own lives and think about the ways in which these might be portrayed today.