New Takes on Classic Plays

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
New takes on classic plays

In "Introduction to Literary Studies" (German 311), students have hands-on fun with German poems, stories, and plays. For their final project (winter quarter, 2017), students planned their own innovative productions of classic German plays. We were treated to reports from the director, dramaturg, set and costume designers, and a sample scene from the proposed production. Two groups decided to put on Lessing's Emilia Galotti, a timely 18th-century tragedy about the abuse of power over women's bodies. One team made the drama into an escapist fantasy in the style of Game of Thrones; another turned it into an awkward social comedy in the style of The Office. Two groups presented their production ideas for Georg Büchner's Woyzeck, a 19th-century drama, far ahead of its time, that depicts the dehumanizing effects of the military, science, and social stratification. One team made the play into a conspiracy-theory comic action thriller; the other team made it into a social satire on the current political and social divides in the USA.

All the students made these canonical works of German theater fun and relevant to today's audiences. Bravo!

You can catch a glimpse of their work in this randomly generated montage of their presentations: