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March 200
3 - Nr. 3


The Editor
Vorsicht Satire!
Elizabeth Kuehn
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Ball Austria 2003
Echo-Lines 2
Herwig Wandschneider
Those Crazy Germans
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
SOS Villages
German-Russian Arts
Mozart im Sudan
Old Masters Collection
Berlin's New Landmark
New Luther Exhibition
Steinway Anniversary
Praise for BMW
Poet Klopstock Celebration
Einen Guten Klang
Lack of Education
Computer As Boss
Int'l Book Club
Humbolt's Mexican Trip

2 Night Stand - Those Crazy Germans

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

That was the title of the 3rd production of plays put together under the auspices of the "German Studies Section of the School of Languages and Literatures" at the University of Guelph and presented February 7th and 8th. Specifically with the support and encouragement from Dr. Ruediger Mueller, who explained that while he is at the root of the idea to present scenes from a variety of German–speaking playwrights in Guelph, the development of this concept originated at Queens.

2 Night Stand -Those Crazy Germans



It is natural to conclude that the theatre presentation is a part of the curriculum of the German Section. "Not so," explains Dr. Mueller. "The production is the result of interested, talented, and dedicated students from all disciplines of the University. Some are of German heritage, some are not. All are participating as an extra-curricular activity".

Striking was the significant number of participants – over 30 students and faculty members. Impressive the dedication to this extra-curricular activity of students and professors alike. It reinforces the perception that today’s youth - and their faculties - wants as never before an outlet for their creativity and imagination, they want satisfying activities whether it is in theatre, dance, sports, literature or nature.

For the 2 - Night Stand several teams produced scenes, one each from 6 plays, and each directed by two directors.

  • Der gestiefelte Kater (Puss ‘n Boots) (Ludwig Tieck, 1773–1853)

  • Amphitryon (Heinrich von Kleist, 1777-1811)

  • Andorra (Max Frisch, 1911-1991)

  • Woyzeck (Georg Büchner, 1813–1837)

  • Anatol (Arthur Schnitzler, 1862–1931) and

  • Der gute Mensch von Sezuan (The Good Person of Szechuan) (Bertold Brecht 1898–1956)

The production was well attended, well over 100 - presumably sitting as uneasily as I, on those uncomfortable chairs at Massey Theatre at the University of Guelph, which was otherwise well enough equipped to handle stage performances. But the discomfort was soon forgotten as the students and staff acted out the scenes, 3 before, 3 after intermission, 5 in English, one in German (Woyzeck).

The concept is uniquely geared to provide a wide base for interest and learning, for presenters and audience alike. Each gave a taste of the plays, the playwrights and the story overview. But you could not help but leave with that nagging feeling of incompleteness and an urge to see - or read – each of the presented plays in their entirety.

The quality of the acting was variable, clearly some actors / actresses were significantly more talented than others. Most scenes were well played-out, both in the quality of acting and the presentation / context of the plays. Outstanding, I thought, was Andorra, not only in acting, but in its ability to pull a significant part of Frisch’s play together with well-rounded clarity in an otherwise complex play.

The reason for doing 5 of the 6 scenes in English, in the words of Dr. Mueller, lies in the fact that …"the German speaking population in the Guelph area is not sufficient to attract a large enough audience". For me, as a member of the audience, there is one other important reason. More often than not, German is too difficult to come across clear enough to the audience in an electronically unassisted environment, for the audience to fully comprehend theatre plays one does perhaps not know.

All in all a wonderful evening, all the more, because of the joy the teams had with producing and acting was so clearly in evidence.


Swingin’ Valentines Dance
at the Concordia Club

It all came together. The swing-dance lessons, the "Swingin’ Concorde Jazz and Dance Band", CKWR 98.5’s MC Ken Silvester, the Swing Riot Dance Group and an enthusiastic dancing crowd of over 250. The dance was sponsored by CKWR 98.5, the K-W Community Radio Station, and Steamwhistle Brewery in Toronto and was held at Kitchener’s Concordia Club.

The Early Bird Draw (Limousine service to and from the Club) was won by a neighbour to the Club, Mr Emil Weyer. He graciously accepted an alternate prize – Dinner for 2 at the Cross Roads in Elmira. The Band played New York New York for Emil and his wife only – they danced, then drew Mr. Dan Sich as a replacement winner. Emil and his wife have been to every one of the Swingin’ Valentine’s dances and it is just the sort of story that makes you feel warm all around. They will be there again next year.

Many other winners – VIP tour for 10 of the Brewery in the Roundhouse at the CN Tower, door prizes, including 2 – 1 hour massages by a professional therapist, more dinners, theatre tickets and spot-dance prizes of whistles, T-shirts and bottle-openers. And dance they did. Some non-stop all night. What a night it was!


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