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GERMAN 304 A: Contemporary German Play

Deutschsein für Fortgeschrittene: Grenzenlos und Unverschämt

Meeting Time: 
MWF
Location: 
CDH
SLN: 
14755
Instructor:
Portrait Kristina Pilz
Kristina Pilz

Syllabus Description:

 

German 304 – Spring 2016

Contemporary German Play

Deutschsein für Fortgeschrittene: Grenzenlos und Unverschämt

M 1:30-2:20pm (CDH 820), T 1:30 – 3:20pm (CDH 429), W 4:30 – 6:20pm (CDH 429)

 

Instructor: Kristina Pilz; pilzk@uw.edu

Assistant Instructor: Olivia Albiero: albieroo@uw.edu                                                           

Office hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00-11:00 am & by appointment (CDH 803)

 

Course Description

grenzenlos und unverschämt – ein gedicht gegen die deutsche sch-einheit 

ich werde trotzdem
afrikanisch
sein
auch wenn ihr
mich gerne
deutsch
haben wollt
und werde trotzdem
deutsch sein
auch wenn euch
meine schwärze
nicht paßt

(May Ayim, 1990; erschienen in „Grenzenlos und unverschämt“ – Orlanda Verlag, 1997. S. 92.)

 

Being boundless and bold are two of May Ayim’s favorite qualities, especially when it comes to giving the Afro-German experience a voice. The focus of her work was to declare that it is not a contradiction to be African and German at the same time. Together with diasporic intellectual Audre Lorde from Harlem, Ayim introduced and coined the term Afro-German in the late 1980’s. Her work allowed for an account of hyphenated identities that no longer had to live in an in-between world of isolation within small communities. It is in these communities where their heritage was seen as a deviation from the perceived (white) German norm. The experience of ‘Anders- Deutsch-Sein’ unites texts by Afro-German authors and artists (May Ayim, Samy Deluxe, Phillip Khabo Köpsell), as well as texts by other hyphenated Germans with Turkish (Feridun Zaimoglu), Japanese (Yoko Tawada), or Syrian (Rafik Schami) roots. All of these writers tell stories of peculiar, strange and sometimes unsettling encounters with the so-called ‘German-Germans’. Our task will be to rethink these texts and stage them as one play.

 

A review of Brecht’s theater theory, the concept of Interkulturelle Literatur, as well as issues of German migration, Afro-German experiences and the development of German hip hop will help explore and situate our texts in the first half of the quarter. In improvisations we will consider potential characters and imagine them in scenarios on stage. All acting exercises will be conducted in German. The primary goal of this course is to enhance your confidence in speaking German; through discussions, improvisations, rehearsals, text memorization, and participating in our final performance.

 

Everybody in this class will be involved in all stages and aspects of the production, including editing and adapting the play for performance. You will also be responsible for selecting costumes and props, designing the set, creating surtitles and documenting the rehearsal and the final performance on a webpage.

 

In the first two weeks we will read and analyze our selection of texts as well as a few theoretical texts. We will examine a documentary and various music videos in order to gain some insight into staging options. Our texts will furthermore serve as a basis for learning new vocabulary, while short written assignments throughout the quarter will help you to explore characters and scenes in more depth. During week three and four, we will work on a script, edit and shorten the texts, to finally settle on our own adaptation. We will have local hip hop artist Ayo Dot (Ayo Dot & The Uppercuts) join us to have a conversation about his art form. The rest of the quarter will be devoted to staging and rehearsing the play.

 

The course will be conducted in German. No acting experience is necessary!

 

Objectives

 

You will be able to:

- understand and interpret German texts that focus on the experience of ‘Anders-Deutch-Sein’

- identify, describe and discuss issues related to German theater theory, Interkulturelle Literatur, German migration, the Afro-German experience and German hip hop

- improve your speaking skills by memorization of text and improvisation exercises

- give critical and creative feedback for your fellow actors and for the staging process itself

- perform on stage

 

Class Assignments, Grading and Requirements

Class time will be spent on rehearsal, character development, and creatively engaging with the text.

Homework will consist of reading the texts, (re)interpreting the texts, memorizing lines, and some short writing assignments.

The writing assignments will be creative ones that engage elements of theater performance such as creating a character bio. There are no extensive reading or writing assignments, since the focus will be on rehearsal and performance.

Regular attendance, memorization of lines, and, if needed, extra rehearsals at the end of quarter (particularly week 8, 9 and 10 in the Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater) are required.

A “midterm” will take place in week 7 in the form of an individual conference with me during which you demonstrate that you have memorized your text and are off books.

The final grade will be based on attendance, writing assignments (3), dedication to learning your role (creative input in character and scene development) and class participation (in German). Participation includes; class discussions, rehearsals, and the final performances. Grading for the final performances will be based upon pronunciation, intonation, and enthusiasm (Not great acting skills, per se. This is primarily a German language course, not a theater course!). The performances will be in lieu of a final exam.

 

Texts

The texts and all additional texts are available in a course reader. Please purchase the reader at Rams Copy Center (4144 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105). Additional links to film and videos are online on Canvas.

 

Schedule (subject to change):

 

Week 1            

 

Setting the Scene

3/28

Mon

Introduction – Syllabus – Kennenlernspiele

3/29

Tue

Read: Modul 1 Episches Theater

In class: Acting games; Theory: Interkulturelle Literatur

4/30

Session 1

Wed

Read: Modul 2 Migration in Deutschland

Research and prepare a short presentation: Zuwanderung nach Deutschland nach 1950/Ausländerbeschäftigung in der DDR

Session 2

 

Read: Modul 3 Kurzgeschichten und Erzählungen; Rafik Schami Das groβe Rafik Schami Buch

 

 

 

Week 2           

 

Understanding and Interpreting

4/4

Mon

Read: F. Zaimoglu, Kanak Sprak

4/5

Tue

Read: F. Zaimoglu, Koppstoff

4/6

Session 1

Wed

Read: Modul 4 Gedichte/Gespräche; Y. Tawada, Abenteuer der deutschen Grammatik; C.-F. Sandjon, landschaftsbilder bln zu rädern; von einer vormals guten…

Session 2

 

Read: P.K. Köpsell, Afro Shop; Die Akte James Knopf

 

 

 

Week 3           

 

Adaptations

4/11

Mon

Read: M. Ayim, Grenzenlos und Unverschämt

Watch: M. Binder, Hoffnung im Herz (1997)

Essay 1 due (“Lieblingsszene/-person”)

4/12

Tue

Read: Modul 5 Musik, Brothers Keepers, Sisters Keepers, Samy Deluxe

Watch: Adriano (2001), Bereit (2005), Liebe und Verstand (2001), Poesie Album (2011), SchwarzWeiss (2011)

4/13

Session 1

Wed

Ein Gespräch über Hip Hop und Anders-Sein: Ayo Dot (Ayo Dot & The Uppercuts)

Session 2

 

Ein Gespräch über Hip Hop und Anders-Sein: Ayo Dot

 

 

 

Week 4           

 

Preparing the Script

4/18

Mon

Auditions - Picking and assigning of roles

Paragraph about film/videos due

4/19

Tue

 

Suggestion for staging (blocking costumes, props, sets) due

Suggestion for cuts due

4/20

Session 1

Wed

1. Leseprobe (Durchlauf)

Start memorizing lines!

Session 2

 

 

 

Rehearsal of scenes (Pre-Planning for Blocking, Sketches)

Memorize lines

Essay 2 due (“Biografie für Deine Rolle”)

 

 

 

Week 5           

 

Getting Serious

4/25

Room tba

Mon

Rehearsal of scenes (Pre-Planning for Blocking, Sketches)

Memorize lines

4/26

Room tba

Tue

Blocking Scenes

Memorize lines

4/27

Session 1

Room tba

Wed

Blocking Scenes

Memorize lines

Session 2

 

 

Blocking Scenes

Memorize lines

 

 

 

Week 6

 

 

Getting Real: Probenbeginn

5/2

Room tba

Mon

Rehearsal – Peer directing

Memorize lines

5/3

Room tba

Tue

Rehearsal – Peer directing

Memorize lines

5/4

Session 1

Wed

Rehearsal

Memorize lines

Session 2

 

 

Rehearsal

Memorize lines

 

 

 

Week 7

 

 

Getting Realer: Die Bretter, die die Welt bedeuten

5/9

Mon

Rehearsal

5/10

Room tba

Tue

Rehearsal – Blocking check, Lights, Sound and Set Design!

 

5/11

Room tba

Session 1

Wed

Rehearsal

“Midterm:” non-negotiable BE OFF BOOKS DEADLINE!

→ Private conference with me to go through your lines!

5/13

Session 2

 

Rehearsal

“Midterm:” non-negotiable BE OFF BOOKS DEADLINE!

→ Private conference with me to go through your lines!

 

 

 

Week 8

 

 

Proben

5/16

Room tba

Mon

Rehearsal

 

5/17

HPT

Tue

Rehearsal

Meet at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater

5/18

Session 1

Wed

Rehearsal

 

Session 2

Room tba

 

Rehearsal

 

 

 

 

Week 9           

 

Proben mit Kostümen und Requisiten

5/23

Room tba

Mon

Rehearsal

5/24

HPT

Tue

Complete full-cast run-through

Meet at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater

5/25

Session 1

Room tba

Wed

Rehearsal

 

Session 2

 

Rehearsal

 

 

 

 

Week 10           

 

Aufführungen

5/30

Mon

NO CLASS (Memorial Day)

5/31

HPT

Tue

Rehearsal

Meet at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater

6/1

HPT

Wed

Final Rehearsal - Generalproble

Meet at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater

6/2

Thu

Final performance: 6-9pm

6/3

Fri

Final performance: 6-9pm

 

Additional Details:

Deutschsein für Fortgeschrittene: Grenzenlos und Unverschämt
(Being German for the Advanced Learner: Boundless and Bold)

This course provides the unique opportunity to incorporate your personal talents and engage with contemporary German texts by reading, discussing and (re)interpreting them, but most importantly – performing them as one play!

This Spring quarter we will stage poems, hip hop lyrics, monologues and dialogues, as well as short prose that focus on the experience of ‘Anders-Deutsch-Sein’. Afro-German authors and artists (May Ayim, Samy Deluxe, Phillip Khabo Köpsell), as well as texts by other hyphenated Germans with Turkish (Feridun Zaimoğlu), Japanese (Yoko Tawada), or Syrian (Rafik Shami) roots, speak of similar experiences. All of these writers tell stories of peculiar, strange and sometimes unsettling encounters with the so-called ‘German-Germans’. Your task will be to rethink these texts and stage them as one play.

You will gain greater fluency and accuracy in German through a wide range of selected language learning tasks. Improvisation exercises and acting games will further enhance your spontaneity and flexibility in the target language. You will be involved in every aspect of the production as actors/performers, assistant directors, costume designers, stage designers, prop builders, lighting technicians, video technicians, sound engineers etc. Any expertise in these areas will prove useful but is not required. Please note that previous acting experience is NOT a prerequisite.

For the first 2-3 weeks of the quarter, we will read, situate and discuss the texts, and you will be asked to complete short written assignments. The remainder of the quarter will be devoted to staging and rehearsals. The course will culminate in your performance.
Regular attendance, memorization of lines and extra rehearsals (if needed) at the end of the quarter are required. The course will be conducted in German.

Prerequisite: German 203 or permission of instructor.

This will be your chance to be boundless and bold in German. You will become part of the rewarding experience that will help improve your German and your collaboration skills in a fun and constructive environment.

Catalog Description: 
Reading, analysis, and performance of one play by a contemporary German author. Taught in German. Performance scheduled for last week of quarter. Prerequisite: GERMAN 203. Offered: Sp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Credits: 
5
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:15pm
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