In this course we will spend most of our time producing choreographed readings of the play under study. During the quarter you will have the words of one of the greatest German dramatists, Georg Büchner, before your eyes, in your mouth, and in your ears. Our objective will be, by reading scripts, discussing texts, acting out parts, directing others in scenes, and viewing film and video versions of the play, to refine and extend your command of the written and spoken language.
Georg Büchner died at 23, the age when many US college graduates are just beginning their “real” lives, yet in his brief life he revolutionized the important literary theatrical and narrative genres of his time. In this course, we will engage in a sustained reading and production of his comic masterpiece, Leonce und Lena. It is at once a spoof of romantic comedy, Shakespearean drama, and the ultimate fairy tale. You can think of it as the 19th-century Princess Bride. During the first weeks of class, we will carefully read and discuss the play together; during the second part of the quarter, we will prepare and then put on a production of the play.
Requirements: participation in class discussions and activities; memorization of lines for roles; and preparation for and performance in the final production before a live audience.
Readings and performance in German; discussions in German and English.