Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy Ghosts of Seminars Past

Student-designed promotional flyer for our production of Woyzeck (Spring, 2010, University of Virginia's Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures). I remember how matter-of-fact the students were in justifying their gestures in this image. By the end of the semester (when this picture was taken), they and all the other student actors knew their characters so well. 
While freeing up space on an old USB drive this morning, I found this artifact from my years as a lecturer at the University of Virginia. In this upper-level course, we analyzed and then produced one great staging of B├╝chner's Woyzeck. The one post-dramatic choice that all the students felt comfortable with was beginning and ending the performance with the same scene, ("ein guter Mord, ein echter Mord").

As our performances made clear, so many students made such large strides in this course. I can't tell you how many times initially timid students tell me in their final reflective essay that they wish they had tried out for a larger part. The experience gave them so much more confidence in their German, as a similar experience at the University of South Carolina had for me.

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