It all started in 1954. With scenes from Arthur Schnitzler’s “Anatol”, the German Programme at Otago University began their tradition of staging the annual German play. Students, teachers and friends of German theatre acted, directed, organized, and designed to stage Kleist, Lessing, Goethe and Dürrenmatt at Otago. The productions ranged from classics as “Faust” and “Jedermann” to rather unusual pieces like “Die Ballade vom Wiener Schnitzel”. Dunedin’s Globe, Fortune, Playhouse, Allan Hall and College of Education theatres have hosted productions over the years. Traditionally the audience includes Otago’s Austrian, Swiss and German residents, tourists, university and high school students, language teachers, and other German speakers, as well as interested theatregoers.
Each year the production includes six months of rehearsal, an intensive training camp, and two to four performances. The play is usually sponsored by the Otago Performing Arts Fund, the German Embassy, and the Goethe Institute. An anniversary celebration in 2004 paid tribute to 50 years of German-language theatre at Otago University.
For a complete list of productions, click HERE.
Generations of children have experienced it: On German school stages, in city halls, on audio books and in films. It’s the beloved fairy-tale “Peterchens Mondfahrt”, and it’s coming to Dunedin! The tale is about a five-legged Mayfly who must find his lost leg on the moon. This year, 97 years after the first performance in Leipzig, and 40 years after the first moon landing, the protagonists Peterchen and Anneliese set out on their first journey to Dunedin. The play will be performed in German, with English narration.
“Peterchens Mondfahrt” is above all, an optical enjoyment. However, there are lots of German folk songs in the play. There will be flying children and Mayflies, lampions and dancing toys and a gingerbread man, who has an appetite for German Christmas goodies. The play has been adapted for a New Zealand audience.
Participants are high school and university students, PhDs, teachers and assistants from Otago University and Polytech, Queens, St. Hilda's, Otago Girls, George Street Normal, Tahuna Intermediate and Logan Park High School.
“Peterchens Mondfahrt” will be performed at the Mayfair Theatre in South Dunedin, next to Pak'n'Save. Tickets are available at the box office: 16/12 dollars. The reduced prize of 12 dollars is also available for everyone who can speak a German sentence.
Here is a choice of sentences from the play:
“Du siehst ja auch fürchterlich aus mit deinen Kopfhörern!” (Anneliese, Szene 1)
“Gold, gold, gold sind alle meine Sterne, gold, gold, gold ist alles was ich hab.” (Sandmännchen, Szene 2)
“Mitternacht! Die Welt liegt jetzt in tiefem Schlaf!” (Nachtfee, Szene 3)
“Mein Beinchen!!! Oh, mein wunderschönes, einzigartiges Beinchen!! (Herr Sumsemann, Szene 6)
“Simsalabimbambasaladusaladim” (Alle, Szene 6)