Who wants to play the tiger?
By FLA Ambassador Luise Breuninger
The popular children’s book Oh, wie schön ist Panama by Janosch made a great story to stage with my S1 pupils from The Royal High School in Edinburgh. After initial enthusiasm about doing a German drama project it turned out that nobody wanted to play an animal with a striped fur. After a little coaxing, we had 11 pupils to take on the roles of Bär, Tiger, Fuchs, Hase, Igel, Kuh, Maus, Rabe and the narrators. The others volunteered for costumes and props, scenery or writing the programme. For two months we rehearsed during Monday lunchtimes and made little Tiger and little Bär come alive for these 35 minutes.
Our play was to be part of a drama competition on the 23rd of March 2009, which three other FLAs (Ursula Lechner, Franziska Frome, Daniel Friess) and I had organised. 'German Theatre for German Learners' was the idea behind it. The pupils had the chance to participate in one play and watch three others. Apart from our performance of Oh wie schön ist Panama, Momo, Frau Doktor Wer im Märchenwald and Red Riding Hood were staged by local schools from Edinburgh.
After weeks of hard work ("Luise, how do I pronounce Träume?", "Luise, do I really have to dress as a cow?", "Luise, what is a Plüschsofa?"), the day had come. With every pupil packed with either props, parts of the scenery or pieces of costumes, we finally made our way to George Watson's College where the event was to take place. Not only was it thrilling to present a German play in front of a totally unknown audience, but even more so in front of a professional jury consisting of envoys from the German Consulate, the Goethe Institute and a German student of English language, commenting on our performance.