Dr Laura Bradley of the University of Edinburgh has been researching censorship in East German theatre since 2003. This year she has commissioned an award-winning Scottish playwright, Peter Arnott, to write a play based on her published research. Over the next few months Peter and Laura will be visiting theatres in the former East Germany theatre together with filmmaker Susan Kemp, visiting the Stasi archives in Berlin, and interviewing actors and directors who worked in East German theatre, so that Peter can collect stories and ideas for his play. In summer 2015 the play will tour around Scotland with a series of rehearsed readings, and there will be a showcase event at the Edinburgh Fringe. The whole process will also be filmed and this will result in a documentary film about East German theatre censorship and creating theatre today.
So why might this be of interest to schools?
Like many Highers-level students, through this project playwright Peter Arnott is embarking on his first exploratory journey into East German life and culture.
Between November 2014 and August 2015 we will create special schools-orientated resources to accompany this journey, as well as resources for adult learners. This material will be of interest to students and teachers in:
- Higher German (resources exploring fact and fiction in films often studied at Higher level, such as “Goodbye Lenin” and “The Lives of Others”)
- Higher History (resources linked to events key to the study of the Cold War such as the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall).
- Higher Drama (opportunity to follow the playwriting process digitally through blog posts and video diaries; scenarios to work from in classes).
With the aims of the new Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in mind, we will stress themes such as citizenship, which emerge very naturally from this material. We also invite school groups to come and see rehearsed readings of the play when it tours.
You are very welcome to email Lizzie Stewart, the schools’ contact for the project, any time with any questions, enquiries or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download Information for Schools PDF.