How does karoline feel?

How does karoline feel?

Dress rehearsal in the multi-purpose room of the dientzenhofer high school, two weeks to go until the bavarian school theater days in vaterstetten. That means: now everything should be clear, one last run-through of "casimir and caroline", but just to be on the safe side. Or?

In fact, there still seems to be some need for negotiation in the upper school theater team of dominik stoecker and ludwig bieger. "Have you now agreed where you want to stand??", asks stoecker. "We do it spontaneously", replies manuel roser from the group that is loosely grouped, dressed strictly in woman and black.

On 22. In july, the group performs its play at the theatertageder bavarian gymnasien in vaterstetten. For the seventh time in a row the duo stoecker-bieger reached this selection. In september they will travel to berlin, where the DG will represent bavaria at the school theater of the lander. The festival has been taking place for 35 years, but upper franconia was only allowed to participate once, in 2012, also at that time: dientzenhofer gymnasium, stoecker-bieger.

New form of theater

For years, the two have been pursuing a consistent path that raises school theater to a new level: through strongly abstracting interventions in the text, dissolution of figure play, choreographed group scenes, and the inclusion of dance-performative elements. The DG puts on a kind of theater that you don’t normally see from school groups, and is rewarded for it at the national level.

The special clou of kasimir und karoline, odon von horvath’s oktoberfeststuck, first performed in 1932, is the participative element. The production is not the result of a top-down direction, but rather of playing together and the courage to improvise. The schoolchildren, all eleventh and twelfth graders, respectively. Fresh graduates not only have a say, they determine how the play is performed, how the play is realized. No performance is like the other and even in the dress rehearsal it is necessary to renegotiate: "our position must be there"." – "and you also actually sit." normal.

The story

The story takes place in 1929. A couple, caught up in the holliday hustle and bustle of the oktoberfest, sees their relationship crumble away. "Casimir and caroline" is on the one hand a socio-critical piece, which in the desperate poverty of the protagonist, thematizes class differences of the time, on the other hand a popular relationship piece. DG theater group focuses on the core it has exposed, pride and sickness, creating a piece that youth can easily dock onto in 2019.

Anna kroll and michael lehn get the rough room in the sense of a classical play. But even they do not remain attached to the figure of kasimir or karoline. The crowd surges like a school of fish, tumbling out of the stall and translating horvarth’s words into gestures and choreography. The spectators who saw the premiere last year know that it works without the production being betrayed. And then, in between, granite-like, these horvarthsatze: "we are just nowadays all older than we are." how true that is all of a sudden again.

Hurdles overcome

Stoecker wants to let this dress rehearsal run, but keeps sneaking back and forth between the groups, flittingly exerting influence. Colleague bieger, now retired, praises and reprimands from the first row: "lautstarke was good, michi!" "you can shine, kathi! The roller coaster ride!" at the end, stoecker has to instill in his students their own freedom: "enjoy this game, let it come into being. The moment you go on this stage, you go your own way."

For the schoolchildren, this kind of theater work is initially connected with overcoming. But: leading actress anna also remembers how quickly these hurdles were overcome. "At some point we were all in the same spirit, she says. Today there are dances and choreographies in the play, which were developed by the actresses without the help of the two teachers. Whereby these also look different depending on the mood of the day.

The close proximity of the characters, also in terms of age, made it easier to identify with them, to empathize with karoline. "With time", says anna "i got a sense of how karoline feels and how i would behave in her place." the fact that this space, this possibility arises, is certainly also a consequence of the approach. So in the end, not only a played, historical figure is on stage, but also the actress, one year before graduation. This quality has been recognized and honored by the festival juries.

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