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Stingy Barka / O LAKOMÉ BARCE

Played with Passion

This year’s open house day ended with the premiere of the theater play “Stingy Barka”.

The theater group under the direction of Klára Czastková and Constanze Huber successfully performed a very special experiment. To begin with, the teachers transformed the Czech fairytale "O LAKOMÉ BARCE" by well-known Prague writer, actor and playwright Jan Werich (1905 - 1980) into a bilingual stage version.

The successful outcome was a play which meets Werich’s main topic: to address human strengths and weaknesses or rather human values in general wrapped up in a fairytale with contemporary background, i. e. enlightening epic poetry. The theater group created a very interesting version. The play deals mainly with the question: “What is good?” Current references remain vague or open.

Werich, who co-founded the Liberated Theater in the Lesser Town of Prague in 1927, was inspired by dadaism, surrealism and ancient tragedies and also took delight in the absurd. He would have certainly enjoyed this performance. The Czech and German students from bilingual classes 7/3 and 8/3 played with great commitment and much talent. They effortlessly brought grotesque and absurd scenes to life with the greatest of ease. The performance appeared natural, uninhibited and cheerful - just effortless. Everyone just seemed to live up to his character, above all Kateřina Schiffnederová as Barka. She was convincing as the mean, jealous and devious housekeeper of the village priest, just like Magdalena Kazdová as the night watchman. Lucy Reichelt as the vagabond, Martin Bureš as the teacher, Amelie Kasparek as his wife und Emil Zschornack as the priest also played their roles in an outstanding manner. And the same goes for Hanna Wegner as the mayor’s wife, Romana Tlustá as a roe and Jenny Kretschmer, Lina Wolf, Sophie Müller, Saskia Wolf, Josephine Sonntag, Alexandra Thiery, Dorothee Schöffel and Hana Tobiášová as the teacher’s children.

A special highlight of the performance was the appearance of the pigs that were actually supposed to end up in the frying pan of the condescending priest but performed a polka instead based on a Czech folk song rewritten by Klara Czastková - a cheerful mixture of the absurd and popular theater. It was also the moment that got to the hearts of the people and transferred rhythm and joy to the audience.

Both the music and the bilingual clarifications of the watchman and the vagabond contributed to the storyline and acted as an interface between the bilingual audience and the Czech and German texts of the performers. The choice of songs and lyrics were well considered and appeared light but were, in fact, anything but simple.

At this point the special services of the stage design club under the leadership of art teacher Ms. Manon Vogel should be mentioned. Ms. Vogel also selected the costumes and made some of them herself making an essential contribution to the success of this great evening. All in all, it was not just a traditional fairytale “but rather a contemporary story, in which humor and wisdom are presented as typical elements of Werich’s fairytale”, as C. Huber und K. Czastková put it.

What will be positively remembered is a successful premiere, a cheerful evening and a great end of the open house day. Congratulations to all those involved and thank you for this nice evening.

A.K.

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