Month: April 2013

My week #2, April 8th – 14th

Sorry, people, for my absence! I was sitting my boss’ appartment plus her super lovely cats. Now I’m back and even almost back on track blogging!

what I saw  
a concert of György Kurtags ‚Kafka-Fragments’ at Jewish Museum Berlin. GREAT!

what I read
Gender-opera-stuff, still.

what I listened to
opera ouvertures, a lot of.

what I bought 
organic food, notebooks and a pencil

what I did
some sports. some work. And I was at a kind of nice (but at the same time not so nice) discussion about free(lance) musical theatre in opera houses.

where I travelled
nowhere. I lived at my boss’ place for the week to look after her cats while she was on vacation.

My week #1, Apr 1st – 7th

what I saw:
Don Giovanni at Komische Oper Berlin, 2×1 of Letzte Spur Berlin a German crimi series and the first half of 3rd season Downton Abbey

what I read 
„Der Russe ist einer, der die Birken liebt“ by Olga Grjasnova (The Russian is someone who loves birches) and the first half of „Unfun“ by Matias Faldbakken and started „Aller Tage Abend“ by Jenny Erpenbeck. Some (musical) theatre magazines and essays on voice and cross dressing

what I listened to
Fidelio, Leonore (different versions of the same and only Beethoven opera), Mazeppa (Tschaikowski), I can do better than that (from The last 5 years by Jason Robert Brown)

what I bought
makeup and organic food

what I did 
I ran. I worked. I thought. I attended a very nice training by Nike causing me very sore muscles.

where I travelled
Kleinmachnow. a suburb of Berlin. To take a look at a house that is owned kind of by my family.

The “Why Hebrew?”-Confession

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Since my first semester at university there is one question asked the most:
Why are you studying Hebrew?

I like to answer: Because it was possible.
Of course that is not even close to a ‚nice’ answer. I mean, I wouldn’t like getting that answer at all if I were the one asking. But it gives a nice hint to what my motivation was.
In the very beginning I wasn’t like: Wow, I love the middle east!
Or even: I like the forms of theatre they have in Israel – so let’s learn Hebrew to understand them!
I was more like: Well, they have nice a nice alphabet. Let’s try that!

To be honest I bought one of these study-by-yourself books for Hebrew and I taught myself some (VERY little) when I was about 16, but I basically forgot everything before I started learning Hebrew at university.

My university offers a very small minor-programme for Hebrew language only (which otherwise is a part oft he Judaism-major-programme) and a friend of mine (whom I got to know in a Hebrew intensive after my third semester) and myself we are – as far as I know – the only ones who started that programme and are still doing it.

So I enrolled in that programme because it seemed appealing.
In the first two semester I had Hebrew class three times a week. In the early mornings, in the 8 to 10 am slot – after I spend a year working in theatres and slowly teaching my brain not to work before 10 am. Yay. But somehow I did well. First semester modern Hebrew (Ivrit) and I so loved. I fell in love with that language like right from the start! (after I kind of checked how to read that – without the vowels and stuff….)

Second semester biblical Hebrew. That was even better in some parts because – hey, the stories are much better, weirder, funnier. J

From the third semester on I had a different teacher and only one class a week. (which was – actually good, because I kind of didn’t like that teacher…), modern Hebrew again.

After my third semester I took a Hebrew intensive class for three weeks, five days a week for hours a day taught by two Israelis, one constantly living in Berlin, the other one living in Haifa and coming over fot teaching….In that intensive I kind of first started speaking Hebrew (because I tend to not speak a foreign language until I know I can speak like five proper sentences unless someone makes my speaking). That was last spring. Two and a half months later I travelled to Israel for the first time with a German-Israeli youth exchange (yes, for them I’m still „youth“….well….) and I had plans to spend August completely in Israel.

I really wanted to enroll in the August intensive programme Hebrew at University of Haifa. But before I did so I applied for a scholarship programme provided by my hometown university and the DAAD. I got the scholarship – the money they gave me covered basically the tuition and housing fee at Haifa – and so I was able to spend a month in Israel, three and a half weeks at Haifa University in a lovely class in Rama ה with the best class mates. We were the only class in that programm consisting of girls only with the only male teacher in the programme. I guess especially during the last week or so our Doron had a hard time with us, but we had fun. And I learned a lot.

But now I’m like: Have I ever been able to speak Hebrew? Did I ever know that language?(because I don’t have to take Hebrew anymore at my university, I could my Haifa class get count)

To conclude and write something suiting the headline: I still don’t know why I had the feeling of needing to study Hebrew, but here I am and I love it. (not the My-Hebrew-is-bad-stuff, but the I-know-Hebrew-stuff….) 😉

What are you going to do with THAT?

*Disclaimer: Irony included*

Imagine:

People ask: So, what do you study?
You answer: I’m a theatre studies major.
People raise an eyebrow. Some people think: There is such a thing?

But your answer continues: And I’m also studying German literature (at this point people usually don’t care anymore) and Hebrew (they raise the second eyebrow).

People ask (after you explained that NO, you WON’T be an actress): Well, nice – but what are you going to do with that one day?

Now you have two options:
a) Say the truth:
I want to be a dramaturg, I’m not sure I’ll get a job, but I really like what I’m doing. And I just don’t care about anything else.

b) Lie:
Well, there are some very nice and secure options. As everyone knows theatre studies graduates are very very rare and everyone wants to employ them. They’re like the biggest deal. Haven’t heard of that? Oh – I’m so sorry!

but most of the people will think:
She’s gonna be unemployed. And we will pay for her food. Because the state will be. F*ck the theatre studies majors!

what they will say is:
Nice! Interesting, it must be so fun to go tot he theatre all the time.

what they mean by saying that:
I can go to, see theatre performances. Everyone can. Why does she have to study that?

As if that theatre studies part wasn’t enough – when I mention Hebrew people go all crazy about that.

They say: What? Why Hebrew? Are people speaking that anymore?

To the last question the answer (of course) is:

Yes, I heard people doing so, I have friends speaking Hebrew as their first language!

The other one: That’s to totally different story. I’ll tell you another time.

So – stay tuned. For my: Why Hebrew?-Confession. 🙂

Kann es denn so schwer sein? / Is it too hard?

(english article down below)

Ich gehöre zu den digital natives, von denen man so spricht, und ich liebe meinen Twitter-Account (obwohl der Twitter-Account, den ich für einen meiner Arbeitgeber pflege, mehr Pflege gebrauchten könnte…).

Die Kritik-Plattform livekritik.de hat zum Thema digital natives und Theater eine Blog-Parade gestartet, bei der es um Meinungen zum Live-Twittern von Theatervorstellungen geht. Für mich sowohl als Theater- als auch als Online-Mensch interessant und vielleicht sind meine Gedanken auch interessant für andere.

Zuerst lässt sich feststellen: Seit ich ein iPad besitze (August 2012) und seit ich endlich auf ein Smartphone umgestellt habe (Januar 2013) hat sich mein Twitter-Verhalten ziemlich verändert. Es ist praktisch und angenehm von überall twittern zu können – und von überall Tweets lesen zu können. Zumal es schon eine Art Twitter-Poetik gibt, irgendwie.

Letztes Jahr las ich zum ersten Mal über spezielle Twitter-Events oder Tweet-Seats in Broadway-Shows und zugegebenermaßen war ich etwas neidisch: Ich mag Theater und ich rede gern drüber. Über das zu reden (= zu twittern) was man sieht in der Sekunde, in der man es sieht, ist eine Art Paradieszustand – da sprechen aber nur selten eine Option ist, muss es ein Traum bleiben und man muss sich an sein Gedanken bis zur Pause erinnern (um dann darüber zu reden, wie das Hemd des Tenor halb offen ist oder Sophie Rois es irgendwie schafft, einen Mann zu spielen, ohne keine Frau zu spielen – was auch für einen Tweet zu komplex wäre). Twitter würde hierbei eine sofortige Befriedigung schaffen.

Aber: Ich habe 76 Follower auf Twitter – und wie viele von denen würden wohl meine Freak-Tweets zu Theateraufführungen interessieren?

Aber Nr. 2: Letzte Woche begleitete ich eine befreundete Journalistin zur Premiere von Frank Castorfs Adaption von Tschechovs „Das Duell“. Wir saßen mit (anscheinend) einigen anderen Journalisten mittig in Reihe 9. Vor mir, in der 8. Reihe, saß eine Frau, die während des Abends mehrmals ihr Telefon rausholte und auf das Display starrte (und es war kein gedimmtes iPhone-Display, sondern eher als würde man in die Sonne gucken), und jedes Mal wurden die Menschen um sie herum geblendet. Okay, vielleicht war das ein Arbeitstermin für sie (sie hat nicht getwittert, das hätte ich erkannt) und ich weiche bei Arbeitsterminen auch auf mein Telefon aus, aber….nein. Ich meine: Respekt. Dort auf der Bühne stehen Menschen, die sich den Arsch abspielen (Entschuldigung, aber für so einen Castorf-Abend ist das irgendwie die richtige Wortwahl). Es ist Live-Theater und es ist dunkel im Zuschauerraum! Dunkelheit heißt: Andere Menschen sehen das Licht des Telefon-Displays.

Aus theaterwissenschaftlicher Sicht ist es auf der einen Seite sicherlich spannend (Aufmerksamkeitsstrukturen. Theater und digitale Medien. Intermedialität. Einen Theaterabend durch ein Medium, das anders ist als Fernsehen, erleben. Archivierung….), aber gleichzeitig stellt sich die Frage: Was verpasst man während des Twitterns? Manchmal passieren die Dinge auf der Bühne in einer Geschwindigkeit, dass man selbst bei voller Konzentration etwas verpassen muss. Und dann noch mehr verpassen für’s Twittern? Nein. Ich möchte sehen, was ich sehe – und das beste sieht man meistens nur, wenn man richtig hinguckt und aufmerksam ist. Aufmerksam-aufmerksam.

Einige der Blogger äußern sich positiv über (hypothetische) Twitter-Proben ähnlich der Proben, zu der Pressevertreter vorab eingeladen werden, oder Fotoproben (die, soweit ich informiert bin, für Berliner Theater Pflicht sind). Diese Proben könnten dem Theater noch eine andere Öffentlichkeit geben – neben den langen Vorberichten und Kritiken: kurze, vielleicht sogar minutiöse Dokumentationen, Kommentare und Gedanken zu dem Gesehenen. Es wäre eine andere Situation, vor allem, wenn diese Proben eventuell nur bei Arbeitslicht – oder sogar auf der Probebühne statt finden würden; die Hemmschwelle, das Telefon zu zücken um zu twittern, wäre wohl um einiges geringer.

Ansonsten muss man seinen Theaterbesuch eben davor, in der Pause und danach in seinem Twitter-Feed abdecken. Und wir sollten uns doch unsere Gedanken bis zur Pause oder bis zum Ende der Vorstellung behalten könne, oder? Das sollten wir. (wobei der Modus des Twitterns dann auch ein ganz anderer ist.)

So schwer kann das doch nicht sein.

übrigens gibt es im Mai in Berlin zu diesem Themengebiet eine Tagung der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung und weiter unten gibt es noch Kostproben meiner Theatertweets.

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I am a digital native. And I love my Twitter-account. (although the account I take care of the small private theatre company I work for could use some more care….)

The German critic website livekritik.de started a blog parade asking for opionions about tweeting during performances. And I guess for me being both a theatre- and an online-person it will be nice to blog my thoughts.

First of all I have to state: Since I’ve bought myself an iPad (August 2012) and even more since I’ve finally upgraded to a smartphone (January 2013) my use of twitter has changed dramatically. It’s nice and handy to be able to tweet from where ever I am. And most of the time I really enjoy the ‚poetics’ of tweets.

Last year when I first heard about special theatre tweeting events on Broadway I was a little jealous – I enjoy theatre and I enjoy talking about it. ‚Talking’ (=tweeting) about it in the second you see it is something you often want to do but since talking about it (e.g. with the one sitting next to you) is often not an option – it stays a nice imagination and you have to remember your thought until intermission (and then you can gossip about the tenor’s half open shirt – because it’s so tenor-like! Or the great job Sophie Rois does playing men and women kind of at the same time!). Tweeting would offer instant satisfaction.

On the other hand: My twitter account has 76 followers – who cares about that freak stuff I’d tweet if I could during performances?

But: last week when I saw the opening of Frank Castorf’s adaption of Chekhov’s „The duel“ and watched from row 9 there was a lady in front of me constantly checking her phone – and it was not an iPhone-screen turned as dark as possible. Everytime she got it out of her purse she just blended everyone behind her. Okay – since I was accompaning a journalist and we were sitting with a bunch of other journalists it was a work appointment for most of them and yes – I sometimes check my phone during work related appointments as well – but….no. I mean: Respect, people. There are people on stage playing their asses off (I’m sorry). It’s live theatre and it’s dark! Darkness means: You actually can see the brightness of phone-displays.

As a theatre studies major and someone who worked a lot in and with theatre and additionally can say: What will you do about all this stuff you’re missing while tweeting? In some productions things happend at a speed it’s not even funny, you gonna miss something anyway – but missing even more just for tweeting? No. I want to see what I see. And sometimes you get the best stuff only when watching closely and paying attention. Like attention-attention.

Most of the bloggers participating in that blog-parade think positively about a (hypothetical) tweeting-rehearsal or twitter-call similar to press-calls or photo-calls (which are – as far as I know – mendatory for theatres in Berlin). Those calls could easily give some more publicity to those productions. And it’s a different setting – especially if they would take place on the rehearsal stages with working light you wouldn’t be stopped taking out your phone out and tweeting.

Otherwise you have to cover your theatre visits before, during intermission and after the performance.

We should be able to remember our thought till then, right? We should. That couldn’t be too hard, could it?

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Meine Tweets zur Aufführung von “Das Geheimnis des Edwin Drood” am Theater Münster./My tweet regarding a performance of “The mystery of Edwin Drood” in Münster, Germany.

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Tweets zur Eröffnung einer Video-Installation im Jüdischen Museum, Berlin. / Tweets regarding the opening of a video installation at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

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Tweets zur Aufführung von Mazeppa in der Komischen Oper Berlin. / Tweets regarding a performance of Mazeppa at Komische Oper Berlin.