How it all began
Friedrich-Ebert-Oberschule, home of the Shakespeare Players, has had successful exchanges for many years with London schools in Sutton, the partner borough of Wilmersdorf. In 1999, they
sent word about a competition to be held in March 2000 in London at the Charles Cryer Theatre in Carshalton and the Secombe Centre in Sutton. The theme was to be Shakespeare and pupils from our
schools were invited to come and show their dramatic skills in monologues or duologues of 5 minutes from Shakespeare's plays.
A keen lover of Shakespeare, FEO's English teacher Martina Baasner jumped at the chance and found a group of 14 students who were willing to rehearse short scenes and go to London for a Shakespeare tour.
They were the following Leistungskurs students: Konrad Arndt, Sara Zewde, Elena Fritz, Moritz Reulens, Sebastian Tentscher, Jan Pohl, Nicole Renner, Anna Katzer, Valentin Dyckerhoff, Tina Lorenz, Charlotte Happe, Désirée Borchardt, Sebastian Klemke and Stefanie Wegewitz. We rehearsed 7 scenes from Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
We stayed in London in host families from March 21st to 29th and used the Cryer Theatre's rehearsal room. Tours through 'theatreland', to the National Theatre, to the actors' church in Covent Garden, to the Theatre Museum and a guided tour through Southwark with actor Stan Pretty gave us an idea of London's past and present theatrical scene. Naturally we had a close look at Shakespeare's Globe and all remaining sites he must have known.
Apart from two local productions of Macbeth and Twelfth Night, we also saw the Royal Shakespeare Company's version of As You Like It in Stratford-upon-Avon, where we went to see the places connected with William Shakespeare, his birthplace, his family's houses and his grave in Holy Trinity Church.
Finally, the time came to show our own scenes to other drama students and a jury at the Cryer Theatre. It was tremendous fun and very exciting and we won two prizes! One went to Tina Lorenz for her portrayal of lovesick Phoebe in As You Like It and the other to Jan Pohl's Bottom from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Our scenes were called intelligent and imaginative and we all got a CD as a souvenir.
This success had us so enchanted and thrilled that we decided to go on playing and stage a complete play to be shown in June 2001 at our school.
Mrs Baasner suggested A Midsummer Night's Dream and rehearsals began right after our return to Berlin. Not all participants stayed in the group and more players were needed, but this is how they were born, the