German-Language College Drama: Ewha Students Play “Corpus Delicti” by Juli Zeh

This week, students of Ewha Womans University – most (but not all) of them German majors – are going to premiere the play Corpus Delicti by Juli Zeh in Korea. It is the 13th production of ensemble “Auf die Bretter”, who put a new German play “on stage” (thus the meaning of the ensemble’s name) every year.

First, the most important information.

Performances are on the following dates:

  • Thursday (April 5), 3.30 pm
  • Thursday (April 5), 7.30 pm
  • Friday (April 6), 7 pm
  • Saturday (April 7), 4 pm

There will be Korean subtitles.

Performances take place at the “Little Theatre” located in the ground floor of Ewha’s Human Ecology Building (생활환경관 소극장).

Tickets are 4,000 Won at the box office and reservations for 3,000 Won (via wire transfer) can be made online until April 3.

Bretter, Corpus Delicti poster small

Now some more details:

Juli Zeh’s Corpus Delicti (subtitle: A Process, in reference to Kafka?) premiered at RuhrTriennale (Sept. 15, 2007, in Essen) and was later adapted as a novel (Schöffling 2009). An English translation has been published as The Method (Vintage 2014, transl. Sally-Ann Spencer) and the Korean translation is titled “어떤 소송”, roughly meaning “some lawsuit” (민음사 2013, 옮김 장수미). See also Juli Zeh’s German homepage.

The play (like the novel) is a science-fiction-crime-prodedural-courtroom-drama, set in a near future where health is everything. For smoking a cigarette or getting behind on your training schedule you may have to pay a fine. On the upside, the METHOD, the ideological rule of the era, provides healthcare for everyone and diseases like cancer can be cured. Brave new world? Yes, but with some legal twists.

So far, the students of “Auf die Bretter” (or short the Bretter) have done tremendous work! When I became involved as their faculty advisor in early March, shortly after starting to work at Ewha, they had already done the Korean translation of the play (for the subtitles) and were casting the last actors from the new 1st year students (the college year begins in spring in Korea). All I really could do to help, besides editing some additional German dialogues, was doing some pronounciation training. Now, as I saw the rehearsals on the actual theatre stage, I’m certain that the premiere will be a great success!

Springtime is theatre season at Korean universities (last year Sungshin’s German students were also playing!). There were already productions of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (인형의 집) in Korean by “Humanities Drama Society” (인문극회) and Will Eno’s Middletown in English by Ensemble “Beings” (빙스) earlier this semester (see my tweets on these shows). Now – last but not least – the German-language addition to this year’s college drama season!

Auf die Bretter - Corpus Delicti, empty stage rehearsal

Rehearsals are in turbo-mode now. While the stage above is still empty (light tests), you can see some impressions from the rehearsals  on the Bretter’s Facebook page.

Come around on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday if your in for some great college drama in German!

— 5–7 April 2018 (木–土)

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About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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One Response to German-Language College Drama: Ewha Students Play “Corpus Delicti” by Juli Zeh

  1. Pingback: Three Papers this Summer | Seoul Stages

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