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OK, I haven’t been pulling my weight; here or in activism in general.  The last thing I did was march in Berlin on the eve of the Iraq war.  Now, I am conducting my second act in activism.

I teach at a German university on a graduate exchange.  Though I am a Germanist, I teach in the American Studies department.  This semester I am teaching a course on avant-garde theater.  I gave my students a choice: do the regular oral referat (presentation) or perform a play that I am teaching.  They chose to perform a play and we are performing “Not in My Name: A Protest Play Against the Death Penalty” from The Living Theater out of New York.  It’s written not only for professional actors but also for activists.

 The great thing about this play is that it is short, simple, yet powerful.  It does have elements of Brecht’s Lehrstücke.  It offers the players creativity, especially in where it takes place.  Since the EU does not have the death penalty, they chose to set it in Turkey.  That is an important decision since Turkey is trying to join the EU and it is an issue that affect Europeans more than placing it in the US.  I tried to install a sense of the last generation, the 68-ers into my students.  I hope I succeeded.  They will perform it on the busiest place on campus on July 19th, the last day of the semester.

If you are interested on how it progresses and the reactions from it, I will continue to write updates and results.  My department is supporting it fully.  The kids seem to be excited.  And I kinda feel good that I am contributing in some way.


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