German class pens and performs play about refugee crisis Twitter
By Bill Landauer
It’s a plight that’s all too familiar. The voices resonate, no matter the language.
Voices. Die Schutzsuchenden (The Protection Seekers). is a play by students from the German 431 creative writing seminar. Inspired by the work of Nobel Laureate Elfriede Jelinek, the topic was the struggle of refugees around the world. The students’ play comes from Jelinek’s Charges (The Supplicants), which is about immigrants who took refuge in Votiv-Church in Vienna during the long and cold winter months of 2012 while waiting to hear whether Austria would grant them asylum or send them back.
Guided by Max Kade writer-in-residence Judith Nika Pfeifer and Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, professor of German and director of the Max Kade Center for German Studies, the students created a thought-provoking text collage consisting of their own writings, text, and image materials from media, and quotes from Jelinek’s play.
The chorus in the play is a reference to Aischylos’ Greek drama The Suppliants (470 BCE) that served Jelinek as source for her play.
Shown here is a brief excerpt from Voices. For English subtitles, choose Closed Captioning.
Playwrights and actors
Ashlee Belkevich ’18 German and neuroscience
Khulganaa Buyannemekh ’18 neuroscience
Michael Fischer ’20 mechanical engineering and German
Christopher Mayer ’20 economics and philosophy
Jennifer Salvatore ’18 mathematics and economics
Zhen “Steffi” Shi ’18 German
Jack R. Standbridge ’18 German
Stu Badertscher ’20 economics
Matt Deorocki ’18 history and government & law
Gunnar Dickey ’18 mechanical engineering
Gwendolyn Eva Ellis ’20 history and economics
Rachel Harrington ’18 engineering
Matt Klepinger ’18 German and economics
Kelly O’Brien ’18 neuroscience
Jackson Miller ’19 physics
Sarah Mudrick ’18 psychology and English