All the world’s a stage
On Thursday, 13th June, our English class took place at the ‘Theatermuseum’, where our teacher, Ms Sutrich, had booked a workshop on Romeo and Juliet.
Before the workshop we had a look at the various exhibitions of the museum. We saw paintings that normally are on display at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, for example, the famous altarpiece of The Last Judgment by Hieronymus Bosch, which is said to be one of the most valuable works of art in Austria.
In other showrooms we could see a model of the so-called ‘Guckkastenbühne’ – the traditional type of stage with scenery, and rod-puppets designed by Richard Teschner at the beginning of the 20th century.
We especially enjoyed the exhibition entitled ‘150 years of ballet at the Wiener Staatsoper’ in which many pictures and objects commemorate the long tradition of classical pointe dances in Vienna.
Our workshop on Romeo and Juliet started with a ride on a pretty steep slide down to the cellar of the museum which houses a fully equipped theatre. We were split into two groups and – as a sort of warm-up – had to walk around in the room and become aware of each other and the wooden decoration elements that had different shapes. As a next step we had to express feelings such as love and hate and should try to match our bodies with the objects that were lying around. It was especially interesting to see how we could emphasize the effect of our performance by using different stage lights, e.g. pink for love and red for hatred. We also learnt that it does not always need elaborate decoration but that just a few items can be sufficient in order to make things clear to the audience.
The highlight of the workshop was to act out famous scenes from Shakespeare’s tragic romance. So, one group performed the ball scene at the beginning of the play when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time. A second group acted out the well-known balcony scene and the third one played the tragic ending with Julia stabbing herself because she finds Romeo lying dead on the floor after he had poisoned himself.
We all enjoyed our stay at the ‘Theatermuseum’ and can warmly recommend a visit to this cool retreat on hot summer days.
The students of the 2nd English group of 1HMA