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Report on Berlin Trip by Sean O’Driscoll

Nov 24 2019

On my way back from Berlin, Germany I decided to write a report on my experience taking part in the theatre workshop run by the Goethe Institute. This is how it went!

It began on a cold Tuesday morning in Berlin where the rest of the Irish team and I made our way over from the hostel to the theatre. In the theatre we took part in icebreakers. We projected to the rest of the group of over thirty students from of Europe our name and where we were from. We then learned a song in German about how we are all connected and how we are separated by nationality or borders. We then performed a flash mob where we stood holding string where we formed the shape of Europe and sang our song in front of the beautiful Brandenburg Gate.

That night we walked in the freezing cold to a Christmas market! That was extremely interesting because it was nice to see the German food and culture and be able to witness it myself!

On Wednesday we all woke up with stuffed noses and sore throats! We just weren’t able to handle to enormous difference in temperature! We made our way to the theatre again where we worked on script work and improvisations. One of the scripts was titled “Mall of Shame”. This scene explained the history of the Mall of Berlin and how it was built. We came up with an improvisation about two people discussing how they have to move to Germany for work which I think is represents Europe very well. A lot of people study or work abroad and some people have to travel and be separated from their families so this scene I believe was very easily understood by all present.

On Wednesday night we decided to go to bed early and recharge the batteries.

On Thursday we did a full run through of the show with the actors only. We tried our best to say our lines without the script in order for us to become more familiar with the lines. I found it difficult as it was not my first time having to speak German but it was first time having to perform in German.

On Thursday night we went to the Berlin Opera House and saw a magnificent production of the ballet “The Nutcracker”. It was my first time seeing a ballet and I would love to see it again.

Friday was the big day! It was the day of the performance. I was very nervous as other schools from Berlin were coming to see the show and I knew I would be judged on my pronunciation and my understanding of the text. Thankfully I got through it with “an honourable and an impressive performance”

That night we all went for dinner so we could say our goodbyes to those organising the workshop and those we took part in the workshop with.

On Saturday we went to visit “Checkpoint Charlie” and the Berlin Wall. I really enjoyed this part a lot because now I had a greater understanding of the German food, culture and their history.

We flew back to Ireland on Sunday 17th with a warm welcome from all our families.

I am so happy I was given the opportunity to travel on this trip with other talented performers and I will be forever grateful to Ms Byrne and Mr Doyle of Presentation College, Carlow.

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