PERAUGYMNASIUM VILLACH ARCHIV • SCHULHOMEPAGE 1997 - 2014
Stagecraft in Classroom
During 27 years of touring for Vienna's English Theatre throughout Austria, I have always
had especially enjoyed coming to Villach. This may in part be due to the fact that I first
visited Villach and the Faakersee in 1953, when I first spent a holiday here; at that time
Villach was still a part of the British Occupational Zone. It is certainly due to the fact that
during these years we from the theatre have received such a warm welcome and such
professional support from, during the first years, Prof Hans Joas and, subsequently, from Prof.
After an afternoon spent with English teachers at the Perau Gymnasium last November, I was
therefore delighted at the prospect of three days of workshops here at the end of the school
year. After 160 theatre workshops in schools of all types, for all age groups, all over Austria,
this seemed a fine way to end the year.
And so it turned out. For all my experience I can never guarantee that I am going to be able to
establish the necessary rapport with the pupils so as to spend a creative four hours with them,
performing a play in English - especially on a hot afternoon when the great outdoors beckons
tantalisingly. I needn't have worried: thanks to careful preparation and motivation on the
part of their teachers, the 2.C under Prof. Michitsch and Prof Altenhuber, the 7.B under Prof.
Huditz, the 4.B under Prof. Meinusch and Prof. Michitsch, the 2.B and 2.D under Prof. Gaggl
and Prof. Koschutnig as well as the 4.F under Prof. Gaggl and Prof. Meinusch entered into the
spirit of the occassion from the word go.
I think the participants would agree with me that we had enormous fun, with little stress,
experiencing the importance of creativity, of communication, of team-work, as we explored
the world of theatre and fantasy, stirring unsuspected acting talents in pupils of both sexes and
all ages! Working in both languages - this being essential if we were to achieve any
emotional involvement in what we were doing - each workshop culminated in a video of the
play we had rehearsed. These videos are a valid document of hard, creative work.
This note affords me a welcome opportunity to thank all pupils and all teachers involved in
this project, put together and co-ordinated by Prof. Heidi Koschutnig and also to say thank
you to those present and past for 27 years of co-operation between BG&BRG Peraustraße
and Vienna's English Theatre.
Vienna's English Theatre