Saturday, August 29, 2009

Final Showcase at the Maxim Gorki Theatre/Berlin

Final Showcase
Friday, August 28, 4:00-5:45 p.m., Maxim Gorki Theatre
University of Washington, Seattle, Honors Program, Summer 2009
In collaboration with Humboldt University, Berlin, Maxim Gorki Theatre-Berlin, and the University of Bilgi, Istanbul, this showcase presents the culmination of four weeks in Berlin and Istanbul. During the month of August, the program explored the concept of borders (and walls) through the lenses of art and literature as employed by writers, filmmakers, performers and visual artists. The showcase, inspired by workshops with Maxim Gorki and educational director, Janka Pankus, is live performance, dance, original music composition, spoken word, and multimedia presentations with a focus on city as text/city as performance as seen through the eyes of 21 students from the University of Washington, Seattle.

How do we tell the story of the city? How do we record memory? What is "our" story? What is "your" story of the city?

Professors Shanga Parker, Drama Department & Shawn Wong, English/Creative Writing, UW Seattle.
Dr. Julie Villegas, University Honors Program, UW Seattle
Program co-instructors, Humboldt: Manuela Mangold, American Studies & Tobias Temme, American Studies
Special thank you to American Studies, Humboldt University, Maxim Gorki Theatre-Berlin, and the University of Bilgi, Istanbul.
Showcase Cast:
1. Natalia Valle, Molly Slusher, Cassie Hoeprich
2. Elroy An, Katie McCorkell, Kelsi Jensen, Sally Neumann
3. Lauren Nuxoll & Adam Farley
4. Fan Lee, Amy Van, Daniel Kashima
5. Lauren McKnight, Michael Phan-Ba, Muhammed Idris
6. Catherine Eisenhauer, Robert Frankle, John O'Meara
7. Joe Kim, Anna Lee, Trang Le

Turkish Soccer Club in Berlin--Tuerkiyemspor

Friday, August 28, 2009

Final Write-up--Due Sept 30


Individual Final Write-up/Due Wed, Sept 30—POSTED TO YOUR BLOG
Each student will do a final project write-up. Your completed write-up should include visual or media enhancements. Be creative!! Photos, audio, mapping, video blogging, your personal art, poems, recordings of interviews (if subject has given consent, etc.).

You will have several weeks to assess and assimilate the program in Berlin and Istanbul and the process of writing, compositions, final showcase, and your individual projects. The write-up will be a synthesis of in-city exploration and
the process of bringing this research into the your writings and final showcase (and vice versa, bringing your creative process, reflection, into your research). Post your completed project “write-up” to your blog by Wed, Sept 30.

However, we encourage you to finish before the end of Sept. Let us know when you have everything posted and we’ll start reviewing.

The write up should be between 7-10 pages (double spaced) and include:

*What did you learn about yourself? Tell the story of "your" Berlin, and "your" Istanbul. Who did you meet that touched you and what is their (what are their) story (ies) of the city? You have done much of this in assignments #3 and #4, but continue on. Push yourself to look more deeply in relation to the larger program themes (as a refresher, please see the Berlin Program website:

*Project question and abstract What were you addressing? State the question and write up a brief synopsis of issue

*Background– an overview that synthesizes the project. Discuss the core issues, common concerns, and debates surrounding the issue you investigated
a) Context (Why is the topic relevant How did it advance yours and
others understanding of the issue? Remember to consider why it has been
of personal interest to you.)

b) Problem(s) (what are the struggles you encountered while engaged in your research?)

*Methods of investigation

*Analysis- how did your explorations in the city, dialogues with people,
creative writing performance, and excursions and workshops assist (or
not) in your project investigation?
Things to Consider:
a) How did the creative writing exercises and collaborative act of presenting character(s) in specific situations effect your interpretation of your in- city projects? Future questions/explorations?

***In the end, we hope you will have gotten outside of yourself to interpret the results, to have experienced what it is like to live your research by virtue of the creative process. There is potential for you to see your research findings with new eyes, more depth and form.

Bonus: Discuss the group dynamics of investigating and presenting your project.

Students will receive 15 credits total (2 credits already posted on your transcripts spring quarter). The final 13 credits will be graded and posted the second week of October. Until then, students will have a placeholder on their transcripts “Study Abroad XX”. This is standard practice for study abroad.

From the Berlin Borders Website (
The theme of this year's program is in honor of the 20th anniversary of the toppling of the Berlin wall. Honoring that historic event, the Berlin Program looks at the concept of borders (and walls) through the lenses of art and literature as employed by writers, filmmakers, performers and visual artists. We will explore how borders both define and divide us.
In Berlin, legacies of the Wall remain long after its fall ("the Wall in the head" phenomenon for example). At the same time, in the U.S. efforts continue to build a wall along the border with Mexico. In our inquiry, we must consider issues alive inside and outside immigrant communities, explore racial, linguistic, cultural and psychological "borders" and look at how the arts communities in Germany and the U.S. have addressed the concept of borders-and sought to create identities that transcend them, expressing a new "cultural topography" of individuals and migrant communities.
During the month long summer program, students will focus on researching topics, and explore the city as text - city as art - city as borderscape. The summer portion will include classroom instruction, guest lectures, art and literature events, theatre and music performances, city walks, museum tours, and weekend excursions that will inform the final projects. University of Washington program directors and Humboldt faculty will lead lectures and excursions.

Drama Workshop at Maxim Gorki Theatre

Photography by Shanga Parker

Performing the city

Movement Workshop, University of the Arts, Berlin

Monday, August 24, 2009


Photography by Shanga Parker