Vol. 3, No. 4

July 2011

In this issue:

  • 0 read more In this issue

    In this issue

    by Ervin Beck

    The early suspicion of drama, theater and film by Mennonites is succinctly discussed by Harold S. Bender in his article on “Dramatic Arts” in The Mennonite Encyclopedia (1959). The more recent burgeoning interest by Mennonites in drama and theater is discussed in the 1989 supplement to the same encyclopedia article (1989) by Lauren Friesen, a contributor to this issue.

    Ironically, two of Europe’s classic dramatists began their lives as Mennonites. The more important one is Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679), sometimes referred to as the Shakespeare of Dutch literature for his poems and verse dramas. Vondel and his wife Maeyken …

  • 0 read more Bungalow


    by Vern Thiessen

    Copyright © 2011 Vern Thiessen


    A ten-minute version of this play was commissioned and first produced by the InspiraTO Festival, Dominik Loncar, Artistic Director. It was developed in association with Pat The Dog Playwright Centre, Lisa O’Connell, Artistic Director. Other versions of this piece were developed with funding from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Many thanks to Susie Moloney, Patrick Lane, Rory Runnels, Hamilton Clancy, and of course, my understanding family.


    Bungalow was first presented at the Rory Runnels Studio, Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 2010. It was produced by Death and Taxes Theatre in association with The …

  • 0 read more Waiting on the Outside

    Waiting on the Outside

    by Don Yost

    Copyright (c) 1982 Donald C. Yost

    Based on interviews by Kathy Royer and Howard Zehr of 32 women whose partners served time in prison. For the contexts of the creation, performance and effects of this drama, see the author’s essay following the script.


    Sophie Williams....................... late 20s

    Richard Williams .................... Sophie’s husband, early 30s

    Liz Butler.............................. Sophie's friend, real estate agent, early 30s

    Time -- 1980

    Place -- a suburban house near Indianapolis, Indiana


    Scene 1.............................. a summer Saturday

    Scene 2.............................. a late October evening and various moments in the weeks that follow

    Scene 3...............................late at night in …

  • 0 read more Theatre Review: The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz by Armin Wiebe

    Theatre Review: The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz by Armin Wiebe

    by Talia Pura

    The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz had its world premiere with Theatre Projects Manitoba on April 17,2011, at the Rachel Browne Theatre in Winnipeg.

    Whatever images float through your mind when you listen to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” will forever be transposed, like mine, to include a prairie pioneer’s cabin interior. That is, if you attended a recent performance of Armin Wiebe’s first play, Th e Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz.

    The play opens with our early pioneer, an earnest yo ung Mennonite husband named Obrum, pushing an old, beat-up piano into his humble abode. We learn that he has acquired …

  • 0 read more Hermann Sudermann, Mennonite Playwright and Novelist from the Boundary

    Hermann Sudermann, Mennonite Playwright and Novelist from the Boundary

    by Lauren Friesen

    The playwright, poet and novelist Hermann Sudermann was also known as the “Balzac from the East” by compatriots, and this essay seeks to establish the extent of his popularity in his time, as well as examine his Mennonite connections and the themes in many of his works.

    Sudermann was born in East Prussia, near today’s Silute, Lithuania, on September 30, 1857, and died in Berlin on November 21, 1928. The facts of his life are fairly well established: Mennonite father, Lutheran mother, dropout from Humboldt University in Berlin, editor of a widely read radical newspaper Deutsches Reichsblatt (1881-89) …

  • 0 read more Hermann Sudermann: A Bibliography

    Hermann Sudermann: A Bibliography

    by Lauren Friesen

    July 2011

    I. PLAYS

    A. Collected plays:

    Hermann Sudermann. Dramatische Werke. 6 bd. Stuttgart: Cotta, 1923. (Cotta is J.G. Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger, GmbH.)

    B. Individual Works. Chronological sequence (publication, production and, when applicable, film dates.) When no translator is identified, the English title is my translation of the German title.

    1889 - Die Ehre. Berlin: Cotta, 1892, 156pp. Production in Berlin, Lessing Theatre, November 27, 1889. Honor. Trans. by Hilmar R. Baukhage. New York: Samuel French, Inc., 1915.

    1890 - Sodoms Ende: Drama in fünf Akten. Berlin: Cotta, 1891, 152pp. Berlin, Lessing Theatre, November 5, 1890 …

  • 1 read more The Merry Pranks of Friedrich Wilhelm Voigt, Mennonite Trickster and Dramatic Hero

    The Merry Pranks of Friedrich Wilhelm Voigt, Mennonite Trickster and Dramatic Hero

    by Ervin Beck

    About 15 kilometers south of the birthplace of Hermann Sudermann, across the Nemunas River in Lithuanian East Prussia, lies the city of Tilsit (now Sovetsk, Kaliningrad), where Dutch-origin Mennonites lived and maintained a meetinghouse west of Tilsit at Alt Pokraken.

    To a Mennonite family in Tilsit was born Friedrich Wilhelm Voigt on February 13, 1849, destined to become a legendary figure in popular German lore and literature, including many films and dramas, especially the tragicomedy Der Hauptmann von Kopenick (1931), in English The Captain from Kopenick.

    From the time he was 14 years old in 1864 until …