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German thespian students visit PHS

Last week, our students had the opportunity to interact with 19 European acting students who attend school at Goldberg-Gymnasium (high school) in Sindelfingen, Germany. The visiting students stayed with several Providence host families and attended classes for part of the day over two days last week as well as produced the German play Biedermann and The Fire-Raisers by Max Frisch.

This is the third time a group has visited from Goldberg-Gymnasium, thanks to one of their teachers, Ms. Krista Eichler, a former neighbor of school archivist Mr. Ray Day ’57. Providence was only one of the stops on their visit, which included Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago, and Alabama. PHS was the only local school on their trip. 

Theatre teacher Mrs. Ellen Holifield was pleased to be able to introduce our students to a different type of theatre.

“This is a great cultural experience for our students to see how the arts are produced in other countries,” she said.

Junior Stephen Wilson said he enjoyed hosting a student because he had the chance to talk to someone from a different country. He also liked watching their play and experiencing German theatre, which he found “very interesting and thought provoking.”

Senior Emma Rauck hosted four girls and said she too enjoyed learning about life in Germany and the differences in their high schools. She was surprised when they described German people as cold because she found the girls “really kind and sweet,” she said. She gave them a taste of American life by taking them on their first visit to a Target store, which they really liked.

She also enjoyed being able to discuss the differences in American and German theatre. The visiting students watched the matinee performance of The Enchanted Bookshop and told her they found the cute, lighthearted show about storybook characters who come to life “a little odd” because their country’s theatre is more serious and typically includes a political or other message for audiences to ponder and discuss.

Emma said she watched both performances of the students’ play, which gave her a chance to see the girls she hosted switch roles.

“I just liked seeing how different ones brought out their character,” she said. “Overall, it (hosting the students) was fun.”

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