WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSITY PLAYERS
You found the right place to watch, produce or perform (but always enjoy) English-language theater in Hamburg. Find out all there is to know about our various activities, when they are happening, and how to join them!
| Be in a play
Be part a big production performed in the Audimax, Hamburg University’s largest lecture hall. Three months of intense rehearsals culminate in 8-12 shows. A demanding time with wonderful challenges and a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and experience in theatre and meet many people passionate about this art form!
We’re currently building the improv branch of the UP with a regular, open workshop every first and third Tuesday of the month. Our production AS YOU WANT IT – THE IMPROVISED MOVIE NIGHT was the first in a long time to make it beyond campus. Due to popular demand we’re presenting it regularly at DIE MOTTE in Hamburg-Ottensen.
UP News is a comprehensive program magazine that accompanies every production. The magazine illuminates the production from aesthetic, historical and artistic perspectives. This gives you the opportunity to gain essayistic and editorial experience and to launch a veritable publication.
Current Production: MACBETH
By William Shakespeare | Directed by Jasper Koch
PREMIERE: Friday, 19 January 2024
More shows: 20-22 Jan / 24-26 Jan / 28 Jan / 31 Jan / 2&3 Feb
Shows start at 7.30 pm at the Audimax, Von-Melle-Park 4, 20146 Hamburg
A shadowy force makes an enticing promise to Macbeth, who has just returned home from war as a celebrated hero. Who could resist when opportunity beckons you to the throne? In partnership with his wife, Macbeth does his part to make the prophecy come true: The tyrannical couple shatter the order of kings with ever-increasing brutality. Who will prevail in the chaos of violence, power lust, and doubt?
Set in a mythical Scotland, the drama tells of a volatile political chaos. Taking action on the grounds of his promised destiny, Macbeth murders first for his political advancement, then to unsuccessfully alleviate an increasing paranoia. He buys “golden opinions from all sorts of people” but always fears “daggers in men’s smiles.” MACBETH’s world of defamation, mistrust, and spontaneous political improvisation provides a rich commentary on the fast-paced ruthlessness of politics and ambiguous diplomacies we are witnessing today.
Monday, 22 January, 6:15 pm: Introduction with Prof. Ute Berns und Dr. Michel Büch (lecture hall „Anna Siemsen“, Von-Melle-Park 8)
Friday, 26 January: Audience discussion with the artistic team following the performance.
Shakespeare’s classic is a horrifying story of power lust and blood, that at the same time carefully explores the gendered politics through the actions of a surprisingly modern (though somewhat twisted) couple. It engages with the psychological effects of an over-ambitious and reckless striving for power. Asking whether “Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill,” it invites questions about contemporary authoritarianism on the rise in many places of the world. This University Players production remains true to the original text, maintaining Shakespeare’s original language with a few edits.
Box-Office: 15 € regular / 8 € reduced
Online preorder: 12 € regular / 6 € reduced
School classes and groups: 5 € per person. One teacher’s ticket is free, please register beforehand via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming UP next:
| EURYDICE by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Henny Fleischmann
PREMIERE: Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 8 pm
Wednesday 8 May, 4 pm | Matinee with introduction by Michel Büch (3 pm)
Wednesday 8 May, 8 pm | With introduction by Michel Büch (7 pm)
Thursday, 23 May, 8 pm | Audience discussion after the show
Friday, 24 May, 8 pm
Hamburger Sprechwerk, Klaus-Groth-Str. 23, 20535 Hamburg
“A tender-hearted comedy – weird and wonderful.” (New York Times)
“EURYDICE feels like watching a poem and listening to a painting.” (Wall Street Journal)
I always thought there would be more interesting people at my wedding. (Eurydice)
The wedding day of the too-young and too-in-love Eurydice and Orpheus ends unexpectedly: Unable to resist the promise of a letter written by her deceased father, Eurydice finds herself at a stranger’s apartment. On her escape, she trips, falls and dies. In the underworld, where all words are lost but stones can speak, Eurydice is left with no memories of her husband and reunites with her father. When Orpheus’s beautiful music makes even the stones weep, the two are given the chance to return to the world of the living – and Eurydice is left with a choice to make. A tale of love, loss, and letters.
EURYDICE reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice not through Orpheus’s infamous pilgrimage to retrieve his bride but through the eyes of its heroine. The production departs from the myth aplenty to create an associative visual poem full of light-hearted humor and emotional intensity. With contemporary characters, surprising plot twists, and inappropriately seductive side characters, this play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.
Sarah Ruhl ranks among the most produced living US playwrights. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize twice, a Tony Award nominee, and has received the MacArthur Fellowship and PEN Theater Award. She adapted EURYDICE into a libretto for an opera of the same name in 2020, which was then nominated for the 2023 Grammy Awards. She is also an acclaimed poet and essayist, whose memoir SMILE was among Time magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books 2021. We present the play with an original score by Bremen-based composer and sound designer Ole Schmitt.
We are proud to have been invited with this production to the FEATS Festival 2024 in Antwerp (17-20 May).
Wednesday, 8 May, 7:15 pm: Introduction to the work of Sarah Ruhl with Dr. Michel Büch
Thursday, 23 May: Audience discussion with the artistic team following the performance
| THE INHERITANCE GAME
Written and directed by Jenny Day
PREMIERE: Friday, 28 June 2024
More shows: 29 June / 1 / 4-6 / 8 / 10+11 / 13 July 2024
Shows start at 7.30 pm at the Audimax, Von-Melle-Park 4, 20146 Hamburg
11 February, 12-3 pm
12 / 14 / 16 February, 6-9 pm
17 February, 10am – 6pm (CALL BACKS, INVITE ONLY)
18 February, 2-6 pm (READTHROUGH, INVITE ONLY)
The auditions are taking place in the AUDIMAX.
Set in the 1920s, THE INHERITANCE GAME is a genre combination of gamified escape-rooms along the lines of “The Devil’s Plan” or “Glass Onion.” The action taking place in and around the stock market crash, the play hits upon economic issues: the characters are all a higher social class – yet differentiated by the kind origin of their wealth – but have lost everything in the crash. THE INHERITANCE GAME also zooms in on bisexual life of the time. The thoroughly researched play draws transatlantic connections between the poetry of EB White and “Die Freundin,” a popular lesbian magazine of the Weimar-era. It involves unlikely relationships, unexpected alliances, and raises issues of loyalty and betrayal. There will also be popular original music of that era.
Jenny Day is also the author of our 2022 production MURDER AT THE INN.
How to join
At the core of our activities are two main productions every year (one per semester). If you want to join our cast, you are welcome at our open auditions at the start of every semester. Usually, this means auditions in October and April but we diverge from that occasionally. You won’t be asked to prepare anything whatsoever, your lines will be given to you on the day. If your passions lie behind or in front of (rather than on) the stage, this is also the right time to come and meet everyone and tell us what you’re interested in. When joining the crew, everyone who wants to be a part of it, will be a part of it!
We are always looking for people in these departments: stage and props, costume and make up, production assistance, directing assistance, photo and video, lighting and sound, PR and social media as well as poster design and program layout. There is also the opportunity to publish an essay in the UP News. Depending on the production itself, we might also be looking for people with specific experience in music, choreography, visual design, dance and so on.
Once the cast is chosen, there will be an intense three-months period of rehearsals. We take our craft seriously, so it takes a lot of time and work, but it is always fun. We usually even try to squeeze a whole rehearsal weekend in there as well, where we really get to know each other and take part in creative and fun workshops.
Get in touch
| Contact us
You want to join a department? You have questions regarding shows, auditions or anything else? As we are usually off buying props or rehearsing in stage, our office is usually not occupied – therefore the best way to reach us is online. Just sent us an e-mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
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| Our Instagram
We’re sharing all important – and some not so important but still fun – information on instagram. Audition dates, special offers, sneak peaks in rehearsals, trailers, competitions… Follow us there and you won’t miss anything!
| Find us
You are trying to find us for a show or audition? Our stage is located in the University of Hamburg’s Audimax, Von-Melle-Park 4, 20146 Hamburg. The Audimax is located on the ground floor of the building and wheel-chair-accessible. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, feel free to contact us beforehand or let someone at our box office know if you need assistance on the show night.