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!

| Improvise

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.

| Write

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.

| EURYDICE by Sarah Ruhl

Co-directed by Henny Fleischmann and Charlie Bierend

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)

Graphic Design (c) Felix Krebs

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).

Coproduced by the Amerikazentrum.

| 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

In the aftermath of the 1929 Stock Market crash, the enigmatic Harold Seymour, renowned owner of a prosperous games company, has left behind a tantalizing inheritance. Seven of his acquaintances are invited to a night of mysteries and puzzles, where solving them is the key to his riches that will save them from squalor. However, only one among them will emerge victorious. Delve into a realm where wealth, passion, and power collide. Who will prevail when the levee breaks and strategic alliances blur love, lust, and betrayal?

THE INHERITANCE GAME is a genre combination of gamified escape-rooms along the lines of “The Devil’s Plan” or “Glass Onion.” 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 meticulously researched historical fiction explores bisexual life of the time and draws transatlantic connections between the poetry of EB White and “Die Freundin,” a popular lesbian magazine of the Weimar-era. THE INHERITANCE GAME takes place in a world teetering on the brink of change; step into the past and uncover the uncanny parallels between the tumultuous times of one century ago and our own.

Jenny Day is also the author of our 2022 production MURDER AT THE INN.

Graphic Design (c) Faith Maryn

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!

| Newsletter

Never miss a premiere or an opportunity to join! Sign up and we will let you know about all show openings and auditions! Since we know newsletters can be annoying at time, we’re sending out mailings only about four times a year with essential information. Once you entered your email address here, please do not forget to confirm the subscription by clicking on the link you’ll receive via email.

| 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.