Who are we and what do we do?
The University Players can look back at a long history of theatre workshops: Founded in 1980 as part of the English Studies Department of Hamburg University, the University Players (lovingly called „UPs“ by its members) has been producing two plays a year (with about 11 shows each) for more than 40 years now. Its members are traditionally made up of a mixture of German and International students. Past productions have ranged from all eras of Shakespeare all the way to modern plays and musicals.
Our stage and second home is the Audimax, the university’s largest auditorium. Audiences are made up of students, pupils and all Hamburg citizens and visitors wishing to enjoy some high-quality English amateur theatre. Every single aspect of the productions is organized and executed by the UP members themselves, from stage design and costuming to marketing and finances. Despite being an amateur group, we set ourselves highly professional standards.
Each production’s cast are chosen by producer and director during a series of open auditions. Some professional actors now have a stint with the University Players proudly displayed on their CVs. All our departments are made up of seasoned members and talented newcomers each semester.
How to join
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 as well as April. You won’t be asked to prepare anything whatsoever, your lines will be given to you on the day. If your passions lies behind or in front of (rather than on) the stage, this is also the right time to come and meet everyone and tell us where your interests lie. When joining the crew, everyone who wants to be a part of it, will be a part of it.
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.
The wonderful world of improv
For a couple of years now, a number of University Players who are interested in learning and performing the art of improv have been meeting up irregularly to hone their talents. Absolutely everyone is welcome here, if your guts can take the strain of continued laughter. All you need to join is the wish to do so. If the occasion arises to perform some improv, only those who really want to take the step into the limelight will do so – no need to perform if you just want to be part of the meet-ups.