New plays for children’s and youth theatre

Schneeschuhhasen im Glas (Snowshoe Hares in a Glass) by Charlotte Luise Fechner

“Schneeschuhhasen im Glas” © Colourbox.com

Charlotte Luise Fechner was born in Berlin in 1979 and studied English literature and drama in London. She has been living and working in Cologne since 2002 as a freelance writer, translator, drama lecturer and online writer/editor. She works at independent theatres and on short film projects and directed the 2880 short film festival in Leverkusen from 2004 to 2008. In 2010, she received a workshop scholarship from the Juergen Ponto Foundation. She is working on her first novel and on theatre texts as well as lecturing in drama and working as an online author/editor.

In 1978, the first human test-tube baby saw the light of the world. What was then seen as a miracle is now an everyday phenomenon. Since then, 3.7 million more children – approximately equivalent to the population of Melbourne – have been conceived outside the womb by artificial insemination. And some 200,000 more are born each year.
In 2010, the “father” of that first child – a girl – received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. On 7 July 2011, the Bundestag passed a bill on preimplantation genetic diagnosis, allowing it within certain limits. Previously, Germany had been one of only three European countries where it had not been allowed.
The girl who “was made” carries out a daring experiment. Because her best friend Alex did not want to give her any sperm and her gynaecologist was not willing to remove or isolate eggs from her body, she stole her dad’s credit card and ordered her “ingredients” on the Internet to find out “how it works / where people come from / how it feels and what it looks like in the test-tube when the cells divide / and when meiosis takes place.”


In the context of the absurd situation at the beginning of the play, the author Charlotte Fechner succeeds in developing the material into what is almost a philosophical essay about life and dominion, creation and humility, but also about the curricula and function of schools. By including everyday teenage experience, however, she always remains on equal terms with her teenage audience. She takes this audience seriously and evidently has a high opinion of their practical life skills.
The language is beautifully crafted, continually underlining the deeper meaning of the apparently easily babbled words by means of omissions. This leads to a monologue comprising a mega-sentence about the big contemporary issues which has no problems with bewildered pauses up to half a page long. This sense of bewilderment can be passed on to the audience and can stimulate fruitful discussion among them.
(Reasons given by the jury, Dutch-German Children’s and Youth Theatre Festival Kaas und Kappes)


Awards
Third prize of the Dutch-German children’s and youth theatre festival Kaas und Kappes 2011

Invited to the Frankfurt Authors Forum for Children’s and Youth Theatre 2011
Technical data
Premiere Available
Number of roles 1 female
Rights Not held by a publisher