The BUEDG - past and present
The BUEDG's history goes back all the way to the mid-eighties: since 1984, students of English and American studies at the University of Bamberg have come together to stage at least one English-language play per year, the first one under the direction of the then English lecturer Michael Claridge.
During the first few years, the BUEDG had to migrate from stage to stage (mostly with kind permission from local schools). From 1991 on, we were fortunate enough to start a collaboration with the professional theatre in Bamberg, the E. T. A.-Hoffmann-Theater. The arrangement was that we were allowed to use their studio stage during the E.T.A's open air festival season. Mike's celebrated productions included plays by G. B. Shaw, Thornton Wilder, Alan Ayckbourn, two Shakespeare plays (A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night), a sketch review show, and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.
After the end of Mike's tenure in Bamberg, English theatre activities didn't stop, but were continued collaboratively by current and former English students, notably under the direction of Rainer Streng and Cornelia Daig-Kastura, and throughout the years the BUEDG could rely heavily on Kenneth Wynne as language coach and general advisor.
In 1994, BUEDG was transformed into a registered association ("e.V."), which gave stability to our group and widened the perspective from a yearly endeavour to one of a continuous institution
Entering the new millennium, we also entered into a productive phase of re-orientation: the partnership with the E.T.A-Hoffmann-Theater ceased (even though we continued collaborating from time to time), and production activities were even more closely integrated into the Institute of English and American Studies with workshops. Ever since, actors, directors and the production crew have been recruited from active students of English and American Studies at the University of Bamberg.
At present, our group is active both in the winter and the summer semester, producing one major play in the summer and showcasing the work of our theatre workshop in the winter.
The BUEDG's rich history is both a source of great pride and the commitment to continue the tradition of enriching English studies in Bamberg with, as Thornton Wilder put it in an interview, the "greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being".