The Wards (draft 1)

  • Michael Wood (Organiser)
  • Laura Witz (Artist)
  • Caitlin Skinner (Artist)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


I commissioned a play based on my research, intended to bring one of Scott's unpublished and previously unperformed translations of German plays to the stage. This activity centred on Scott's translation of The Wards by August Wilhelm Iffland, a play originally written and first performed in Mannheim in 1784, which Scott undertook and completed in the latter half of 1796. My initial intention was to have a reading of Scott's translation in its entirety. But soon after transcribing it from the manuscript, I realised that a performance of the translation would be potentially unrewarding for an audience in terms of both enjoyment and knowledge exchange. Laura Witz therefore adapted the material, using my research into German drama in Scotland in the 1780s and 1790s, to imagine a group of readers encountering a piece of German drama for the first time and the dramatise the ways in which Iffland's play fit in with their expectations of German literature. Alongside Witz, I assembled a team consisting of director Caitlin Skinner and three actors who have experience in development projects of this nature. Skinner is an up-and-coming and very respected young director in Edinburgh and, along with the three actors, was able to give Witz guidance on the dramatic aspects of her rendering of my research. After three days of workshopping and rehearsing the material, the resultant first draft of the play was performed to an audience at the Storytelling Centre in the form of a rehearsed reading. Following this reading, we held a Q&A in which members of the public addressed a panel consisting of Witz, myself, and Prof. Penny Fielding. This event was aimed primarily at a lay, non-academic audience that might gain from the findings of my research being worked into a performance context. Furthermore, it hoped to appeal to potential audience members with an interest in theatre and performance.
Period26 Mar 201828 Mar 2018
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionRegional