Professor Fuechtner in conversation with the cast of Cabaret

What happens when an expert on the Weimar Republic—Germany’s brief experiment with democracy between two world wars—meets the cast of Cabaret?

That’s what Associate Professor of German Studies Veronika Fuechtner wanted to know when she learned that the theater department was staging the musical, set in early 1930s Berlin, this term.

Fuechtner is the author of Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond and many scholarly articles about the time—and she teaches Cabaret in some of her classes. So the production’s director, Carol Dunne, and Associate Professor Laura Edmondson, chairs of the theater department, were intrigued when Fuechtner approached them.

Edmondson arranged for Fuechtner to give a public pre-show talk about sexual politics in Berlin during the Weimar Republic on the second night of the show’s run, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Top of the Hop in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The show opens Friday, Nov. 3.

“But I was lamenting the fact that the cast wouldn’t be able to participate,” Edmondson says. “In the theater department, we encourage performers to think critically and contextually about the creative work that they’re doing. It was Carol who had the idea of, what if we invite her to dinner?”

So, before a recent rehearsal, over a buffet of pad thai and curry, Fuechtner met with the cast and crew.

Read what happened in the full story published in The Dartmouth at