Citizen Schippel by David Copelin


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Germany, 1910: When the lead tenor of a prize-winning singing quartet dies suddenly, the remaining singers must find a replacement quickly or lose this year's prize. The only suitable contender is Paul Schippel, an illegitimate working-class musician with a beautiful singing voice. Tilmann Hicketier, Heinrich Krey, and Andreas Wolke, the stuffy burgeois who make up the rest of the quartet, hate the idea of including the proletarian "bastard". But if they want to win, they have no choice. Though he despises these pompous asses as much as they despise him, Schippel secretly aspires to join the middle class, and agrees to sing in the quartet if he can marry Hicketier's sister Thekla, who spat in his face years ago. Hicketier is forced to agree and will supply a fake pedigree for Schippel. Meanwhile, the local Prince seduces Thekla. Now Schippel isn't interested in marrying her. However, knowing nothing of the seduction, Wolke has convinced Krey that he loves Thekla and should marry her. When Schippel hints that Thekla is "damaged goods", Hicketier's wife Jenny forces Krey to challenge Schippel to a duel with pistols. Both men are terrified. A devout coward, Schippel pulls the trigger blindly, wounding Krey slightly. The others believe that he is a crak shot who has aimed carefully in order to spare Krey's life but restore his honour. In gratitude, Hicketier welcomes Schippel into the middle class. Schippel is overjoyed.

Written With: John Van Burek
Running TIme: 90 minutes
Acts: 2
Male Cast: 6
Female Cast: 2
This is an adaptation of Carl Sternheim's play BURGER SCHIPPEL