by: Susan Hasho
You can take the girl out of Germany, but it’s hard for the girl…to get the German past out of herself.
After learning what her countrymen did in the holocaust in grade school, Tessa Kim was haunted by guilt. She managed to leave Germany several times: once as an exchange student in the U.S. and then to college in the U.S. She was afraid of her “dormant Nazi genes” and spent years trying to exorcize them. She got into therapy–her theory is that Germans move to America “for therapy.” She also had her chakras examined, worked in a “super Jewish” restaurant to get to know Jews, developed the mantra, “my German-ness has no power over me.” She felt she had an evil seed inside her and she didn’t want to activate it.
Underscored with amusing music, occasionally interrupted by her accompanist, Ms. Kim goes gamely on through her attempts at recovery and ultimate self-acceptance about being German.
Tessa Kim is now a seasoned actress and developed her solo show in Matt Hoverman’s GO-SOLO workshops. Accompanied by Alexander Rovang and directed by Sarah Elizabeth Wansley, The Bad German is an honest and often oddly amusing look at what one young German woman deeply feels is her German damage and what it took to come to peace with it.
At Spectrum 121 Ludlow Street NYC. Tickets can be purchased online at www.FringeNYC.org August 14 – 28.