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About us / News / 23. October 2020
© Ben van Skyhawk

Educational music theater project of the Popakademie launches website

23. October 2020

"Whats up?! Chat Community, Music & Theater" gets its own website. The project is part of the department "Vermittlung Populäre Musik" of the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg and took place in cooperation with the Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Johannes-Kepler-Gemeinschaftsschule Mannheim.

In the "What's Up?!" project, pupils from the Johannes-Kepler-Gemeinschaftsschule explored their relationship to their own smartphone and the emotions associated with its use. The pupils creatively explored apps and chat communities that play a role in their everyday lives. They were accompanied and advised by a team of professional artists from the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. In a research and conception phase, a group developed the idea for the production: a walk through the apps of a smartphone, implemented in the school rooms.

The freelance artist Lea Langenfelder wrote the script based on the pupils different impressions, with the collaboration of Ricarda Walter. Popular Music graduate León Stawski, Pop Music Design graduate Jonas Pentzek and Popular Music student Sebastian Michaeli developed the songs together with the pupils to match the theater production.

In a joint project week, the script was realized at the Popakademie and the Gemeinschaftsschule. The pupils created atmospheric sounds to go with the apps, developed scenes, recorded songs, added lyrics and set the scene for the school's rooms. The film documentation as well as the results are presented on the website. The website functions as a self-contained work of art and can be reached at

In addition, teaching materials, scripts and tutorials on the topics of "talent-based composition and music production" and "songwriting" are available on the Popakademie website for anyone interested.

The work of the Department of Popular Music Education has been an essential part of the Popakademie work since its foundation and is part of the competence center of the Mannheim university institution. Its core is active music making with children, young people and adults. Offers for all age groups are realized in the area of cultural education and language promotion, with special emphasis on the integration of local actors from the metropolitan region. Students and graduates of the Popakademie impart their professional knowledge in the projects.

The project "Whats Up?!" is supported by the program "Social Cohesion" of the Ministeriums für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst of the State of Baden-Württemberg.