Die Schneewittchen und die Sieben Dwarfen

As the German communities moved from speaking German to speaking English, short plays were written to inject some humor into the situation. These short plays were acted out in schools, youth groups and churches. A popular play at that time was a dialogue between two farmers, one a German and the other American, about a cow that had jumped the fence for a rendezvous with a bull and what were they now going to do about it?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an example of one of those German-English plays in more modern times. The first time that we know it was presented was in a speech by Brice Kuhlmann when he was Principal at Zion Lutheran School in Walburg, Texas during the late 1960s or early 1970s.  Brice says, “I don’t remember where I got the text but I made  use of it several times during my days as a Lutheran school teacher.”

The last time the play was enacted in Walburg was at the 125th Anniversary celebration of Zion Lutheran Church with Ray Mickan narrating.

The way the play was usually acted out was for there to be a narrator with a real or faux German accent. Volunteer actors were picked out of the audience to participate: Snow White (a young lady), the stepmother (an older lady), the seven dwarfs (usually children of both sexes), the hunter (an older man) and the prince (a young man). As the narrator tells the story, the actors play their parts with little or no instructions from the narrator. As the actors play their parts the narrator often humorously coaches.

Thank you Brice and Ray!

With apologies to those who do not understand German, we present:

Schneevittchen und die Sieben Dwarfen.

Es var vonce upon a time eine schoene princess named Schneevittchen. (Snow White enters.)

Sie hat eine terrible queenie stepmutter, who vould nicht permitten that someone else more prettier and schoener than sie should ever live. (Stepmother enters.)

Every tag she asked her Magic Lookin-Spiegel diese questions: (Stepmother turns to imaginary mirror.) “Mirror, mirror auf der vall, am I die schonste babe of all?” And die Magic Lookin-Spiegel vould sagen, “Queenie, du bist really tops!”

Aber, after a vhile, little Schneewittchen hat prettier and prettier ge-growed, and one day vhen die stepmutter in her Magic Lookin-Spiegel ge-looked and ge-asked the question, the Magic Lookin­ Spiegel sagte, “Stepmutter, you ain’t so bad, aber Scheeewittcen really takes die kuchen.” (Stepmother makes a face at the imaginary mirror.)

Now, dis ge-made die queen sehr hot unter dem kollar, und sie vanted to put Schneewittchen out of der vay. So she called her bester hunter to come in. (Hunter enters, Bugle, etc.) Zu him she sagt, “Take das brat out in dem voods, and get rid of her.” (Hunter and Snow White move a little ways away.)

Der hunter ge-took das kid by der hand and ge-led her avay, aus in dem voods; aber venn he vanted her to ge-killen, he couldn’t nicht, because he was ge-chicken-herzlich. (Lifts knife to kill her, but cannot.)

Der hunter sagt, “Brat, ge-scrammen Sie!” Und Schneevitchen ge-scrammte. (Hunter & Snow White leave.- She slowly returns.)

Now var die little Schneewittchen all alone in der great big voods. Sie var sehr ge-scared. (Snow White wanders in woods.)

Aber suddenly sie saw ein little hauslein and ge-vent in. (Pretends to enter house.)

Es var die home of der seven dwarfen. Shneevittchen var ganz ge-tuckered out, so sie fell zu schleep auf die whole row of beds. (Folds hand and falls asleep.)

Dann ge-kammen die dwarfen home again. (As names are called, dwarfs enter, either Herr or Fraulein, depending on the sex of the child.) Diese varen: Herr/Fraulein Grumpy (Grumpy bows), Herr/Fraulein Sneezy (sneezes), Herr/Fraulein Bashful (acts shy), Herr/Fraulein Sleepy (snores), Herr/Fraulein Doc (anything appropriate), Herr/Fraulein Happy (laughs), and Herr/Fraulein Dopey (struggles for recognition).

When sie saw Schneevittchen auf dem bed ge-lying, sagen die auf Deutsch, Wheee-Whooo! (Wolf whistle). Now, mit dat loud vhistle hat she up-gevaked (Snow White wakes up) and denn hat she die dwarfen ge-told who she vas. Und die dwarfen hat her ge-told that she mit dem ge-living could. Und so hat she der ge-lived, and the haus fur die dwarfen ge-kept.

SCENE CHANGES – (Dwarfs leave, Snow White remains at house)

Meanwhile hat die stepmutter again her Magic Lookin-Spiegel dies question ge-asked: “Mirror, mirror, auf der vall, am I die schoenstes babe of all?” Und der mirror sagt, “Ja, du bist die schoenste hier, aber Schneevittchen, who now mit den dwarfen ge-lives, She ge-got it alles ge-over you.”

Den hat die stepmutter off dem handle ge-flown. Sie ge-put on some old clothes and ge-vent to das haus dem sieben Dwarfen. Schneevittchen thought dat sie ein old farmer’s wife var, and ge-let her in kommen. Die stepmutter hat Schneevittchen ein shoene little dress ge-broughten, and ge-put it on her and hat es so tight up ge-tied, das Schneewittchen could nicht ge-breathen, and so sie ge-fell down like tot. (Snow White dies, step mother leaves.)

Now in der ge-meantime, die stepmutter ge-asked her Magic Lookin-Spiegel die question again, und got der same answer, namelich, das Shneevittchen prettier var. Und so ge-made she herself into ein vitch, and vent back to das haus der sieben dwarfen. Da sie gave Schneevittchen ein ge-poisoned apple, and when de little kid hat die apple gegessen, fell sie ge-down like tot. (Stepmother brings apple and Snow White eats and falls down.)

Dann ge-laughs die stepmutter to herself. (Laughs)

Now die poor dwarfen ge-kommen back home again and found her ge-dead again. Then ge-mourned the sieben dwarfen sehr much for her. (Dwarfs cry.) And so they ge-maden her ein coffin, mit ein glass top and put her darin, Und all die little animals ge-kommen and ge-cried over her.

Dann, here kam den prince through die voods (Prince enters) and saw her da ge-lyin, er sage, auf Deutsch, Wheee-Whooo! (Wolf whistle). Er went zu die dwarfen and sagte, “Ge-sell mir das koffin. Ich vill dir ge-payen vhatever vorth ist.”

Aber die dwarfen said, “Nick fur all die bier in Valburg.” Und die prince sagte, “Denn ge-give her to mich, because ich kann nicht mit out Scheevittchen ge-liven. I will ge-vatchen and ge-guarden her fur always.”

Dann ge-gaven die dwarfen der prince den coffin mit Schneevittchen in it. Der prince ge-took die glass cover off and ge-kisst her auf die schoene lippen. Und vhen he that ge-done hat der prince var uber-joyed. (Prince makes motion of taking glass off the coffin and Snow White then sits up). Schneewittchen sagte, “Ach! Vas ist ge-happened? Ver bin ich?”

Der prince sagte, “Du bist mit mir, baby, und mit mir you ge-gonna ge-stayen.” Es var love zu firster Zeit, and they ge-fallen each other into der armen. And she ge-vent zu der castle mit der prince and ge-lives there happily ever ge-after. (They leave.)

Aber, was ist of die terrible Stepmutter be-kommen? Sie var so ge-anxious to ge-make herself schoene fur die vedding reception, that she ge-looked a hole in der Mirror, and got her Kopf ge-stuck in it, and var to death ge-choked.

(Then as the finale the dwarfs come in and holding hands move in a circle as they sing or hum a happy tune!!)


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