Schule Neuwerk performs musicals about skin diseases

At first glance, skin diseases and a musical have little in common. But the musical “Aufgekratzt” unites the two. The show aims to educate children about skin diseases and allergies.

The musical will be premiered by primary school children from the Neuwerk school in Rendsburg. They practiced diligently in the string orchestra, choir or as actors for the Thursday premiere at the Hohen Arsenal in Rendsburg. 43 children of the third and fourth grades are involved in the show.

The children of the Neuwerk school in Rendsburg are thrilled

“Practice is a lot of fun and we were a lot better today than yesterday,” says ten-year-old Azadi during Wednesday’s practice. At the Neuwerk school, third grade students can also learn a string instrument in collaboration with the Rendsburg music school. Maame, for example, plays the violin, her friend Luzie the cello, and both are also on stage as performers and in the choir. “We always have to change quickly,” says Luzie.

The choir and string orchestra of the Neuwerk school in Rendsburg accompany history with music. In the school’s musical profile, third grade children can learn a stringed instrument.
Source: Daniela Weichselgartner

The idea for the piece came from dermatologist Dr. Regina Fölster-Holst from UKSH in Kiel. In dermatological counseling she has a lot to do with children, but she often doesn’t have the time to explain diseases in detail and in a child-friendly way, she says. The musical should therefore playfully educate on diseases such as neurodermatitis or scabies. At the same time, the story aims to break down the prejudices about skin diseases. “Music makes everything easier, including learning,” says Fölster-Holst.

The story of a school trip serves as a packaging

The medical information is encapsulated in a story from a school trip: a boy has lice, a girl discovers a tick bite on a walk in the woods, a student is allergic to nickel in the youth hostel’s cutlery. The extraterrestrial being “Data Dermi” appears as a special guest and explains diseases such as scabies, neurodermatitis or contact allergies.

With music, theater and illustrations, the musical “Aufgekratzt” explains skin diseases and allergies. The extraterrestrial being “Data Dermi” provides additional information on diseases such as scabies or neurodermatitis.
Source: Lars Beilke

Fölster-Holst became acquainted with the Eckernförde composer Manuel Pabst through a classic song on the radio. He is a teacher at the Neuwerk school, was immediately thrilled with the idea and composed the songs for the musical. The script was written by his wife Angela, who herself has neurodermatitis. The development and execution of the show was supported by the German Foundation for Pediatric Dermatology and the state government. “The coolest thing about the piece is that it connects so many different people and institutions,” says Manuel Pabst.

The performances are accompanied by a scientific study: before and after the show, visitors can fill out a questionnaire and test their knowledge about skin diseases and allergies. The research aims to see if children know more about the diseases after watching the show.

Musical “Aufgekratzt” also produced as a radio show

The performance in Rendsburg is just the beginning. In the coming weeks, a website will be put online on which material about the musical will be available: a radio version is available, the scores and backing tracks of the exhibition will be accessible for free and the relevant questionnaire can also be downloaded. “The aim is to spread the musical throughout Europe”, says the initiator Fölster-Holst.

The premiere of the musical will take place on Thursday 28 April at 5:00 pm in the Hohen Arsenal in Rendsburg. Questionnaires will be distributed at 16:30. Admission is free, but a donation to the school’s support association is required. Interested families and children must register by email at

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