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April 25, 2003

German Theaterfest Set for May 1

The Department of German studies at MHC is busy setting the stage for its German theatre festival and competition, Deutsches Theaterfest, scheduled to take place Thursday, May 1, from 9 am to 5 pm, in Chapin Auditorium.

The twenty-sixth annual competition will feature elementary- to college-level students of German from seventeen schools in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. The students will perform short dramatic scenes (in German) before a jury of German and theatre arts teachers from several Massachusetts high schools, faculty from the Five Colleges, and representatives of the festival's sponsors: the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Boston, the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes, and the Department of Theatre Arts at Mount Holyoke. Prizes will be awarded at the middle school, secondary, and college levels.

Performances will include adaptations of fairytales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast; original plays, including a Miss Germany contest; adaptations of novellas and the film The Matrix, and excerpts of plays by Schnitzler and Dürrenmatt. Mount Holyoke students will participate as stagehands, stage managers, lighting technicians, greeters, and prop coordinators. In addition to 150 participants, the organizers are expecting approximately fifty middle and high school students, who come to watch the plays and cheer on the actors.

"We hope that everybody will have a good time and that the festival will motivate students to continue with German," said Elisabeth Krimmer, visiting assistant professor of German. Krimmer and Senior Administrative Assistant Carmen Sullivan are in charge of this year's event. Longtime organizer Donna Van Handle, senior lecturer in the Department of German Studies and president of the American Association of Teachers of German, is on sabbatical this semester.
Mount Holyoke faculty who will serve as jury members are Joyce Devlin, professor of theatre arts; Holger Teschke, visiting professor of theatre arts; and Donald Sanders, visiting assistant professor of theatre arts. Joining them from the Five Colleges will be Heidi Gilpin, assistant professor of German at Amherst College, and Mary Paddock, assistant professor of German studies at Smith College. As the Germans say, Hals-und Beinbruch (break a leg)!


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