Impressive performances at the 35th Annual German Theatre Festival and Competition at Mount Holyoke College

May 4, 2012

"Till Eulenspiegel - Zwei Streiche" performed by Meadowbrook Waldorf School Enlarge image "Till Eulenspiegel - Zwei Streiche" performed by Meadowbrook Waldorf School (© Mt. Holyoke College) “Hals und Beinbruch (break a leg)!“ With these words the 35th “Deutsches Theaterfest“ was opened on April 26th at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

Wearing colorful costumes and presenting creative stage design, students of German from 10 different middle and high schools across New England and upstate New York took part in the theatre competition and demonstrated their impressive German language skills.

The dramatic presentations in German language were a potpourri of adapted and original excerpts of classical plays, fairy tales and modern and self written works.

Not in competition: "Konsum" recited by students of Mount Holyoke College Enlarge image Not in competition: "Konsum" recited by students of Mount Holyoke College (© Mt. Holyoke College) A jury consisting of representatives of the German Consulate General and the Goethe Institute in Boston, the Past President of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, members of Mount Holyoke's German studies and theatre arts faculty as well as a former German teacher were asked to evaluate the students' acting skills and language proficiency in rating the performances.

This year's highest ranked middle school performance was “Struwwelpeter analysiert Heinrich Hoffmann” presented by Wellesley Middle School. The second and third prize in this category went to Meadowbrook Waldorf School and the German International School in Boston respectively.

In the secondary school division, the first prize was awarded to the Waldorf School of Garden City performing “Der Froschkönig”, the second prize went to Newburyport High School and the third prize to Wellesley High School.

A special prize was awarded to the only post secondary institution, Harvard University, which participated for the first time in the German theatre festival and convinced the audience with their performance of „Biedermann und die Brandstifter“.

Students of Harvard University performing "Biedermann und die Brandstifter" Enlarge image Students of Harvard University performing "Biedermann und die Brandstifter" (© Mt. Holyoke College) It was not only the German teachers' their students' dedicated work and enthusiasm that made the 35th Annual German Theatre Festival and Competition once more a huge success, but also the outstanding organization of Donna Van Handle, senior lecturer of German studies and dean of international students, and her assistant Mark Lauer, lecturer in German studies at Mount Holyoke College.

After many years of great work, long-standing organizer Donna Van Handle handed over the baton of the festival to Mark Lauer. Next year's “Deutsches Theaterfest” which will take place on April 25, 2013.

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