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College Theater will present Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children 8 p.m. today through Saturday on the main stage of the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets cost $6 and may be ordered by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

A free preview will be presented noon today at the Williams Center. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3.

The play is directed by Suzanne Westfall, professor of English and theater, who has directed more than a dozen plays at Lafayette.

The crew consists of stage manager Katherine Rewinkel ’03, an English major from Sunnvale, Calif.; assistant director Keli Whitnell ’03, an English major from Newark, Mo.; video designer Ricardo El-Darwish ’03, a computer science major from Ferney-Voltaire, France; sound designer Rusty Wandall, a computer science major from Ambler, Pa.; and musical director Tom DiGiovanni ’96, who leads Lafayette’s orchestra and orchestra. Costumes are by D. Polly Kendrick, Parrott Designs, and lights by Richard Kendrick.

Renowned American playwright Lillian Hellman called Mother Courage and Her Children one of “the great plays of our time,” notes Westfall.

“Anna Fierling, the mother of the title, slogs through the shifting tides of war, trying to preserve her family while succeeding in business,” says Westfall. “Along the way she encounters a cynical Cook, an opportunistic Prostitute with a soft heart, and a Chaplain who is questioning his religion — the ‘little people’ as she calls them, who are caught up in forces much larger than they can comprehend.”

The production employs a new translation of the German text commissioned from British playwright David Hare for the National Theatre, which The Independent on Sunday newspaper calls “a superbly combative new version that bristles with paradox, irony, and skepticismhe has taken a bottle of still water and put in the fizz.”

“This production uses multi-media effects to produce Brecht’s famous ‘alienation effect’ — to keep the audience thinking rather than feeling, to impel spectators to action rather than to tears,” says Westfall. “After the carnage of the twentieth century, as we march off yet again to war, this masterpiece seems even more timely and important than when it premiered in 1941.”

Westfall is coeditor of the first extensive study of patronage as it relates to Shakespeare and the theatrical culture of his time. Cambridge University Press recently published Shakespeare and Theatrical Patronage in Early Modern England, co-edited by Westfall, who also contributed a chapter to the 326-page volume, and Paul Whitfield White, associate professor of English, Purdue University.

Westfall’s scholarly and artistic work ranges from early modern theater to contemporary performance art. She is author of the book Patrons and Performance: Early Tudor Household Revels, as well as articles on household theatre in collections such as Blackwell’s A Companion to English Renaissance Drama, The Cambridge History of British Theatre, Lancastrian Shakespeare: Region, Religion, Patronage and Performance, and The New History of Early Modern Drama in Honor of David Bevington. She also is working on a “court calendar” for the reign of Edward VI (ruled 1547-53) and an edition of plays by Obie-winning performance artist Ping Chong.

Westfall is a recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to campus life.

The Cast:
Anna Fierling – neuroscience major Elizabeth Younkin ’03 (Easton, Pa.)

Kattrin — mathematics major Amanda Carey ’03 (Staten Island, N.Y.)

Eilif – electrical and computer engineering major John Kolba ’06 (Chelmsford, Mass.)

Swiss Cheese – English major Adrian Fang ’03 (Chambersburg, Pa.)

Cook — computer science major Ric El-Darwish ’03 (Ferney-Voltaire, France)

Chaplain – mechanical engineering major Terrence Monte ’03 (Valhalla, Pa.)
Yvette Pottier — Rebecca Banchik ’05 (West Lebanon, N.H.)

Recruiting Officer – mathematics and government & law major Kenya Flash ’03 (Coopersburg, Pa.)

Sergeant, Old Colonel — Greg Herchenroether ’06 (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Commandant – economics and business major Victor Mrosso ’04 (Fairway, Kan.)

Armourer – computer science major Rashada Norman ’03 (Bethlehem, Pa.)

Peasant Woman – English major Keli Whitnell ’03 (Newark, Mo.)

Children — Dylan Putzel, Max Walker

Categorized in: Academic News