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They worked with Zdenka Becker, Austrian-Slovak playwright and Lafayette’s 2008 Max Kade Writer-in-Residence

Zdenka Becker, Austrian-Slovak author and Lafayette’s 2008 Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, and students in the German junior/senior seminar will present a staged reading of their play “A Bridge of Words” at 4:15 p.m. April 21 in the Max Kade Center for German Studies, room 429 Pardee Hall.

The student performance will be followed by a staged reading of Becker’s award-winning play “Goodbye Galina, a monologue for five voices” (2003). The play presents the lives of five mail order brides from various Eastern European countries. The women share stories as they sit on a train platform, waiting for various connections. A reception will follow the performances.

As part of her residency, Becker conducted a theater workshop with students in the seminar, which is being taught by Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, professor and head of foreign languages and literatures and director of the Max Kade Center. Together they wrote the bilingual play “A Bridge of Words” in German and English.

The play consists of the last word of the previous essay becoming the first word of the following essay. As a result, the students created one large text that features multiple “bridges of words” linking different people and their experiences. The themes of the play are issues of identity and individuality, difference and diversity, tolerance, love, and peace.

For more information, contact Lamb-Faffelberger at x5255 or email.

Becker was born in Slovakia, but has lived in Austria for the last 30 years, where she learned German and began to write in the language in 1986. She is the author of six books and more than a dozen plays and has worked as an actor, director, journalist, teacher, editor, and translator. Her plays have been performed in Austria; Germany; the Czech and Slovak Republics; and in Iowa City, St. Louis, Portland, and New York City in the United States.

She has received numerous awards and fellowships for her work including the Theodor K�rner Prize from Austria’s National Endowment for the Arts and Sciences in 1995 and 2007, and Slovakia’s P.O. Hviezdoslav Prize for her translations into German in 2005.

She has also written extensively for television and radio. She wrote the film script to her first novel Berg (1994), which deals with the relationship between Czech and Slovak people and Austrians after the mass expulsions due to the Benes decrees following World War II.

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Max Kade Center for German Studies
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