Since 2001, Middlebury’s German Department has had a standing and very successful German Theater Group. Between 2002 and 2010, it won Mt. Holyoke College's German Theater Competition six times! Founded and directed by Prof. Bettina Matthias, this group stages one or two full-length plays in German each year. Previous productions include Anatols Größenwahn (A. Schnitzler), Reigen (A. Schnitzler), Die Physiker and Romulus der Große (F. Dürrenmatt), Zieh den Stecker raus, das Wasser kocht (E.
Middlebury’s German Department offers its students much more than just excellent in-class instruction and a unique study-abroad experience. Co- and extra-curricular offerings abound as you can see. (Click the links for photos and more details.)
The German Play was a Huge Success!
(The Newsletter took a brief break this year due to the birth of Leopold, the son of Prof. Florence Feiereisen of the German Dept. and her husband, Prof. Frank Swenton, of the Mathematics Dept. The information below pertains to the 2010 German Dept. play directed by Prof. Bettina Matthias. The 2011 play, Der Trauschein, by Ephraim Kishon, presented in May and also directed by Prof. Matthias, was equally enthusiastically received.)
German is the ticket to Europe. One of the three official languages of the European Union, German is spoken by more than 120 million people worldwide (around 95 million in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein). It is also one of the most widely used business languages in Eastern Europe (including Russia).
The German Department provides its students with a thorough training in German language and culture, enabling them to interact freely and easily with German native speakers in all areas of linguistic competency. Students will acquire a fundamental understanding of the major cultural, social, and historical forces that have shaped German society, including significant developments in German literature, as well as the basic skills required for cultural and intercultural analysis.
During her sabbatical leave in Germany during 2008-09, Bettina Matthias (German) researched and wrote a German textbook for opera singers and musicians. Having taught in the "German for Singers and Vocal Coaches" program in the German Summer Language School since 2000, she decided to dedicate her sabbatical to writing a much-needed book that takes into account this special group's needs, abilities, interests and professional realities. Her research brought her into contact with some of Germany's finest musicians, opera houses, agents, conservatories, professors and directors, and the final result will prepare singers both linguistically and culturally for auditions, projects and work in the German-speaking world.
Since 2001, Bettina Matthias (German) has worked with German students, from first-semester to graduating senior, in Middlebury's German Theater Group. What started as an alternative to the typical final paper in late 2001 has grown into a very successful staple in the German Department and on campus, a steady group with at least 10 members at any given time, that has won the German Theater Competition at Mt. Holyoke College five times and has performed nine full-length plays in German. In fall, we will celebrate our tenth production together.