Friday, February 4, 2011

Goshen's winter mainstage play, 'Translations,' examines language and culture


Event: Winter Mainstage Play Translations by Brian Friel, directed by Tamera Izlar
Date and time: Feb. 11, 12, 19 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 13 and 20 (ASL interpreted) at 3 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Umble Center
Cost: $8 adults, $5 students/seniors.
For reservations: call (574) 535-7566 or e-mail

GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College Theater Department will present Translations by Brian Friel as this winter's mainstage production. Translations, directed by Assistant Professor of Theater Tamera Izlar, will be performed on Feb. 11, 12, and 19 at 8 p.m. and on Feb. 13 and 20 (ASL interpreted) at 3 p.m. in the Umble Center. Considered one of Friel's most innovative works, Translations follows the story of Irish peasants caught in the midst of socio-political upheaval, and examines the impact a foreign power can have on a community's culture and language.

Set in rural Ireland during1833, the three-act play is interspersed with English, Latin, Greek and Irish, and includes the role of an interpreter to "translate" as all of the characters speak their own languages. Friel uses language as a tool to highlight the problems of communication, and stretches beyond revealing lingual communication barriers by underlining generational and cultural barriers as well.

"Audiences can anticipate seeing a play which does not provide clear answers in terms of conflict resolution or 'right versus wrong,' Izlar said. "Instead, the play exposes the flaws and the strengths of both sides (Britain and Ireland), while brilliantly showcasing the resiliency of the Irish people. This, I expect, is the very reason why Friel's play was so successful and continues to be a great lure."

According to producer and Professor of Theater Doug Caskey, the play – which deals with two language communities Irish and English – has since become one of the most translated and staged of all post-World War II plays, having been performed in Estonia, Iceland, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, along with most of the world's English-speaking countries.

"Goshen's emphasis on global citizenship and intercultural sensitivity made this play an excellent choice for our campus and local community," Caskey said.

The cast for Translations includes: sophomore Lewis Caskey (Goshen), sophomore Liz Core (Pella, Iowa), junior Jacob Landis-Eigsti (Lakewood, Colo.), senior Josh Hofer (Dolton, S.D.), sophomore Sam Jones (Trail City, S.D.), sophomore Vanessa Jones (Dolton, S.D.), freshman Joel Kawira (Shirati, Tanzania), senior Meg Kennell (Roanoke, Ill.), junior Matt Lehman (Kidron, Ohio) and senior Patrick Maxwell (Winchester, Mass.).

The production team includes: Professor of Theater Doug Caskey, producer; Jerry Peters, technical director and lighting designer; junior Sarah Lerch (Spring Valley, N.Y.), stage manager; freshman Gwen Stephan (Goshen) and junior Tilly Kramer Yoder (London, Ohio), assistant stage managers; junior Lauren King (Goshen), costume designer; freshman Sara Lake-Rayburn (Champaign, Ill), assistant costume designer; junior Maryn Munley (Mundelein, Ill.), set designer; junior Nathaniel Tann (East Petersburg, Pa.), sound designer; junior Stefan Kuhns (Tallahassee, Fla.), props manager; sophomore Clare Maxwell (Winchester, Mass.), hair/makeup designer; senior Kristina Mast (Corvallis, Ore.), dramaturge; freshman Sara Klassen (Goshen), assistant set designer.

This production is part of the Theater Department's 2010-11 "Loyalty, Love and Loss" season. The total running time of the production is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. Umble Center is accessible to wheelchairs and people with other physical limitations. American Sign Language interpretation will be offered during the Feb. 20 performance of the play.

Tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for students/seniors, and can be purchased by calling the Goshen College Welcome Center in advance at (574) 535-7566 or emailing

– By Alysha Landis

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or




Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit

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Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660