Theatre: Rosa and Blanca

English language world premiere of play by Rebekka Kricheldorf, translated and directed by Neil Blackadder

February 14, 2008

The Knox College Department of Theatre and Dance presents the English-language world premiere of "Rosa and Blanca," by Rebekka Kricheldorf, translated and directed by Neil Blackadder, associate professor of theatre, at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 20 through Saturday, February 23, in Harbach Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, on the Knox campus in Galesburg, Illinois.

The performance is recommended for mature audiences. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens, and are available at the door.

An award-winning German playwright, Kricheldorf will visit Knox for a three-day residency during the performances. Kricheldorf will meet with Knox classes and participate in post-show discussions with the audience, Blackadder, and cast members.

"The play is a contemporary riff on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale," Blackadder said. "Rosa and Blanca are two sisters living in a forest and interacting with the other forest inhabitants -- especially a sexy bear and an abusive dwarf," Blackadder said. The original fairy tale is just a starting point for Kricheldorf's play, which explores themes including coming-of-age, rebellion and utopia.

The play was commissioned and first performed in German in Kassel -- "a German city described as the 'Capital City of the Brothers Grimm,' where the Grimms did their most important work during the first half of the 19th century, collecting and editing the fairytales," Blackadder said.

Blackadder began translating the play last summer. "The script has been through multiple drafts -- three up to this point," he said. "I welcome the idea that my translation is improved through working with the students."

Blackadder said that he met Kricheldorf in April 2006 at a theatre festival New York City. "I had translated another of her plays, 'The Ballad of the Pine Tree Killer' for the festival."

Kricheldorf studied playwriting at the Hochschule der K?nste in Berlin. Her play "Princess Nicoletta" was awarded the 2002 Publishers' Award and the Audience Award at the Heidelberg New Play Festival, and she received the 2004 Kleist F?rderpreis for her play "Warrior Flesh."

Rosa and Blanca - rehearsal
Above and below, rehearsal scenes from "Rosa and Blanca."

Rosa and Blanca - rehearsal
Photography by Lauren Neiheisel