No misunderstanding: German language students to perform dramatic scenes

In every language there are possibilities for misunderstandings – and mishaps.

Take this question, for example – “Was hast du gesagt?" (What did you say?) Depending on the inflection, it could have many meanings.

Students in Shana Bell’s German drama workshop at ASU will illustrate some of those situations in the German language in an unusual final exam – free theater performances Dec. 3 and 4.

The performances will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in The Studio at the Tempe Center for the Arts, located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, in Tempe. The public is invited.

The evenings will feature a collection of student-written dramatic scenes titled “Für dich, ein Gift…ein Abend der Missverständnisse.”

“In this class students learn and practice German not through grammar and vocabulary drills, but rather by doing improvisations, role-plays and scenes – all in German,” Bell said. “At the end of each semester, the class offers a free theater performance in German.

“The material differs each semester. This particular semester, the class focused on writing various scripts in different formats, thus our final production is a collection of student-written scenes all based on the topic of ‘misunderstandings.’"

All 16 of this semester’s students will be on stage. Each has memorized his or her lines, Bell said. “No scripts are allowed on stage, and no prompters.”

The performances are sponsored by the School of International Letters and Cultures, the Friends of German Studies-German Drama Workshop and by donations.

For more information, contact Bell at