Storytelling Showcase shares international tales

French student Hamid Barry performing his second piece “Les Concombres du Roi”, originating in the Antilles.

On Thursday Feb. 18, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures welcomed students to their first evening of fairy tales and storytelling in the Varner Lab Theatre.

The presentation consisted of 16 performances by DMLL students ranging from fables to classic stories pulled from French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and German cultures. There were also a handful of individuals who presented original pieces as a supplement to the showcase.

Students, parents, faculty and staff were welcomed by French professor Dikka Berven prior to the first performance.

Berven took the opportunity to explain the importance behind the event as it gives individuals a chance to practice speaking and expand their skills and passion for each language.

She encouraged the audience to provide feedback through an email survey as a tool for planning future showcases.

The night began with Mckenzie Calihan’s reading of the French children’s book, “La maison que Jacques a baite” and continued with German, Japanese and Chinese children’s stories. These were followed by cold readings and performances of other pieces.

Each performer provided an English translation document, Powerpoint presentation or visual aids to ensure that the audience had an understanding of their piece. From here, there were a few individuals who provided a more unique way to connect with the audience.

Among these included Saloni Sharma, Maia Girard, Brandon Feltz, Aaron Helander and Chad Samson who performed an original Spanish skit entitled, “Estos es un asalto.”  They also performed an original called, “A Parody of a Scene from Tristan et Y seut,” written by French students Adriana Lo Piccolo, Kimberly Kushmer, Mandy Olejnik and Khayrriyah Mohammad Smith.

The event gave students an opportunity to provide their best interpretations of the culture’s stories while expressing their personal styles through the mediums in which they told their tales.

For more information about Department of Modern Literatures and Language events or about another storytelling showcase, contact the department office at  (248) 370-2060.

Countries highlighted in the showcase:

Upcoming events in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures:

Mar. 2-German/Japanese Societies Seminar

Mar. 11- Japanese Movie

Mar. 18- Japanese Movie 

Mar. 22- Noche Literaria

Mar. 25- Japanese Movie

Mar. 29- Career Fair

Apr. 5- Research Colloquium

Apr. 8,9- Italian Film Festival

Apr. 13- Awards Ceremony

Apr. 15- Chinese Honors Society Induction