Preview: English teacher directs 'Translations'

Sophomore+Nico+Krauss+and+freshman+Nadav+Konforty+rehearse+a+scene+for+Translations

Sophomore Nico Krauss and freshman Nadav Konforty rehearse a scene for “Translations”

The Newtonite

Sophomore Nico Krauss and freshman Nadav Konforty rehearse a scene for "Translations"
Sophomore Nico Krauss and freshman Nadav Konforty rehearse a scene for “Translations”

by Peter Diamond
Directed by English teacher Timothy Finnegan, “Translations” by Brian Friel goes up Wednesday, Feb. 6 through Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the little theatre.
“Translations” is set in an Irish town called Baile Beag while Ireland is under British imperial rule.

“It tells the story of a small group of local tenant farmers who are unwittingly being forced to give up their land rights under the façade of ‘mapping’ by the English government,” said Finnegan. “We probably take it for granted, but for some, the ability to speak the language we know and love is not always an option.”

Mapping was the way that Great Britain divided the nations that it imperialized.

Finnegan said that he wants the characters to appeal to the audience.

“Audience members are invited to empathize with the Irish, consider the English platform and hopefully understand the process of victimization better by seeing what happens to these poor peasant farmers,” he said.

As a director, he has enjoyed working with the faculty and students in Theatre Ink.

“The actors teach me new things about what it means to ‘put on a show’ every day,” he said. “I am overcome with joy to know that we have a school that allows things like this to happen on a regular basis––for both faculty and for students.”

He uses his skills as an English teacher and speech teacher to improve his directing.

“Analysis is my game, so I can give lots of guidance to actors about where this play is coming from, as well as where it ends up,” he said. “As a speech teacher, I try to use games to help kids get comfortable, though the theatre community has so many games of their own I usually end up abandoning my games to participate in theirs.”

Tickets are $7 and sold at all lunches and on theatreink.net.