Fairfield University student Lara M. Eckler awarded Fulbright to study theatre in Germany
Lara M. Eckler, of Newport, R.I., who graduated from Fairfield University this May, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany. Eckler will travel to the nation this fall to study theatre under one of Germany's foremost theatre historians.
The Fulbright Grant is the most prestigious scholarship awarded by the U.S. government. The grant funds students to go abroad for one year after graduation to engage in independent research, study and work. A primary goal of the scholarship is to increase mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries.
Eckler is the only Fairfield University graduate to accept a Fulbright study this year. Another student chosen to receive the award had to decline. Since 1993, 28 Fairfield University students have been awarded Fulbrights.
Eckler will study at the Technische University as well as the Freie University in Berlin, where she will work under Erika Fischer-Lichte, head of theatre at Freie and considered one of Germany's preeminent theatre historians. Eckler, who at Fairfield had a double major in German and theatre and a minor in communications, will explore how plays are brought to fruition in Germany. One of her goals is to translate a German play and get it produced in the United States.
"I'm going to be studying theatre directors over there," Eckler said.
Eckler's Fulbright is the first that has been awarded to a Fairfield University student for the purpose of studying theatre, according to Marti LoMonaco, Ph.D., chair of Fairfield University's department of visual and performing arts and associate professor of the theatre program.
"This is tremendous. This is a proud moment," said LoMonaco, who has worked closely with Eckler at Fairfield. "Lara is an exceptional person."
Fluent in German, Eckler interned last summer with the Berliner Ensemble in Berlin in the heart of the German theatre world. In addition to writing and producing plays at Fairfield University, Eckler has some professional theatre experience, having operated the sound board for a play at Stamford Theatre Works. Her main interests are in writing plays and in stage management, Eckler said.
A University Fellows Scholar, Eckler also received Fairfield University's Mary Louise Larrabee Fine Arts scholarship. She served on the board of Theatre Fairfield and as president of the German club and Fairfield University's chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma, a national foreign language honor society. Eckler is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society.
Eckler's proficiency in both of her majors has enabled her to accomplish so much, said Katherine Kidd, Ph.D., director of the International Studies program at Fairfield. "She's exceptionally competent in both areas, which is what makes her an excellent candidate for this type of Fulbright," Kidd said.
Eckler would eventually like to apply to a graduate degree program in playwriting.
Posted on July 10, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 13