The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 09, 1998, Page 6, Image 6

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Play depicts Baha’i persecution
Followers continue to face present-day challenges
By Sarah Baker
Senior staff writer
More than 100 years ago, a
young Persian man, a follower of the
Iranian Baha’i faith, believed so
strongly in his religion that he was
tortured and killed because of his
At the beginning of this month,
two Iranians were sentenced to
impehdihg death for the same rea
son: their undying belief.
Dying for one’s faith has been
the fate of Baha’i followers for the
past century.
This weekend, one of their sto
ries comes to the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, but this time, it’s
4 on stage. -
•“The Kingfisher’s Wing” is
based on the birth of the Baha’i faith
in Iran, during which more than
20,000 followers were brutally mas
sacred by corrupted secular and reli
gious leader^ hi hie late 1800s.
But the story doesn’t just repre
sent an important piece of history; it
represents events happening across
the world even today.
The persecution of Baha’is in
Iran has continued. On Oct. 1, two
Baha’is in Iran were sentenced to
pf their beliefs,
and executed in 1869 because of his
Baha’i faith.
George described the play as a
post-modern storytelling piece and
said it uses music, shadow work,
abstract movement and puppetry.
George plays numerous characters
himself, and his partner Styve
Homnick adds music to the show.
“It’s not just about politics,
George said. “It’s about families
and where we get the courage to
He said religion, although
important to the show, isn’t the only
“It’s about the way we embody
truth and pass it on from one gener
ation to the next,” he said. “It lets us
connect not only to the past but also
to the future, and to things that are at
the heart of what life is about.”
Chad Dumas, president of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Baha’i Association, said the play is
an important event not only to UNL
students, but to the Lincoln commu
, ihis story is about a very hero
ic youth who gives his life for his
faith,” Dumas said. “It’s neat to see
how much of an influence one per
son can have.”
George said he has considered
writing this piece for the past 20
years and said it was an important
departure for him.
“There is a taboo when it comes
to dealing with religious faith on
stage because we have a very secular
attitude about the arts,” he said. “I
had to reach a certain degree of
maturity before I could do this. I’m
glad I finally reached it and did it.”
The faith originated in Iran in the
1840s, according to Doug Boyd,
spokesman for the Lincoln Baha’is.
Baha’is believe in the oneness of
humanity and that all the religions in
the world are divine in origin, Boyd
Boyd said the play, in an emo
tional sense, could give viewers
insight into the religion.
“People are going to come away
It s not just
about politics. Its
about families and
where we get the
courage to live.”
Bill George
theater artist
with their own understanding of the
situation, and it will be personal,” he
said. “In that sense, they may be able
to identify with it.”
Many Baha’is remain in their
home country despite the atmos
phere of religious intolerance. As
recently as July a Baha’i in Iran was
executed because of his religion.
Dumas said his organization has
four members who are UNL stu
dents, but there are about 100 prac
ticing Baha’is in Lincoln.
Homnick, the play’s musician,
said he decided to be a part of the
show because he had never seen a
production like this one before.
“The show lets people know that
to change things that are really
worth changing, it takes incredible
dedication and sacrifice,” he said
“The Kingfisher’s Wing” plays
this Saturday in the UNL Culture
Center at 7 p.m.
For more information, call Boyd
at (402) 474-5534.
Professor May receives
state’s Carnegie award
Staff writer
In an era when research tends to
dominate much of a professor’s time,
Ann Mari May is getting back to what
she knows really matters in education:
the students.
May, an associate professor of
economics at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln was honored
Thursday with the Carnegie
Foundation’s Nebraska State
Professor of the Year Award.
“I’m thrilled,” May said. “It’s very
exciting for me.”
The award is given annually to
professors in each state in the nation.
May becomes the fourth UNL profes
sor to win the state award for Nebraska
since the program started in 1981.
“I’m very happy for her,” said Jill
Braband, a junior finance and eco
nomics major.
“She goes above and beyond the
expectations of a professor. She cares
about her students and wants them to
understand what she’s teaching,” said
Braband, who had May for two classes
last year.
May, who has been at UNL for 12
years, said the award is an excellent
honor, considering the size and com
mitment to education that the
Carnegie Foundation has.
“(The foundation is) moving
towards bringing the focus back to
teaching,” May said. “They’re the dri
ving force behind making the students
the important part in education.”
May said receiving the award has
allowed her to look back at the success
she has had in teaching and the stu
dents she has enjoyed in her classes.
“(Teaching) is excitement about an
idea,” May said. “It’s an excitement ;
about sharing and getting others to
understand what you’re saying.”
May is known for challenging her
students with high academic standards
and a strict grading policy, but
Braband said it’s all worth it.
“She incorporates a lot of critical
thinking into classes,” Braband said.
“She took us outside of our comfort
zone and made us think about things
we hadn’t thought about before.”
Braband wrote a letter of com
mendation to the foundation on May’s
mere were iz nominations rrom
the state of Nebraska and three from
UNL in the Carnegie program.
Professors were nominated by the
administrations at their institutions.
Steve Weiss, a coordinator for the
award program and spokesman for the
foundation’s Council for the
Advancement and Support of
Education in Washington, D.C., said
the competition for the award is
always very tough, based on the strict
nomination requirements.
Nomination and selection for the
award is based on four criteria laid out
by the Council for the Advancement
and Support of Education and the
Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching.
The criteria include: impact and
involvement with students; scholarly
approach to teaching; service to stu
dents, the institution, the community
and the profession; and support from
colleagues and students.
TSTb lTii "^s
; 17th &‘N’ ■
I No Appointments Necessary _
■with UNL student 1 I
; Now Only $19.79 J
_(reg. $25.70, Environmental disposal fee included)
• Oil & filter change ( up to 5 qts.)
Lubricate zerk fittings
Check & fill fluids: ||
|brake, power steering, battery, washer, and ■“
.automatic transmission fluid only
• Check antifreeze, air filter, wiper blades,
®and tire pressure
Vacuum interior & wash windows I
1 Best Service in 1
i i
i Just 10 Minutes i
EMost brands available |
Expires 8-31-98 ■
| 3391$$. Mstnft
Miller Lite & W.C.’s present...
Friday & Saturday
Oct. 9th & 19th
Come early and beat the cover!
$1 Well drinks from 8-9! I I
§9 cover $4 Pitchers
XrLm ™ 477-4006
More Than You Bargained For
America’s Favorite Thrift Store
Make Us Your
Halloween ,
Headquarters! §
Bargain prices on over 100.000 quality items...
Adult and Children’s Clothing _
Housewares and Small Appliances
Domestics. Toys. Books and Carnes
4690 Leighton • 467-1991