By Carmen-Francesca Banciu, translated by Elena Mancini.


Set in Berlin shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, IT’S COLD AND IT’S GETTING SO DARK centers around Deborah, a former radio journalist in the GDR who is dying of cancer. Through a somewhat dreamlike dialogue between Deborah and an unnamed younger female friend, we learn about Deborah’s troubled childhood in East Germany, her failed marriage, and her later heartbreak after her female partner leaves her when she is unable to deal with Deborah’s illness.

The Play for Voices production of IT’S COLD AND IT’S GETTING SO DARK was directed by Anne Posten. Kevin Ramsay and Kaya Bailey designed and mixed the audio. The role of Speaker 1 was played by Jocelyn Kuritsky, and the role of Speaker 2 (Deborah) by Carol Monda.

Play for Voices audio plays are recorded at Harvestworks by audio engineer Kevin Ramsay.

Play for Voices is produced by Jen Zoble, Anne Posten, Katrin Redfern, and Matt Fidler.


Carmen-Francesca Banciu is the author of five novels, several short story collections, critical essays, and a radio play. Born in Lipova, Romania, she studied religious painting and foreign trade in Bucharest, and began publishing short stories in the 1980s. In 1985, she was awarded the International Short Story Award of the City of Arnsberg for the story “Das strahlende Ghetto” (“The Beaming Ghetto”). Immediately following this award, Banciu was banned from publishing her work in Romania. In 1991, she accepted an invitation extended by the DAAD Berlin Artists-in-Residence program and went to Germany. Since her debut in German, Banciu has established herself as a Berlin-based writer, adopting German as her primary literary language. Banciu first debuted in the German language in 1996, with her memoiristic novel VATERFLUCHT [FLIGHT FROM FATHER]. Banciu was Writer-in-Residence at Rutgers University from 2004-2005 and University of Bath in 2009. In 2016, Banciu made Loren Kleinmann’s “Most Badass Female Protagonists” list in Huffington Post. Banciu currently lives in Berlin and works as a freelance author and co-editor/deputy director of the transnational, interdisciplinary, and multilingual e-magazine LEVURE LITTÉRAIRE.

Elena Mancini is a German-English and Italian-English literary translator. Her published translations span the genres and include three novels as well as numerous articles of social and political commentary. Mancini holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures and is a language, literature, and film professor at Queens College in New York City.

IT’S COLD AND IT’S GETTING SO DARK is the third of the three winners of the audio drama in translation contest Play for Voices held last year in partnership with Words without Borders, which is publishing the script of each winning audio play.

Originally posted in: