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THIS SIDE OF ETERNITY: THE KRISTALLNACHT STORY
Author(s): Christopher Bibby
Germany, 1938. The Holocaust lies in the future, but the Nazi propaganda machine is using peace-time to plant its insidious seeds. Martin and Jozef find their life-long relationship tested when Hitler incites legal terrorism on his Jewish citizens. Can a Christian Nazi and his Jewish best friend hold their bond together, or will they be swept into a conflict destined to consume the entire world? In reflection of the 80th anniversary of this historic event, This Side of Eternity: The Kristallnacht Story examines the nature of evil itself, the real human beings behind genocide, and asks if it’s possible to resist in the face of insurmountable odds. It explores the subtle roots of evil that are in place long before destructive choices occur and speaks to many issues dominating our current national discourse. Clear answers are hard to find, but the heart of this play – two men who long to keep their deep bond, as external forces seek to destroy it – challenges us to keep looking.
Cast Size: 7M, 3F
Running time: 90 minutes
7m (one a pre-teen boy), 3f (one a young teen girl)
MARTIN HOTTL: (30s-40s) A Christian shoe-repairman who is conflicted between complicity with the Nazis in order to save his failing business and exerting the individuality he secretly believes in. Has a wild sense of humor that’s almost been driven from him by the hardness of the world.
EMMI HOTTL: (30s-40s) A woman struggling with her duties as a faithful German wife to MARTIN while protecting her son from the intolerance and bigotry infecting their home.
JONUS HOTTL: The loving, 12-year-old son of MARTIN and EMMI. A poet trying to find his way and please his father in a world where his instincts for creative free thought are discouraged.
JOZEF PAC’ZYNSKI: (30s-40s) A successful, Jewish widower and MARTIN’s closest friend from university. Rapidly losing faith in humankind, he is bitter and intolerant, unable to see the rigidity of the Nazi’s in himself.
MISKELL PAC’ZYNSKI: The 14-year-old narcissistic daughter of JOZEF who wants nothing more than to be famous and admired. Exploring her burgeoning sexuality.
ERICH KEHRL: (early 20’s) A playboy bookkeeper who uses the excitement of the party for a sense of identity while not fully committing himself to its ends.
MARLENE LUFT: (early 20’s) An independent spirit struggling with the boredom and emptiness of unemployment. Sees through the propaganda of the Nazis.
LEOPOLD REMER: (late 20’s) An arrogant, low-ranking SS member who believes in the unifying value of Nazi ideology.
Original or Prominent Production: Theatre Nebula
Nationality of Author: U.S.
Production Rights Holder:
Experience(s) Chronicled: Germany, Hitler and the Growth of Nazism