Browse the Plays
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- Allegoric or Metaphoric Representations
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Plucked from obscurity to be Hitler’s architect and minister of war, Albert Speer became the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany and the closest Hitler had to a friend. This panoramic adaptation of Gitta Sereny’s definitive and magisterial biography tells the epic story of a man whose devotion to Hitler blinded him to the worst crime of the twentieth century.
Andri has been told by his father, the town's teacher, that he is an adopted Jewish child saved from neighboring anti-Semites. However, unbeknownst to him, he is an illegitimate child of the teacher. At the start of the drama, Andri is engaged to the teacher's daughter, in reality his half sister. While the teacher tries to prevent their wedding, Andri becomes attacked by ant-Semites in his own community and invaders from the neighboring country. To try and save his son, the teacher reveals the truth but the town does not believe him and Andri is killed for being a Jew. Representatives of the town (none of whom are given names but, instead, titles signifying their occupations, except for the priest, rationalize their betrayal of the young man.
Der Führer (And the Great Lie He Borrowed)
Written under the auspices of the Writers' War Board, the leading privately run domestic propaganda organization during World War II which allowed writers to assist with the war effort, this drama written for radio explains the development and insanity of Nazi anti-Semitism by tracing its history back to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a hoax published in Russia in 1903, that purported to reveal the Jewish plot for global domination.
Dervakhung: A Drame in 3 Aktn fun dem Yidishn Lebn in Natsi-Deytshland
The subtitle of this Yiddish play, "A Three Act Drama of Jewish Life in Nazi Germany," describes the dramatic action. This domestic melodrama dramatizes the impact of the Third Reich's early anti-Semitic policies and attacks on a German Jewish family.
Disney in Deutschland
The play imagines what Walt Disney and Adolf Hitler would have discussed in August, 1935, when Disney is said to have visited Munich (and welcomed by the Nazi Press as "the great white hope against the Jews of Hollywood." Disney was known for attending Nazi bund rallies in LA and NY in the 1930. Like his friend, Henry Ford, he was admired as an entrepreneur able to mobilize workers very effectively. Ford's assembly line ideas were copied in the Krupp and other slave-labour factories in Germany.
Bernhard, in three scenes, deals with the reverberations of a professor committing suicide by jumping from his apartment in Heldenplatz: the same square into which, 50 years earlier, Nazis marched to mark their takeover of Austria. Bernhard implies that Vienna is still haunted by its past. The professor’s housekeeper and brothers describe the continuing anti-Semitism in Vienna. In the final scene, at a family dinner the professor’s wife hears “Sieg Heil” coming from outside her window in the square.
Here Is Your Jew!
A Yiddish domestic drama that dramatizes the impact of the Naxis' early attacks on Jews in the Third Reich who believed they were assimilated German citizens. A Jewish World War I hero, who has intermarried and has a daughter, finds his family persecuted because of his religion. He erroneously believes that he can get help from a Reich government official whose life he saved during battle. Instead, the play's melodramatic conclusion reveals that he has been killed.
A grotesque style comedy, which takes place in Vienna in the years before the First World War and dramatizes Hitler’s life in a men’s hostel. The play comedically represents his failed career as an artist and the development of his early anti-Semitism and his ironic relationship with a Jewish Bible salesman, Schlomo Herzl, who thinks he is protetecting Hitler from Death, when she is really coming to anoint him as her earthly leader.
Our Class follows the lives of 10 school children—Catholic and Jewish—growing up in a small town in Poland. Beginning in 1925, the children are full of friendship and hope for the future. But when World War II breaks out, Soviets, then Nazis, invade the town and everything changes. Anti-Semitism creates a divide and leads to persecution and violence, culminating in a mass murder where the Jewish inhabitants are burned in a barn or murdered in the town square. The play questions how ordinary people, once friends, could commit such horrific acts.
Oy! is the story of two German Jewish sisters, Selma and Jenny, who in 1995 in their late eighties are some of the last remaining witnesses to the period of Nazism in Europe. They return to their home in Paris after a trip to the German city of their youth. Upon their return to Paris, the sisters try to make something of the swirl of emotions, opinions and memories that have surfaced and all the things they were not able to express in Germany. Through their simple, flavorful work together, they begin to unravel the complexities of a society’s internalized racism—the broad anti-Semitism that so darkly colored their past.
Piano Fantasy [פנטזיה לפסנתר]
60-year-old Anna returns to the village in which she grew up in Poland. The village has financial problems it hopes to solve through Jewish tourism. The villagers fight over accommodating Anna. Anna is there to find her piano, the one she was playing with her mother when the Nazis came and took her. She wants her grandson to have the piano. She stays with an old couple and soon begins to suspect their house was her own childhood house. Helena, her hostess, never told her husband, the farmer, that the house is Jewish property, and fears Anna will not only take the piano but the house itself. The farmer confronts his wife after she kicks Anna out, and finds out the truth: Helena's parents worked for the Jews, and her mother told the Germans about Anna's family. When Helena's father saw the Jewish family on the train, he took the house. Anna shows them papers that prove the house is hers, but says she'll only take the piano. Helena refuses, being influenced by the village’s hatred of Jews. Anna tells her there is gold under the floor, and Helena and her husband tear down the house.
Wolf dramatizes the increasing struggles of the Jewish doctor Hans Mamlock under the very early Hitler regime and the impact of the Nazis’ anti-Jewish laws and attitudes on his life and career. The play is often cited as one of the first works to deal with the Nazi oppression of the Jews during the Holocaust.
Religion and Anarchy
Five playlets on the theme of anti-Semitism. The first, How to Train an Anti-Semite, a play about two benefit cheats who discuss Jewish conspiracy over the kitchen table. In Line Up, two men face imminent death if they stand in the wrong line marching toward the gates of a concentration camp: one line is headed for the gas chambers, the other is for forced labor. The final play, Gas, depicts three men's final agonizing moments in a Nazi gas chamber.
A docudrama in which six actors take on the roles of 150 historic figures and which dramatizes the failure of Congress to pass legislation in 1939 that would have permitted 20,000 German Jewish children to emigrate to the United States. The play uses actual excerpts from the Congressional hearings to illustrate prevalent anti-Semitism and xenophobia in the country at that time.
The Flight into Egypt
In the play’s first act, set in Lacznic Poland in 1939, a Jewish family is visited by an art professor who, though seemingly a gentile, is really a Jew passing in order to avoid the growing anti-Semitism of the academic world and to be able to leave for a professorship in New York. His visits lead to the family being attacked and only their daughter, with whom the art professor is in love, survives a horrific attack. Act 2 describes how the daughter, who is a gifted artist, is protected and hidden during the war in the basement apartment of a working class man. The benevolent common man and the art professor, who wants to assuage his guilt by returning to Poland after the war and convincing the young woman to leave for New York with him, are presented in sharp contrast.
A German-born American citizen, who supports the Nazis' anti-Jewish policies, is incensed when a Jew who has escaped from war-torn Europe becomes a tenant in the same building in which he lives.
The Storm: Tragedy of Sinai
Written by a survivor of Auschwitz whose wife, young son, and sister died in the extermination center and was trained in psychiatric social work, The Storm depicts ongoing historic attacks against Jews during the Roman Empire, Medieval times, and the Shoah as well as Jewish resistance and resilience during the course of these events.
The issue of continuing guilt following the war in Germany is examined in this play, which is structured almost as a mystery. Hirsch Levi, a successful German-Jewish businessman who deals in livestock, is murdered in the early years of the Nazi regime. No one has ever been punished for his murder nor has anyone been identified as the killer in a town where the population wishes not to be reminded of this early horrific act of anti-Semitism.
Recounts the story of Simon Wiesenthal, who escaped death at the hands of Hitler's SS but lost 89 of his own family members during the Holocaust. Realizing "there is no freedom without justice," he dedicated his life to tracking down over 1,100 war criminals, and fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people. The play highlights Simon Wiesenthal's humor, wisdom and wit during his long and purposeful life.