Tags: Wilhelm Furtwängler

Dreams of Beating Time

Dreams of Beating Time is set between 1917 and 1944 in Theresienstadt (Terezín, the model camp where theatre artists and musicians were allowed to produce artistic works but eventually transported to Auschwitz), Czechoslovakia, southern Germany, Mannheim, Berlin, New York and London. The scenes are structured like dreams and recollections loosely based on actual characters and events. Among the characters in the play are Kurt Singer, the former head of the Judischer Kulturbund in the Third Reich, an organization that had been allowed to produce theatre for Jewish audiences under Nazi supervision; Kurt Gerron, a Jewish director the Nazis wanted to use to make a propaganda film in Theresienstadt; Raphael Schachter, a conductor interned in Theresienstadt, and Wilhelm Fürtwängler, the controversial conductor who did not leave Nazi Germany.

Taking Sides

Taking Sides is set in the U.S. section of occupied Berlin in 1946. The play depicts the interrogation of Wilhelm Furtwängler, one of Germany’s leading conductors and composers during the Nazi era. While Furtwängler stayed, many of his colleagues fled the Third Reich. Based on the conductor’s diaries of the interrogations, the play focuses on Major Steve Arnold’s questioning of Furtwängler and asks whether by staying he was a Nazi sympathizer and whether the Allied investigation of his motives was appropriate.