Sunday, October 21, 2018


Although David Meyers’ WE WILL NOT BE SILENT (@ New Rep through Nov. 4th) takes place in Nazi Germany over 70 years ago (based on real members of the Resistance movement) it seems to mirror events in our time…the only difference is that the German woman at the heart of Meyers’ play is put to death for protesting against Hitler and protesters in the U.S. are not… Except that it does happen here. A woman attending a peaceful rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was murdered by Neo-Nazis… and the president refused to condemn the right wing nationalists, saying there were “good people on both sides.” And now he sets the tone for more violence by telling his supporters that peaceful dissenters are “angry mobs” which should be feared.

Sophie Scholl’s small resistance organization (the White Rose) published leaflets which were her undoing when the police found them in her possession. Among other charges against Hitler were the words, “Every word that comes from his mouth is a lie.” We often wonder how the Germans could let the Holocaust happen. “Never Again” is written above the concentration camps that still stand as horrific reminders. Yet the Nationalist (trans. Nazi) Party is gaining ground today in Germany (and all over Europe). And here.

Tim Spears gives a strong performance as Sophie Scholl’s interrogator, playing “good cop/bad cop” with her emotions. Sarah Oakes Muirhead as Sophie has the difficult task of playing the nobility beneath her stalwart exterior. Muirhead seems so frail, yet the resistance rested on her small shoulders. Like Brecht’s Galileo, she is offered leniency if she recants and like Shaw’s Joan of Arc, she can’t deny what she believes, even to see her beloved family again. Like Shaw’s Joan, Meyers gives Sophie a lovely speech about the earthly beauty she will lose. Meyers also affords her the chance to see her brother (a graceful Conor Proft) again, if only in her imagination. Director Jim Petosa’s resonant production reminds us of the terrible consequences of “silence.”