Happy Medium Theatre to Conclue Season with LEBENSRAUM, 5/9-24
Happy Medium Theatre (HMT) closes its 5th season, themed "Home is where the horror is", with Lebensraum by Israel Horovitz. Heading up the production is award-winning and widely-praised Boston Fringe director, Brett Marks (Windowmen, Boston Playwrights' Theatre). The production runs for three weeks (May 9th - 24th, 2014) at the Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02118.
"When HMT announced in 2012 they were producing Lebensraum, I was thrilled they approached me to direct it," says Marks. "The show is ultra-theatrical, actor-driven and vaudevillian. At times, I think of the many characters as sad clowns, homeless clowns just trying to find a place to live and thrive."
Lebensraum by Israel Horovitz is a play in which three actors portray 40 sharply drawn characters. It is a bold work of penetrating intelligence that is based on the fanciful, explosive idea that a German Chancellor might, as an act of redemption, invite six million Jews to Germany and promise them citizenship and jobs. A resulting scenario unfolds that explores the effects of the policy on Jews and Gentiles with widely varying outlooks: an out of work Jewish dock worker from Massachusetts who brings his Irish wife and his son to Bremerhaven to start a new life, a survivor of Auschwitz who returns to find the woman who betrayed his family to the Nazis, a young German smitten by a Jewish American teenage girl, an unemployed German laborer and scores of others. The actors make quicksilver changes from one character to the next, occasionally using masks or character cut outs to enhance the transformations. The logical progression of this artfully drawn script raises the terrifying possibility that history may repeat.
"This play means a lot to HMT. We have had great successes in the last year by tackling thoughtful, difficult content head on, as the family that we are," reflects Audrey Lynn Sylvia, HMT's Executive Director. "We are excited to be working in the world Horovitz has given us here - where there are millions of future possibilities - many of which are hopeful, some of which are fruitful, and none of which are final."
The show will feature three lauded fringe actors: Elliot Norton nominee, R. Nelson Lacey (Uncle Vanya, Apollinaire Theatre Company); Audrey Lynn Sylvia (Black Comedy, Happy Medium Theatre), and IRNE nominee Michael Underhill (Hairy Tales, imaginary beasts). These three will flex their theatrical muscles under the careful guidance of Marks, to portray a beautiful story of poignant love, tragic loss, and piercing memories.