Written by Ronald Harwood
Directed by Selene Betancourt
Ubu's Other Shoe Artistic Direction by Michael Siebrass
August 11 – August 12, 2017
Friday @ 7 pm Saturday @ 2 pm & 7 pm
TAKING SIDES takes place in the American Zone of occupied Berlin, in 1946. It is here the American portion of the De-Nazification Tribunal has convened to take over the questioning of Wilhelm Furtwängler, one of the outstanding conductors of his time. Furtwängler was at the height of his career in 1933, eclipsing all other conductors, just as Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. As the terrors of Nazism spread, many of Furtwängler’s colleagues fled the country, whether out of protest or persecution, but Furtwängler mysteriously chose to stay. Did he stay to do as much good as possible in the face of evil, as so many believe, or did he stay to serve Hitler, of which he was later accused? The Tribunal’s evidence has been prepared firstly by the British, and then taken over by two groups of Americans: one in Wiesbaden which assisted in Furtwängler’s defense, the other in Berlin which helped build the case against him. Little is known of the motives and methods of this group, which is the focus of TAKING SIDES. What is known is that Furtwängler was humiliated, pursued and, even after his acquittal, disinformation followed him. This may or may not have been justified—it all depends on the side you take.
What is a Staged Reading?
A staged reading is a form of theatre without sets or full costumes and props. The actors read from scripts, sometimes using music stands. They may be seated, stand in fixed positions, or incorporate minimal stage movement.
SLO REP’s staged reading series is named after the infamous trilogy of plays written by Alfred Jarry (Ubu Roi) that were banned from the stage after riots erupted on opening night. Ubu’s Other Shoe pays homage to the spirit of Jarry and to all artists who strive to explore the fringes of their art. This exciting series exists to offer actors, directors and audience members an opportunity to experience incredible plays that do not necessarily fit into our regular main stage season. Thank you for taking this journey with us.
Harwood's fierce moral debate is set in the American zone of occupied Berlin in 1946. The play acts as a powerful metaphor for the present and all those post-authoritarian societies busy ransacking their pasts.
– The Guardian
Ubu's Other Shoe Season Sponsor
Presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.