Ursinus Students Direct Significant Brecht Play

Five Ursinus students are working collaboratively to direct the play Fear and Misery in the Third Reich. The play by Bertolt Brecht runs April 2 through 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theater of the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $2 for students and senior citizens. For tickets, go to the Box Office at www.ursinus.edu/tickets. The Box Office phone number is 610-409-3030.

The students are enrolled in a directing course under Professor Domenick Scudera, who is also a professional director. “The students are fully immersed in the process and have been working with professional designers,” he said. In addition to working independently on scenes, the students and creative staff have created a unified vision for the whole production.

The creative staff for the play includes Meghan Jones, scenic design; Dave Todaro, lighting; and Brian Strachan, costumes. There is a student cast of 16, who are also involved in a theater class, as are the students serving on the tech crew. Student directors are Kale Drost, Quinn Gilman-Forlini, Brendan Howseman, David Martin and Marquis Wilson. “This is a project that has students fully active on many different levels of production,” said Scudera. 

Fear and Misery in the Third Reich is one of Brecht’s first openly anti-Nazi works, first performed in 1938. According to Drama Online, Brecht’s series interconnected playlets “describe what life was like in German households in the 1930s. They dramatize with clinical precision the suspicion and anxiety experienced by ordinary people, particularly Jewish citizens, as the power of Hitler grew. A growing distrust of their friends and colleagues and even of their own children affects everyone from factory worker to physicist, housewife to judge.”