Friday, October 24, 2003

We went to see The Private Life of the Master Race at the university last night. It was the first time I'd been inside the Performing Arts Center since I worked there in 1988-89. The office where I worked is now Undergraduate Admissions. A new administration building is under construction, and most offices moved to some former state office buildings near campus. But I guess they wanted to keep admissions closer than that.

Anyway, it was a powerful performance; the student actors have a lot of talent. The story was disturbing, about the rise of the national socialist party in Germany during the 1930s. It focused on how it took place - the seeds in ordinary society that allowed such a thing to happen, not on the Holocaust, World War II, or its aftermath.

An elderly couple was sitting next to Bob. During one scene, "relief" workers/party members were delivering care packages to citizens, and a starving woman eagerly accepts it, goes through the box, eats an apple, encourages her very stoic sister to accept one too, and then chides her for expressing concerns about the government, food shortages, etc. The soldiers wind up taking the sister away for her beliefs. During that scene, the elderly man seated next to Bob started to cry.

This highlights my only objection to how the play was staged. There were two walls of chalked grafitti near the audience, and the actors wrote slogans there before the play and during the intermission. Most of the slogans were political or anti-war and had a much more contemporary flavor than the play. I suppose the point was to encourage activism on the part of the students, and to connect the theme of the play to today. I'm sure this wasn't the intention, but to me, the juxtaposition of messages of this nature (for example, "Yankees Go Home" or "Suck it up Governor") with the stark performance seemed to trivialize the serious script.

My blogger sweatshirt came yesterday. It is pretty nice, a navy blue Hanes with a hood. I think it will fit. I haven't tried it on because the dogs immediately wanted it, they were sniffing around when I opened the box. They believe all packages that are delivered are for them. I always order toys and treats for them from Drs. Foster and Smith, and from the livingroom window they can see the box get delivered on the front porch. So Sophie has been using the sweatshirt for a pillow since last night.

No comments: