[Editor's Note (12/01): This production was postponed]
The 60th Anniversary production of The Criminals, by Ferdinand Bruckner, opens in New York on Thursday, Nov. 29 at Performance Space 113, located at 113 Ludlow Street. The play, running through Dec. 15, is being presented by Push Productions.
Set in the late 1920's Germany, Bruckner's drama deals with the ways individual choices resulted in the violence and brutality that eventually became the Third Reich. The play is a criticism of a society whose intellectuals failed to put an end to the spread of international murder.
The Criminals, written in 1927, was the second entry in Bruckner's trilogy of plays concerning the youth of interwar Germany. The trilogy also included Pains of Youth (1926) and Race (1933). Bruckner's plays are referred to as "Zeitstucke" ("works on the time"), meaning that the plays deal with relevant social issues in theatrical terms. The plays were also part of a German art movement called "New Objectivity", which places an emphasis on psychological realism and social criticism from the perspective of the political left.
Bruckner emigrated to the United States in 1936 and worked as a writer, translator and teacher. Returning to Berlin in 1950, Bruckner translated the German premiere of Death of a Salesman. He served as a dramaturg at the Schiller Theatre until his death from emphysema in 1958. The German writer's most well-known plays are currently performed somewhat regularly in the major German repertory theatres. Featured in the ensemble cast of The Criminals are Hannah Alt, Laura Bucher, David Palmer Brown, Tom Escovar, Ledger Free, Lauren Gleason, Tilke Hill, Colin Hodges, Alan Jestice, Tonya Lester, Jason Moreland, Brian Normant, Suzan Perry, Frank Proudfoot, Laura Raynor, Brian Reilly, and Eric Walton. The production is directed by Michael Kimmel.
Tickets for The Criminals are $15. For reservations, call (212) 502-3590.
- by Chris Reichheld