Reviewed by Paula Citron
Studio 180 Theatre/Canadian Stage
Written by Tadeusz Slobodzianek (English version by Ryan Craig)
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Performed by David Beazely, Jonathan Goad, Jessica Greenberg, Ryan Hollyman, Mark McGrinder, Kimwun Perehinec, Alex Poch-Goldin, Dylan Roberts, Michael Rubenfeld and Amy Rutherford
Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs
Apr. 4 to 30, 2011
Tadeusz Slobodzianek’s Our Class is positively harrowing.
The play is based on the 1941 massacre of Jews in the town of Jedwabne, Poland. Although the town was under German occupation, it was the Poles themselves who rounded up the 1600 Jews, put them in a barn, and set it on fire.
The most important thing about this play is that it is written by a Pole who is part of a national movement to uncover truth. For years, the Nazis were blamed for this atrocity.
The story traces the interweaving relationships of ten classmates – five Jews and five Gentiles, seven boys and three girls. Director Joel Greenberg has assembled ten fine actors to portray these difficult roles. His props are 10 chairs, and their movement around the stage is the metaphor for the flow of history.
In a world where genocide seems to be a natural reoccurrence, this play is a must see.
Our Class continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs until Apr. 30.