"I want to be a fireman." "I want to be a teacher." "I want to be a movie star." So begins our endearing introduction to a spirited group of 10 classmates in 1925 Poland who are about to learn how religion, country and identity can tear a nation apart. Directed by Artistic Director Blanka Zizka, the Wilma's production leaves you unsettled, and rightfully so. Based on true events, Tadeusz Slobodzianek's Our Class is a gripping experience as we watch friends betray each other and themselves, and communities turn to violence against their neighbors.
A strong ensemble cast drives this deeply moving production. From eerie recitations of children's songs to graceful aging without the assistance of make-up, the cast truly makes this story one that will stay with you long after the final curtain call. Highlights include Michael Rubenfield's excellent portrayal of the radiant Abram, Emilie Krause's abused yet hopeful Dora and Kate Czajkowski's poignant Rachelka/Marianna.
The set design by Marsha Ginsberg amply compliments the plot, with barren land sparsely dotted by dead trees and upturned chairs. A large semitransparent building serves as the afterworld for those who die, as all characters never leave the stage, forever haunting those who remain.
Intense and tragic, this compelling production resonates, leaving audiences contemplating.
Performances of Our Class by The Wilma Theater run through November 13. For tickets and more information, visit https://wilmatheater.org.
Photo Credit: Alexander Iziliaev