Ashland Contemporary Theatre in association with Livia Genise Productions is proud to present a staged reading of Judgment at Nuremberg by playwright Abby Mann. Originally written in 1957 as a television episode of “Playhouse 90,” Judgment at Nuremberg became a 1961 film directed by Stanley Kramer and starred Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Montgomery Clift and a young William Shatner. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, Mann and Schell took home Oscars for Screenplay and Best Actor, respectively. Judgment at Nuremberg was finally produced on Broadway in 2001.
Abby Mann based his script on trial transcripts from U. S. Military Tribunals from 1948, but strove to put a human face on the German people as the world became aware of the war crimes committed by the Third Reich. His powerful script explores the personal choices an individual makes in a fearful society, where it is ‘us’ against ‘them,’ and how that individual then justifies the choice. Mann’s play asks the question: How did this happen? One of his characters explains how the Germans were able to justify their crimes: “The country is in danger. What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through… And then one day, we looked around and found we were in even more terrible danger. What began in our courtrooms swept over our land like a raging, roaring disease! What was going to be a passing phase had become a way of life.”
Directed by Livia Genise, Judgment at Nuremberg stars John Lambie as Judge Dan Haywood, Kate Sullivan as Frau Berholt, Michael Meyer as Oscar Rolfe, Ian Wessler as Ernst Janning, and Derek Rosenlund as U.S. Col. Tad Parker. The large supporting cast includes: Joe Charter, Will Churchill, Dianna Warner, Jack Seybold, Heiland Hoff, Joe Suste and more. Tim Kelly provides video design and narration.
Judgment at Nuremberg plays June 30 & July 1 at 8pm & July 2 at 2pm at The Belleview Grange, 950 Tolman Creek Rd. (@ Siskiyou Blvd) and July 7 & July 8 at 8pm & July 9 at 2pm at The Ashland Community Center. Tickets for Judgment at Nuremberg are $15 and can be purchased by check or cash at Paddington Station in Ashland, at Grocery Outlet in Medford and online at www.ashlandcontemporarytheatre.org. Online ticket purchases have reserved seats. Tickets are also available at the door. For more information, call 541-646-2971.