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The theatre project presents “The Interpreter” by Joseph Vitale

originally published: 29.05.2024

(SUMMIT, NJ) — The theatre projecta leading incubator for emerging talent and showcase for New Jersey artists, presents the thought-provoking play by award-winning playwright Joseph Vitale. The interpreter15.-25. August 2024 at the Oakes Center.

A piece of theatrical fiction that explores the complex relationship between Hermann Göring – Reichsmarschall of Germany and a leading Nazi who was on trial for war crimes – and his interpreter, a 23-year-old Jewish private in the US Army, was inspired by the real-life experiences of Richard Sonnenfeldt, the chief interpreter at the Nuremberg trials. The play was successfully staged via Zoom in January 2022.

Performances will take place on Friday, August 16th at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, August 17th at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, August 18th at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, August 22nd at 8:00 p.m., Friday, August 23rd at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, August 24th at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 25th at 1:00 p.m. There will be a special matinee for students on Thursday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. Following certain performances, there will be moderated discussions with the playwright, actors and director on the topics of anti-Semitism, bigotry and their connection to current events.

Tickets cost $35 for adults, $28 for seniors and $20 for students and are available for purchase online. The Oakes Center Theater is located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, New Jersey.

Vitale, who received a 2021 playwriting grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, said that while the play is about the Nuremberg trials, it also holds up a mirror to ourselves. “At the same time that the Allies were trying the Nazis for crimes against humanity, prejudice and intolerance were rampant on our side,” Vitale said. “What The interpreter I hope it reminds us that the virus of hate lies at the heart of humanity itself. By acknowledging and expressing this fact, perhaps we can ensure that unspeakable acts are not one day committed in our name.”

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“The theatre project has been inviting audiences to discuss difficult issues for thirty years,” says the company’s director, Mark Spina. “We look forward to constructive discussions after The interpreter with sponsors and invited guest speakers.” Dr. Anglea West of the Center for Holocaust/Genocide Studies at Drew University will moderate one of the post-performance discussions.

The Theater Project gained regional recognition for its ongoing projects during the pandemic – including its annual young playwrights competition, ARK (Actors Reading with Kids) program, and its recently launched podcasts, “The Theater Project Thinks About” – and was just one of 22 New Jersey organizations to receive prestigious NEA grants for fiscal year 2021.

The theatre project has been introducing new plays to New Jersey audiences and supporting emerging playwrights and theater artists for nearly 30 years. They attract new audiences to the theater through community involvement, programs for children, and using theater as a forum to address the issues of our time.



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