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The Theater Project presents "The Interpreter" by Joseph Vitale

originally published: 05/29/2024

The Theater Project presents "The Interpreter" by Joseph Vitale

(SUMMIT, NJ) -- The Theater Project, a leading incubator for rising talent and a showcase for New Jersey artists, will present award-winning playwright Joseph Vitale's thought-provoking play, The Interpreter, August 15-25, 2024 at the Oakes Center.

A work of theatrical fiction that explores the complex relationship between Hermann Goering – Reichsmarschall of Germany and leading Nazi on trial for war crimes – and his interpreter, a 23-year-old Jewish U.S. Army private, was inspired by the real-life experiences of Richard Sonnenfeldt, the chief interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials. The play had a successful Zoom production in January 2022.

Performances take place Friday, August 16 at 8:00pm; Saturday, August 17 at 8:00pm; Sunday, August 18 at 1:00pm; Thursday, August 22 at 8:00pm; Friday, August 23 at 8:00pm; Saturday, August 24 at 8:00pm; and Sunday, August 25 at 1:00pm.  A special 10:00am student matinee will be Thursday, August 15. Facilitated audience discussions on the topics of antisemitism, bigotry and their relation to current events will be held with the playwright, actors and director follows designated performances.

Tickets are for $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, recipient of a 2021 fellowship in playwrighting from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, said that although the play is about the Nuremberg trials, it also turns a mirror on ourselves. “At the same time that Allies were trying Nazis for crimes against humanity, prejudice and intolerance were rampant on our side,” Vitale said. “What The Interpreter does, I hope, is to remind us that the virus of hatred lies at the heart of humanity itself. By recognizing that fact, and giving voice to it, perhaps we can assure that unspeakable acts won’t someday be perpetrated in our name as well.”

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"The Theater Project has been inviting audiences to discuss difficult topics for thirty years," says the company's director, Mark Spina. "We are looking forward to constructive conversations after The Intepreter with patrons and invited guest speakers." Dr. Anglea West of Drew University’s Center for Holocaust/Genocide studies will facilitate one of the post-performance discussions.

Gaining 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 “The Theater Project Thinks About” podcasts—The Theater Project was just one of 22 organizations in New Jersey receiving prestigious NEA grants for the 2021 fiscal year.

The Theater Project has been introducing NJ audiences to new plays and supporting rising playwrights and theater artists for nearly 30 years. They develop new audiences for theater by service to the community, providing programs for children and using theater as a forum to address the issues of our time.



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