By Martin Sherman
Directed by Mark Anthony Vallejo
Photos by Rey Jarrell
For this production of Sherman's groundbreaking play Bent, director Mark Anthony Vallejo wanted to pursue an expressionistic style in exploring the suffering of homosexual men in the Holocaust. Owing to the movement heavy, exaggerated and distorted realities of playwrights like Georg Kaiser and Ernst Toller, and films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the team sought to externalize the dehumanizing inner turmoil of these men imprisoned for their crime of existence. They're living in a world gone mad, and to make that madness tangible was to make us understand how fully reason had abandoned them.
Bent is a challenging play; it deals with heavy topics, and walks a fine line of exposing the rarely spoken-of atrocities homosexuals in the Holocaust faced without comparing traumas and saying any one party had it worst during the Nazis reign. When Sherman was writing the script, almost no scholarship on this topic existed because historians thought it uncouth to mention that homosexuals (a subset of people many nations hesitate to accept) were abused as well. But as right-wing groups and people come out in the modern day and speak vitriol straight out of the third reich's playbook, we must realize how drastically important these harrowing stories are and how dreadfully important it is that we remember them.
Director/Choreographer: Mark Anthony Vallejo
Stage Manager: Quinn O'Connor
Set Designer: Justine Law
Costume Designer: Devon Horn
Lighting Designer: Stephanie Laing
Sound Designer: Natalie Faye Utria