"Women in the Shadow" world premiere to be performed at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2010-09-20 14:13:12 - General

Coe students Cassie Morgan (Leni Riefenstahl), Erica Davisson (Eva Braun) and Jenn Gull (Magda Goebbels) are featured in the upcoming Coe theatre production "Women in the Shadow." The play opens Oct. 1 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus.

The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will present a world premiere about German women of the Third Reich in "Women in the Shadow" on Oct. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus. All performances begin at 8 p.m. except for the Sunday, Oct. 3 performance, which starts at 2 p.m.

Seats are reserved, and tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door, or by calling the Coe Box Office at 399-8600, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. "Women in the Shadow" is presented with generous support from the Julie Ritter Streib Fund.

A devised piece conceived and guest directed by Saffron Henke, "Women in the Shadow" features an all-student cast, all of whom contributed to the script. This new play explores the lives and stories of women in the time of the Third Reich. Predominantly a movement piece, "Women in the Shadow" utilizes music, video, poetry and improvisation based on historical fact to bring to life the personal struggles and public personae of a few of the women intimately connected with men who were key figures in the rise and fall of Nazi Germany.

"We used the summer to research Germany's destitution and humiliation immediately preceding the Third Reich, discover the women – Eva Braun, Magda Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl – about whom very little is known as compared to their male counterparts, investigate the Nazi agenda, voices of dissent and the perspective of the people in the camps, and to debate how to end a show like this," noted Henke.

Beginning the last week of August, Henke, the actors, stage managers and designers began in earnest to create a rough draft of a script and begin rehearsals. As a result of great energy and focus, the ensemble has produced a show that is accessible and relevant for today’s audience.

"It is our hope that audiences leave the theatre having learned something new and been intellectually and emotionally stimulated," said Henke. "In addition, we hope to give those who attend a renewed perspective on the hows and whys of the Nazi regime, questions as to how these themes and situations manifest themselves today, and most importantly, ideas about how we as a species ensure that the circumstances that led to that gruesome era cease forever."

For more information, call 399-8600 or visit theatre.coe.edu.

Additional information about guest director Saffron Henke

Saffron Henke has worked nonstop as a professional actor, director and educator since receiving her M.F.A. from the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program. Traveling internationally, she has performed in more than 60 professional productions, ranging from “Taming of the Shrew” to "Tartuffe" to the one person, 24-character show, "The Syringa Tree."

Henke is experienced with on-camera work in commercials, industrials and film, and has been profiled in many publications, received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, and is the recipient of the 2005 Princess Grace Foundation Honorarium for Emerging Artists. As a director, her work has been produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Sacramento Theatre Company, the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble. As a teacher, Henke has taught ages from preschool through adult in a variety of subjects. She is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Assocation.