Captors Press Release .....................................................................................................................................................................2 Useful Links.........................................................................................................................................................................................7 Photo Library..................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Boston Globe Feature: “‘Captors’: History in the Making”..................................................................................................10 Selections from Spotlight and the program ........................................................................................................................... 15 Announcing $15 Military/Veteran ticket ................................................................................................................................. 22
Contact: Rebecca Curtiss, Communication Manager 617 273 1537 email@example.com Coming up next: God of Carnage Press Opening Wednesday, January 11, 7pm Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October, 18, 2011 CONTACT: Rebecca Curtiss, firstname.lastname@example.org / 617 273 1537 PHOTOS: huntingtontheatre.org/news/photolibrary.aspx (see instructions at the bottom of this release)
TONY AWARD AND PULITZER PRIZE WINNER MICHAEL CRISTOFER TO PLAY EICHMANN IN HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY PREMIERE ABOUT THE ARCHITECT OF THE HOLOCAUST’S THRILLING CAPTURE WHAT Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer appears as Adolf Eichmann in the Huntington Theatre Company’s premiere of Captors, a new play by Evan M. Wiener. Artistic Director Peter DuBois directs.
WHEN November 11 – December 11, 2011 Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; Select Sun. at 7pm and Mon. at 7:30pm Matinees: Select Wed., Fri., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm Days and times vary; see complete schedule at end of release. Press performances begin Friday, November 18, 8pm; RSVP online at huntingtontheatre.org/news
WHERE BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston – Avenue of the Arts
TICKETS Single tickets start at $25 and subscriptions are on sale: online at huntingtontheatre.org; by phone at 617 266 0800, or in person at the BU Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End. $5 off: seniors $10 off: subscribers and BU community (faculty/staff/alumni) $25 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required) $15 student and military tickets
(BOSTON) –Huntington Theatre Company continues its 30th Anniversary Season with Captors, a new play by Evan M. Wiener (the film Monogamy), directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. Based on the 1990 memoir Eichmann in My Hands by Peter Z. Malkin and Harry Stein, Captors tells the thrilling, little-known story preceding the trial that introduced the image of “the man in the glass booth” to the world. Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer plays Adolf Eichmann, the world’s most wanted war criminal. Louis Cancelmi plays Mossad agent Peter Malkin. In 1960 Buenos Aires, covert Israeli agents have just captured the man they believe is Adolf Eichmann. The agents, many personally scarred by the war’s carnage, hold “the architect of the Holocaust” in a safe house for ten days. Eager to bring him to justice, they must persuade the captive to agree to stand trial for his actions before they can secretly transport him to Israel. Malkin (one of the agents) and Eichmann, the infamous mastermind, compete in a gripping battle of wills. Captors plays at the Huntington Theatre Company prior to an anticipated New York run. It is produced in association with Michael Weinberger, Jeff Mandel, Tom Heller, and the Kostman Family. “Evil does not exist in isolation,” Malkin wrote in his memoir, published in 1990 (currently out of print). “It is a product of amorality by consensus. Could it happen again? Who can say? I only know it is a question we must never stop asking.” “When I read Eichmann in My Hands, I found myself riveted,” says playwright Wiener. “Eichmann’s name has become a kind of cultural shorthand. But the story of those ten days is not familiar, and the prospect of interpreting those events for the stage, with a living, breathing Eichmann sharing space in real time with both his captors and the audience, seemed open to limitless possibilities. I couldn’t be more thrilled that Peter DuBois and the Huntington will be bringing my play to life. For all of Eichmann’s infamy, I’ve found that few have gotten a good close look at the remarkable details of his captivity in Argentina, and it’s an event that only grows in relevance and resonance with each passing day.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of Eichmann’s trial at the Jerusalem District Court, and performances of the play will conclude on December 11, the 50th anniversary of Eichmann’s conviction. “Evan illuminates a piece of fascinating, little-known history about power, obedience, retribution, and justice,” says DuBois. “This is an incredibly important story, one I’m so glad we will be telling.” Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) was a German Nazi who played a major role in facilitating the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in Eastern Europe during World War II. Gestapo Chief Heinrich Müller is quoted as saying, “If we’d had 50 Eichmanns, we’d have won the war.” After World War II’s end, Eichmann fled to Argentina where he assumed a false identity and worked for Mercedes-Benz until 1960. That same year, he was captured by Mossad officers – all of whom lost family members in or themselves survived the Holocaust – and was spirited away to Israel to stand trial. He was charged with 15 criminal offenses, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was convicted on all counts and was later executed by hanging in 1962. He remains the only person to be sentenced and put to death by the state of Israel. The New York Times calls Eichmann’s story, “One of history’s great manhunts.” Peter Z. Malkin (1927-2005) was born in Poland and moved to Palestine with his parents in 1933. His older sister Fruma and her family remained in Poland and perished in the Holocaust. As a teenager, Malkin joined the Haganah, an underground army fighting the British for the creation of a Jewish state. Shortly before graduating from high
school, World War II ended and Malkin and his family learned of his sister’s death. Malkin served in the army before joining Mossad, the Israeli secret service. He became a trusted agent and was chosen to travel to Buenos Aires to capture Eichmann. On his mother’s deathbed, Malkin admitted to her his role in Eichmann’s capture, telling her “Fruma was avenged. It was her brother who captured Eichmann.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS Michael Cristofer (Adolf Eichmann) won the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for his 1977 play The Shadow Box, which was produced in every major American city and worldwide before its New York run. On Broadway, he has appeared in A View from the Bridge, Hamlet, and The Cherry Orchard and has directed Candida. Off Broadway he appeared in The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, A Body of Water, Trumpery, Romeo and Juliet, and Conjuring an Event. Film and television credits include The Other Woman, An Enemy of the People, “Lincoln,” and “Rubicon.” Other plays he has authored include Breaking Up, Ice, Black Angel, The Lady and the Clarinet, and Amazing Grace. He’s also written screenplays for The Shadow Box directed by Paul Newman, Falling in Love with Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro, The Witches of Eastwick, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Breaking Up, and Cassanova. His directing credits include Gia (Directors Guild Awards, five Emmy nominations), Body Shots, Original Sin, and Fade Out. He served as artistic advisor and co-artistic director of River Arts Repertory in Woodstock, NY for eight years. Louis Cancelmi (Peter Z. Malkin) has appeared on Broadway in Vincent in Brixton and Off Broadway in This, The Singing Forest, and The Wooden Breeks. Other New York credits include The Hallway Trilogy (Rattlestick Productions), Blasted (Soho Rep), Peninsula (Soho Rep), Night Sings Its Songs (U.S. premiere), The Nest, Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, The Vortex, and Sincerity Forever. Regional credits include Death of a Salesman (Arena Stage), Love Lies Bleeding and Until We Find Each Other (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and The Drawer Boy (Papermill Playhouse). Film and television credits include Stay, Purse Snatcher, The Hitchhiking Game, New Guy, Daughter of Arabia, Eloge de Rien “Third Watch,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”. He studied at Yale University, Acting International (Paris), and the School at Steppenwolf. Evan M. Wiener (playwright) co-wrote the film Monogamy (released nationally by Oscilloscope Pictures in Spring 2011), for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. He has three other screenplays currently in development: Savage Innocent (with director Larry Clark); The Womb (with Dana Adam Shapiro, for director Gregg Araki and Why Not Productions); and Big Sky (for Big LEO Productions). He has also written for Sony Pictures, First Look Films, and Lee Daniels Entertainment, among others. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he received the Seymour Brick Memorial Prize for Drama. Peter DuBois (director) is the Artistic Director of the Huntington Theatre Company, where he has directed the world premieres of Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet, Bob Glaudini’s Vengeance is the Lord’s, and David Grimm’s The Miracle at Naples, as well as Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss and Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw. He most recently directed Sons of the Prophet at Roundabout Theatre Company and Zach Braff’s All Good People at Second Stage Theatre. Next spring, he will direct Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn at Playwrights Horizons. Recent other credits include Paul Weitz’s Trust (Second Stage Theatre) and Becky Shaw (U.K. premiere at London’s Almeida Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, world premiere at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville). Prior to arriving at the Huntington, he served for five years as associate producer and resident director at The Public Theater, preceded by five years as artistic director of the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska.
In addition to Michael Cristofer (Eichmann) and Louis Cancelmi (Malkin), the cast includes Christopher Burns (Incident at Vichy Off Broadway and A Christmas Story at The Cleveland Playhouse) as Hans, Daniel Eric Gold (Len, Asleep in Vinyl and SubUrbia Off Broadway ) as Cohn, and Ariel Shafir (Scorched at The Wilma Theatre and The Underpants at the Alliance Theatre) as Uzi.
PRODUCTION ARTISTS Scenic design by Beowulf Borritt (Sondheim on Sondheim on Broadway, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Off Broadway); costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II (The Shirley, VT Plays festival for the Huntington; Sons of the Prophet Off Broadway and for the Huntington); lighting design by Russell Champa (In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) on Broadway, Eurydice Off Broadway); and sound design by Mutt L. Dogg (Sons of the Prophet for the Huntington and Off Broadway). Production Stage Manager is Marti McIntosh (Observe the Sons of Ulster…, The Blue Demon at the Huntington) and Stage Manager is Kevin Robert Fitzpatrick (Candide and Bus Stop for the Huntington).
SPONSORS Grand Patron: Boston University 30th Anniversary Sponsor: Carol G. Deane Season Sponsor: J. David Wimberly Production Co-Sponsors: Mitchell and Jill Roberts; Dola Stemberg
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org. #
MEDIA NOTES For interviews and more information, contact Communications Manager Rebecca Curtiss at RCurtiss@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu or 617 273 1537.
PHOTO DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS To download high-resolution (or smaller) photos of Before I Leave You : 1. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/news/photolibrary.aspx 2. Click on a thumbnail, and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site. Note caption information is displayed below the image. 3. Click the Action button, located above the image on the Flickr site, and select View All Sizes. 4. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image. 5. Let the image load in your browser, then right-click on it to save to your computer.
PRODUCTION CALENDAR AND RELATED EVENTS
Post-Show Audience Conversations Ongoing Led by members of the Huntington staff. After most Tuesday - Friday, Saturday matinee, and Sunday matinee performances throughout the season. Free with a ticket to the performance. Jewish Community Night Wed. 11/16, 7:30pm A special pre-show reception and performance for members of the Jewish community featuring a post-show conversation with Professor Alan Dershowitz. Humanities Forum Sun. 12/4, following the 2pm performance A post-performance talk by UMass Boston Associate Professor of History Paul Bookbinder exploring the context and significance of Captors.
Actors Forum Wed., 11/30 following the 2pm performance Wed., 12/1, following the 2pm performance Participating cast members answer questions from the audience. Student Matinee Performance Thurs., 12/8, 2pm Recommended for grades 8-12. $15 group tickets available by calling 617 273 1558. Audio-Described Performance Thurs., 12/8, 10am and Sat., 12/10 at 2pm
USEFUL LINKS: CAPTORS •
Dramaturgical articles including the history that inspired the play, background on Eichmann and Malkin, and more: huntingtontheatre.org/season/1112/captors/multimedia.aspx#ARTICLES
Video interviews with playwright Evan M. Wiener, Peter DuBois, the cast, and more: huntingtontheatre.org/season/1112/captors/multimedia.aspx#VIDEO
Biographical information about the artists who created and perform in this production: huntingtontheatre.org/season/1112/captors/whos-who.aspx
High-resolution production photos – available for download: huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo/1112/captors.aspx
The fall issue of Spotlight, the Huntington’s magazine: huntingtontheatre.org/season/1112/spotlight/index.aspx
Huntington Theatre Company website: huntingtontheatre.org
PHOTO LIBRARY Captors by Evan M. Wiener Directed by Peter DuBois November 11 – December 11, 2011 Avenue of Arts / BU Theatre Available at huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo/1112/captors.aspx
Christopher Burns, Ariel Shafir, and Louis Cancelmi in Evan M. Wiener’s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Louis Cancelmi and Michael Cristofer in Evan M. Wiener’s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Michael Cristofer and Louis Cancelmi in Evan M. Wiener’s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Michael Cristofer in Evan M. Wiener’s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Louis Cancelmi and Daniel Eric Gold in Evan M. Wienerâ€™s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Michael Cristofer, Louis Cancelmi, and Daniel Eric Gold in Evan M. Wienerâ€™s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Cover of Eichmann in my Hands by Peter Z. Malkin & Harry Stein
Adolph Eichmann on trial
Sketch of Eichmann on map of Argentina. Drawn by Peter Malkin
Sketch of Eichmann drawn by Malkin
‘Captors’: history in the making - Arts - The Boston Globe
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By Laura Collins-Hughes | GLO BE S T AFF
NO VEM BER 06 , 2 011
KAY ANA SZY MCZAK FO R THE BO STO N G LO BE
“I feel like everything we know about the Holocaust in a way came out of the public nature of [Adolf Eichmann’s] trial,’’ said Evan M. Wiener.
NEW YORK - Evan M. Wiener does not want to, as he puts it, “pimp the history.’’ It rankles him when playwrights do that, when they assert - falsely - that the drawnfrom-life story they’re telling occurred at a significantly game-changing moment. His new play, “Captors,’’ which begins previews Friday at the Huntington Theatre Company, makes precisely that claim, but Wiener (pronounced WY-ner) says that in this case it’s true: When, in 1960, agents of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad captured the fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires and smuggled him out of
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Argentina and into Israel, they made possible the trial that finally forced the world to confront the Holocaust. “Even in Israel, people didn’t talk about the Holocaust. And the [Mossad] agents, when they were first brought on, they didn’t know who Eichmann was,’’ Wiener, 37, said one morning a couple of weeks ago, seated in a spare, cell-like little room just off the midtown Manhattan rehearsal hall where the cast of “Captors’’ was working. “People didn’t really know who he was. They didn’t know the story.’’ The story Wiener’s play tells is based on former Mossad agent Peter Z. Malkin’s 1990 memoir, “Eichmann in My Hands,’’ which he wrote with Harry Stein. In the 272-page book, the capture of Eichmann doesn’t occur
“MI NI STER O F DEATH: THE ADO LF EI CHMANN STO RY ’’
Eichmann in Brazil, 1955.
until Page 187, when Malkin grabs the high-ranking Nazi off a street and, with another agent, drags him into a waiting car. In the days that followed the abduction, a small coterie of Mossad operatives holed up with Eichmann in a safe house, interrogating
C A PTO RS 617-266-0800. http://www.huntingtontheatre.org Presenting organizations: Huntington
him while they waited for the chance to sneak him out of the country. That interlude is the focus of “Captors,’’ which stars Michael Cristofer, a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for his play “The Shadow Box,’’ as Eichmann. “It’s about the emotional reality of Israeli
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Mossad agents needing to be in confined quarters and create an incredibly intimate relationship with the man who was the architect of the Holocaust,’’ said Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois, who is directing the play’s world-premiere production. “Eichmann is captured; he’s fearful. They have to feed him, they have to take him to the toilet, they have to wash him, and he’s the man who masterminded absolutely the most evil, horrific elements of the Holocaust.’’ Eichmann is inextricably linked with Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase “the banality of evil,’’ which she coined when she wrote about his 1961 trial. Wiener, however, does not buy Arendt’s conception of Eichmann as a faceless bureaucrat who became the person he became because of a system that could have done the same to anyone. “He was distinct. Not everyone became Eichmann. Not everyone became essentially the head of the ‘Jewish question’ department,’’ Wiener said, making air quotes around the phrase. “He did, and there were certain traits in his character that took him to that level of lieutenant colonel.’’ Who, exactly, Eichmann was and how he was able to justify his actions to himself is at the heart of “Captors.’’ Even now, Wiener said, his ultimate unknowability remains. “That’s what’s sort of interesting and terrifying. There’s not just one answer for Eichmann,’’ he said. “There’s all these weird and warring biographies about him that try to put him within the narrative of the Nazis, the outcasts, who became powerful people. None of these easy definitions quite works.’’ Sympathy for one’s fellow human beings is a theme that runs through “Captors,’’ and sympathy for one’s characters is something playwrights are told they must feel in order to write them. But Wiener is determined that his Eichmann not be a “sympathetic Nazi’’ - that Eichmann not get away with the moral equivalence he tries to establish once he is himself a captive at the mercy of others. “That scared me the most: How am I gonna write Eichmann?’’ said Wiener, who studied English and film at Columbia University and wrote for magazines for several years after graduating in 1996. For the last decade, he’s been writing screenplays, one of which has been produced: the 2010 drama “Monogamy,’’ written with Dana Adam Shapiro. (“I had three movies that were ‘very close,’ quote unquote, to getting made,’’ Wiener said.) The “Captors’’ premiere will be his first professionally mounted play, but he said he’s
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been writing plays for himself for years. As a teenager in Great Neck, N.Y., on Long Island, Wiener wasn’t wild about the musicals being staged at school, so he directed and acted in his own productions - like David Mamet’s “American Buffalo’’ (minus the foul language) and the thrillers he loved - in a black-box theater at the local library. “Did you ever see ‘Rushmore’?’’ he asked. In Wes Anderson’s 1998 film, Jason Schwartzman plays Max Fischer, an irrepressibly, even dangerously creative high schooler. “I was kind of like Max.’’ Wiener directed at Columbia, too, and it was a college classmate, Jeff Mandel, who suggested, several years ago, that Wiener read “Eichmann in My Hands.’’ Mandel, who produced “Monogamy’’ as well as the 2005 documentary “Murderball,’’ wasn’t suggesting the book as a possible project for Wiener. He merely wanted his friend’s opinion of it as a project for himself, Wiener said. Initially skeptical because of Eichmann’s iconic status, Wiener was struck by the memoir’s theatrical potential, and he told Mandel he wanted to make a play out of it. “I’ve always said it was kind of like the Dick Cheney vice-presidential search,’’ Wiener said. “They brought Cheney in to help them find [a vice president for George W. Bush], and he was like, ‘Oh, I should do it. I should be the VP.’ ’’ Mandel is one of the commercial producers attached to “Captors.’’ While the Huntington has said that the aim is to take the play to Broadway, all of the commercial producers refused, through the Huntington, to discuss their ambitions for it. None of them would speak on the record about the play. Both Wiener and DuBois emphasized that their immediate concern is the Huntington production. “We’d like to bring the play to Broadway, but the first thing is to get it right,’’ DuBois said. As it happened, he and Wiener were speaking about “Captors’’ the day after DuBois’s production of Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet’’ opened to largely rhapsodic reviews off-Broadway, at Roundabout Theatre Company. In recent years, DuBois has also garnered praise for his New York stagings of plays including Gina Gionfriddo’s
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“Becky Shaw,’’ Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Jack Goes Boating,’’ and Zach Braff’s “All New People.’’ “I’m kind of worried,’’ Wiener said, joking but not. “I don’t want to be the guy who breaks his streak.’’ “Captors,’’ Wiener noted, is very different from the comedies for which DuBois is best known. But DuBois has also made a name for himself as a director of new plays, and Wiener was very much still refining the script of “Captors.’’ Given the piece’s historical nature, part of that involved figuring out how much information to provide to the audience without spoon-feeding them. “I don’t mind feeding an audience, but maybe with a fork,’’ Wiener said. He also wants his drama to make clear, he said, that the Mossad agents’ success at their task was “world-shifting’’ in 1960. “Tons of Nazis had gone unprosecuted,’’ he said. “I feel like everything we know about the Holocaust in a way came out of the public nature of [Eichmann’s] trial: all the witnesses who were called, the amount of time that Eichmann spent on the stand.’’ Global attention was forced away from the Cold War and back to the atrocities perpetrated during World War II - thanks, Wiener said, to the daring of the Mossad agents at the center of his play. “It was incalculably important, what they did,’’ he said. “The world had to look at the Holocaust in a different way - really look at it.’’ Laura Collins-Hughes can be reached at email@example.com.
© 2011 THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY
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EVA WIE N NE M. R PE DU TER BO IS
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“One of history’s great manhunts.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES
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1960 Buenos Aires. Covert Israeli agents have just nabbed Adolf Eichmann, the world’s most wanted war criminal. The agents hold “the architect of the Holocaust” in a safe house, but bringing him to justice means getting his consent to stand trial. One of his captors and Eichmann, the infamous mastermind, compete in a thrilling battle of wills.
Eichmann in his jail cell, 1961
Eichmann on trial, 1961
INSPIRES HISTORICAL DRAMA
“Evan illuminates a piece of fascinating, little-known history about power, obedience, retribution, and justice. This is an incredibly important story, one I’m so glad we will be telling.” – PETER DuBOIS The story surrounding Captors may sound familiar. In its broadest strokes, it starts with an elite undercover team covertly hunting an enemy in a foreign country and ends with a burial at sea. Most of us know something about the capture in Argentina of the notorious Nazi Adolf Eichmann and his subsequent trial in Jerusalem, however, most of us do not know that before leaving for Israel, the Mossad agents who abducted Eichmann – all of whom lost family members or themselves survived the Holocaust – were confined in a safe house in a town outside of Buenos Aires for ten days with the man most responsible for the implementation of the Final Solution. Playwright Evan M. Wiener was drawn to this little-known piece of the story. He writes, “When I read the book that inspired Captors (the memoir Eichmann in My Hands), I found myself riveted by a small but absolutely crucial slice of history. Eichmann’s name has become a kind of cultural shorthand. But the story of those ten days is not familiar, and the prospect of interpreting those events for the stage, with a living, breathing Eichmann sharing space in real time with both his captors and the audience, seemed to open limitless possibilities.” In Captors, Wiener cunningly examines the fraught realities of sharing space with a moral monster, a man who was literally the stuff of nightmares. Writers in every literary form have long turned to history for inspiration. One can argue that Western drama begins with a history play, The Persians by Aeschylus, which tells the story of the Persian war from the point of view of the defeated.
Shakespeare, of course, is known for his “history plays” and the tragedies Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. In contemporary drama, British writers have successfully mined stories about physicists (Copenhagen), American politicians (Frost/Nixon), and the Iraq war (Stuff Happens). Interestingly, there are few enduring historical dramas of American provenance, The Crucible being the best-known exception. Wiener considers the topical familiarity of historical drama an asset: “I think in a good historical drama, familiarity with the subject is only the point of entry, like the call of the carnival barker. Once the show starts, it’s all about finding the unfamiliar – some perception-altering or expanding approach to the official record or to conventional wisdom.” “Contemporary relevance is obviously essential,” explains Wiener. When he started the play, he had no way of knowing that US forces would capture and execute Osama bin Laden months before it premiered or that its first production would coincide with the 50th anniversary of Eichmann’s trial, nor was that a goal. “I’d be leery of any writer who began a play thinking outsidein, who consciously started by saying something like, ‘I’ll use the Irish potato famine to comment on Fox News.’ Ideally it’s more organic: a great true story compels you – you might not even be quite sure why – and as you write about ‘back then’ from a perspective of ‘right now,’ the parallels and resonances begin to emerge and evolve.” - LISA TIMMEL
LEARN MORE ONLINE VISIT THE LEARN & EXPLORE SECTION OF HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG/CAPTORS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ADOLF EICHMANN, WATCH A VIDEO OF HIS TRIAL, AND SEE MORE OF MALKIN’S ARTWORK. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG
In Evan M. Wiener’s provocative and suspenseful new play Captors, Peter Z. Malkin, a young Israeli agent, captures and guards Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi party’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” The play itself is based on Malkin’s memoir Eichmann in My Hands (now out of print). The agent’s surprising capacity for empathy made him the perfect man to crack Eichmann, and a series of formative experiences led him to the moment of opportunity.
The cover of Malkin’s memoir
The face of Eichmann over a map of South America as sketched by Malkin during his assignment in Buenos Aires
Malkin’s family moved from Poland to Palestine in 1933 when he was a small child. Because of restrictive immigration policies, his oldest sister Fruma was unable to get a visa and stayed behind with her husband and children. While his parents and older brother worked long hours, a scrappy, adventurous, and unsupervised Malkin grew up in a chaotic and dangerous environment, stealing and street fighting in the blind alleys of Haifa. At 12, Malkin joined the Haganah, an underground army fighting the British for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. His career as a youthful offender prepared him well for his life in the Underground. Instead of candy, he now stole ammunition and could escape any patrol. For Malkin, as much as he believed in the cause, it was also great fun. Shortly before Malkin graduated from high school, World War II came to a close, and his family learned that Fruma had been killed in the Holocaust. Malkin vowed to his mother that he would kill three Germans, one for each
PETER Z. MALKIN’S EARLY YEARS of his sisters. After training in the army as an explosives specialist, Malkin applied to work with the Mossad, stating on his application as his reason for applying, “I like adventure.” He was hired to train Israeli Embassy personnel in detecting and disarming letter bombs. Malkin became a trusted agent by the time his superior Uzi informed him that the two would travel to Buenos Aires to capture Adolf Eichmann.
“Evil does not exist in isolation. It is a product of amorality by consensus. Could it happen again? Who can say? I only know it is a question we must never stop asking.” - PETER Z. MALKIN
After Eichmann’s capture, Malkin’s mother suspected he had been involved and pestered him about where he had been. Ever the professional, he insisted he was in Paris. He kept his secret until he went to see his mother on her deathbed: I knelt beside her bed and took her hand. “Mama,” I whispered. “Mama, it’s me, Peter. Mama, I want to tell you something. What I promised, I have done. I have captured Eichmann.” There was no response. “Mama, Fruma was avenged. It was her brother who captured Adolf Eichmann.” I repeated it. But suddenly her hand began to squeeze mine. “Do you understand, Mama? I captured Eichmann.” Her eyes were open now. “Yes,” she managed in a whisper. “I understand.” - LILIA RUBIN
SEE PAGE 23 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS
BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800
The crimes of Adolf Eichmann: A TIMELINE
“I was merely a little cog in the machinery that carried out the directives and orders of the German Reich. I am neither a murderer, nor a mass murderer. […] Where I was implicated in the physical annihilation of the Jews, I admit my participation freely and without pressure. After all, I was the one who transported the Jews to the camps. If I had not transported them, they would not have been delivered to the butcher.” – Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann joins the Nazi party after losing his job as an oil company salesman.
As a sergeant in the SD, Eichmann enforces the Nuremberg Laws, designed to “drive Jews out of all phases of German life” by depriving them of citizenship, property, and basic rights.
Eichmann travels to Palestine in a quest to become the Nazi expert on Jewish identity.
After the annexation of Poland, Eichmann adopts a system of brazen duplicity. He meets with Jewish leaders professing sympathy, and then directs the seizure of all Jewish property and the expulsion of the population. Jews who could not obtain foreign visas are sent to concentration camps in Dachau and Buchenwald. Eichmann rises to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Around this time, he coins the term “Final Solution.”
After the German invasion of Poland, Eichmann is named head of the Emigration and Evacuation department in charge of the deportation of Jews. His ability to secure trains determines the number of Jews deported. He also directs the consolidation of Polish Jews into ghettos, the conditions of which cause many to starve.
At the direction of Adolf Hitler and other top personnel, the annihilation of Jews begins on a mass scale. Eichmann is tasked with arranging the transport of the Jews to killing centers. Jews in newly occupied areas are slaughtered by Einsatzgruppen units, which Eichmann observes.
1942 – Eichmann arranges deportations from many countries including Slovakia, 1943 the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and Croatia. Having observed the gas chambers at Belzec, he encourages his superiors to authorize the use of Zyklon gas at concentration camps. 1944
After the German seizure of Hungary, Eichmann oversees the deportation of over 400,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in a two-month span. He attempts to trade the lives of one million Jewish citizens for 10,000 trucks. As Germany moves to occupy Budapest, he begins a forced western march of Jewish civilians, many of whom perish. Late in the war, Eichmann attempts a last stand with a group of soldiers, but ultimately abandons the effort and disappears into hiding.
Eichmann is not named as a defendant at the Nuremberg trial, but his name is mentioned during proceedings with such frequency that he becomes one of the most sought Nazi criminals.
“During those last days, I called my men into my Berlin office. […] ‘If it has to be,’ I told them, ‘I will gladly jump into my grave in the knowledge that five million enemies of the Reich have already died like animals.’ It gave me an extraordinary sense of elation to think that I was exiting from the stage in this way.” — Adolf Eichmann, before his capture “I shall gladly hang myself in public as a warning example to all anti-Semites on this earth.” — Adolf Eichmann, from prison in Israel For a timeline of Eichmann’s escape and emigration to Argentina, pick up a copy of Spotlight in the lobby or visit us online at huntingtontheatre.org/captors. — CHARLES HAUGLAND
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The face of Eichmann over the map of South America
Eichmann, the trains, Hitler, appropriately like Picasso's Guernica
drawing from life:
peter z. Malkin’s drawings of Adolf Eichmann
“Back in [Eichmann’s] room, I began drawing on the only paper I had handy, the pages of my guidebook. The first sketch, in brown on a page bearing a map of Argentina, was of his face. Working quickly, I concentrated on the thin mouth and sunken cheeks, filling in the blind-folded eyes from memory. Then I flipped the page and did him in his SS regalia. Alert to the sound of someone approaching (surely this was in violation of regulations), I continued drawing in a kind of frenzy.” - Peter Z. Malkin, Eichmann in my Hands
Eichmann in uniform
The safe house where Eichmann was kept
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MEDIA ADVISORY: November 7, 2011 CONTACT: Rebecca Curtiss, firstname.lastname@example.org / 617 273 1537
HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES $15 TICKET FOR ALL ACTIVE AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE US MILITARY (BOSTON) -- Huntington Theatre Company has lowered its ticket price for current and former members of the US Military and for their immediate families to just $15, providing as much as an 82% savings on regularly-priced tickets. Tickets are available to all performances at each of the Huntington’s venues: the BU Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in the South End. Tickets are available online at huntingtontheatre.org, through the Box Office at 617 266 0800, or in person at either of the Huntington’s two ticketing outlets (264 Huntington Avenue and 527 Tremont Street, Boston). Military I.D. or other proof of eligibility is required. The Huntington created the ticket price at the start of the 2011-2012 Season, but wanted to highlight this special benefit in honor of Veteran’s Day when the nation acknowledges veterans’ contributions to our country. The Military ticket price is one of many of the Huntington’s efforts to make its shows as accessible to the widest possible audience. The Huntington provides discounted tickets to members of over 75 local organizations, as well as the following constituencies:
Students: $15, with valid ID Age 35 and under: $25, with valid ID, through the 35 Below program WGBH, WBUR, and BU alumni/faculty/staff: $10 off Seniors: $5 off
The Huntington also offers $25 “Last Row” tickets to the general public at every performance. Subscription packages begin at just $80 for four shows. The Huntington Theatre Company’s 30th Anniversary Season began with a widely acclaimed and record-breaking production of Candide. It continues with Before I Leave You, a new love story for grownups (through November 13); Captors, the thrilling true story about the capture of Adolf Eichmann (November 11 – December 11); the Tony and Olivier Award-winning smash hit comedy God of Carnage (January 6 – February 5); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s first hit (March 9 – April 8); The Luck of the Irish, a compelling Boston story (March 30 – April 29); and Noël Coward’s sparkling hit comedy Private Lives (May 25 – June 24).
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Bostonâ€™s leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org. #