A Bright Room Called Day

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A Bright Room Called Day is a play by American playwright Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America.

Synopsis[edit]

The play is set in Germany in 1932 and 1933, and concerns a group of friends caught up in the events of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. The plot is centered on a woman named Agnes Eggling, a middle-aged actress, and all of the action takes place in her apartment. The action is occasionally interrupted by scenes featuring Zillah, a young woman in the 1980s living in Long Island who believes that Reagan is becoming too much like Hitler. In the version performed by the New York Shakespeare Festival, Zillah has moved to Berlin. Zillah has fled to Germany out of frustration and anger at the growing power of the Republican Party in America during the 1980s. The play was based on Bertolt Brecht's 1938 work The Private Life of the Master Race .

Production history[edit]

A Bright Room Called Day was first presented in a workshop production by Heat & Light Co., Inc., at Theatre 22 in New York City in April 1985, directed by Kushner himself.

The play premiered at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco, California in October 1987, directed by Oskar Eustis.

In January 1991, it was produced at the Joseph Papp Public Theater by the New York Shakespeare Festival, where it was directed by Michael Greif.

The segments of the play set in the 1930s remained substantially the same throughout the various productions, but Zillah's interruptions changed drastically from version to version. Her scenes were the primary point of contention for critics of the show, some of whom took offense at her comparisons of Ronald Reagan to Adolf Hitler.

In 2009, A Bright Room Called Day was translated into French by Hillary Keegin and Pauline Le Diset. It was presented by I Girasoli at the Théatre de la Boutonnière, Paris, France in January 2010 under the title Bright Room.

In July to August 2014, the play got its first London revival at the Southwark Playhouse, directed by Sebastian Harcombe

Critics[edit]

  • "Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day...is unabashedly political, thought-provoking, a little scary, and frequently a good deal of theatrical fun. ...Bright Room is...an examination of Nazi Germany in an attempt to shed insight on our own time. It's brash, audacious, and, depending on your politics, anything from infuriatingly naive to intoxicatingly visionary. In its 1932-33 span, it tells of a group of Berlin artists and friends, with varying degrees of communist leanings, and of the changes in their lives as democracy falls and Adolph Hitler takes over." Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
  • "It's fun to see a show this engaged. This passionate and ready to talk. Wild, uneven, pugnacious, ragged, committed, smart, dumb, satirical, and utterly serious. Always dramatically and intellectually forceful. And most important, always passionately committed. More than a diatribe against Reagan or a falling-into-the-Nazi-abyss history play, A Bright Room Called Day is an assertion of the need for commitment." Anthony Adler, The Reader[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 

External links[edit]