Drama ’Passage’ premieres in US at College of Southern Nevada

Updated November 2, 2017 - 6:13 pm

Preview

What: “Passage”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Nov. 9-11, 2 p.m. Nov. 12

Where: Nicholas H. Horn Theatre, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas

Tickets: $10-$12

“Passage” isn’t a musical. But “It’s a Small World” could serve as its theme song just the same.

German playwright Christoph Hein’s drama of World War II refugees, on the run from the Nazis and awaiting passage to America, makes its U.S. premiere at the College of Southern Nevada’s North Las Vegas campus Thursday and runs through Nov. 12.

The link between Germany and Southern Nevada: co-directors Eberhard Koehler and Staci Walters, who have been friends for more than a decade.

Walters, who teaches theater at CSN, met Koehler at California State University, Long Beach, where Koehler was a guest director several times — while Walters was a graduate student and, after earning her master’s degree, a faculty member. Walters also worked with Koehler at a theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he often directs.

Walters invited Koehler to direct Hein’s 1987 play (translated by Henry W. Pickford) at CSN.

The drama is based on events that occurred in September 1940 following France’s surrender to Nazi Germany. At that time, the south of France was still unoccupied — and, in “Passage,” serves as the destination for a group of refugees hoping to cross the border to Spain, then travel to the U.S.

One of those refugees (played by Jorge Zamora) is modeled on German-Jewish literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin, who committed suicide rather than return to France after Francisco Franco’s Spanish government canceled the group’s transit visas.

Another of “Passage’s” Jewish refugees (played by guest Equity actor Steven Fehr) is a decorated German Army captain who’s “a bit naive” and “doesn’t understand” why he’s fleeing for his life, Koehler explains. “He has difficulty adapting to the new reality.”

The play also features a character (played by Taylor Grant) inspired by Lisa Fittko, who helped many Jews (including Benjamin) and other intellectuals, artists and anti-Nazi resistance organizers escape from Nazi-occupied France to Spain — via the Pyrenees mountains.

For the students participating in the “Passage” premiere, the play has “changed, a bit, their perception on the Second World War, at a time when the U.S. was not involved,” says Koehler, who’s directed several of Hein’s plays.

“Passage” is “a bit contradictory,” he says, with “very realistic elements” and “something beyond realism … more expressionistic.”

In addition to its large student cast, the production provides “opportunities to involve a choreographer, Greek-style chorus, ensemble and some interesting design work,” notes Walters, who’s also the play’s scenic designer.

Despite its World War II setting, “Passage” also has contemporary relevance, in Koehler’s view.

“Suddenly, all over the world, borders are popping up,” he points out. “The question of refugees is important again.”

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like