A.H. - Before He Changed Our History
A new American production of Curriculum Vitae, a play written and directed by Yagil Eliraz in Israel in 2005.
The show deals with one of the most loaded but least addressed questions surrounding Adolf Hitler: How was the personality of this enigmatic character created? What are the elements that built his extreme agenda and concept of life? Who was Hitler before he became “Hitler”? What led a young boy with dreams of being a painter to become a politician with such a poisonous racial agenda?
It took Eliraz eight years to research this issue and write the play. While rehearsing the American production with actor Bryan Beckwith, major parts of the text were rewritten, and new music was composed by Iddo Aharony.
The show takes as its frame the story of a young, desperate and anonymous ex-soldier trying to prepare speech for the admissions committee of a new small right wing political group, The German Workers Party. As he prepares for his interview, the critical events of his life all reappear in his memory and in front our eyes: fragments from his childhood and adolescence, from a period homelessness in Vienna, from his military service, from his family history, his dreams, nightmares and more. All these create a collage of his emerging pathological personality.
At the end of the show, the speech he delivers to the admissions committee goes well. He is accepted to the obscure, seven member party, which in a few years he will transform into the National Socialists– The Nazis.
The Theater Building, Chicago IL, January 2009
Playwright and Director: Yagil Eliraz
Actor: Bryan Beckwith
Producer: Nils Riess
Scenic Designer: Kurt Sharp
Lighting Designer: Kathe DeVault
Costume Designer: Carol Blanchard
Original Music and Soundtrack Editing: Iddo Ahrony
Cello: Sophie Webber
Sounds: Brian Retterer, Derek Durham
Technical Director: Scott Henkels
Stage Managers: Lindsey Esser, Bethany Kerns