OUR CLASS Opens – Notes From Our Theater J Council Co-Chair and Two Council Members

From Lois Fingerhut, Council Co-Chair and fearless theater-goer who saw this play in production at The Wilma Theatre exactly one year ago. She helped make this DC premiere of the show a reality.

Last night’s opening of Our Class was one of those night’s that serve as a reminder (as if I need reminding!) of what makes me so proud to be a part of the Theater J community. This is not an easy play; this is not a play that the artistic director can say from the get go “we will make budget”. It IS a play that is so moving, so thought provoking, so engaging, so beautifully directed and acted and choreographed, one that must be housed at Theater J. Telling and retelling the horrific past—a past that some can recall and a past that many of us never knew existed must be our responsibility. “This is who we are” is the theme of our season and Our Class is who we as a theater community should always strive to be.

The extraordinary cast of OUR CLASS, featuring Alexander Strain, Sasha Olinick, Joshua Morgan, Dana Levanovsky, Mark Krawczyk, Heather Haney, Tim Getman, Laura C. Harris, Harlan Work and Ashley Ivey. Image by C. Stanley Photography

from Council member Al Munzer….

I am so proud of Theater J! OUR CLASS will stay with me as one of the most memorable theater experiences I have ever had.
It is hard to single out any one element of the production for praise, it’s the seamlessness of staging, lighting, choreography, sound, and
acting that brought this very challenging work to life. I am all too familiar with the painful story of Jews in Poland.
The Jewish populations of Kanzcuga, my father’s hometown and birthplace of Abraham Brill who brought the works of Sigmund Freud to the USA and Rymanow, my mother’s hometown and birthplace of Isador Rabi who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, were decimated in the Holocaust.
A few years ago Joel and I attended a commemoration of the deportation of the Jews of Rymanow. It was every bit the idyllic town in the
Carpathian foothills that my mother had described, a setting and a mood captured by the joyful singing and playfulness at the start of the play.
Our Class, more than any other play, shows how the prejudice and hatred of some and the indifference of others led the tragic descent from a
little heaven into hell on earth. Kudos to the director, cast and the entire creative team for allowing us to share in this important work.
Image by C. Stanley Photography

from Council Member, Patti Sowalsky

The production of “Our Class” is one of the best Theater J (or any other theater anywhere) has ever done.  Even seeing it twice or three times would not be enough to realize the nuances of this complex and beautifully presented production.  For me, it was the closest I have ever come to actually experiencing what the real horror of these terrible times were.  It’s almost beyond comprehension for us to imagine how seemingly ordinary people can become so brutal and hateful especially, as we well know, against Jews.  Everyone involved in this production did am amazing job of dropping that reality it in our laps.  Here’s to a wonderful run!

Image by C. Stanley Photography

Image by C. Stanley Photography

Image by C. Stanley Photography