Review: 'and then they came for me' at IRT 

****
click to enlarge ZACH ROSING
  • Zach Rosing

Indiana Repertory Theatre playwright-in-residence James Still's stirring multi-media play and then they came for me, playing on the theater's upper stage through Feb. 15, is an important piece of work chronicling the nightmare of the Holocaust with subtlety and grace.

Interviews recorded by Still in the '90s of two holocaust survivors and real-life friends of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss and Ed Silverberg, are integral to the structure of the script. Aside from the important work of preserving of these firsthand accounts, Still's interviews broke new ground for the use of interactive media on stage.

Performed around the world and for the third time at the IRT, the piece is a tool for remembrance and for learning. It is an entry point for young and old that enriches the legacy of Frank's diary by delving deeper into the experiences of her contemporaries.

Courtney Sale deftly directs a cast of mostly teenage actors, who capture the innocence stolen from an entire generation with care and thoughtfulness. Particularly moving are Elizabeth Hutson (Young Eva) and Jennifer Johansen (Mutti), who bring to life the fierce bond that helped a mother and daughter survive such an unthinkable nightmare. Sound design by Todd Mack Reischman adds an rich layer to the weave of the story.

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