Old Wicked Songs
by
Jon Marans

Old Wicked Songs


Director
Scenic Design
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Properties Design & Set Dressing
Production Stage Manager
Public Relations
Technical Director
Set Construction
Production Crew
Light Board Operator
Sound Board Operator
Stage Crew
Key Art
Production Photography

Stephanie Vlahos
Stephen Gifford
Kate Bergh
Jarel A. Sayeg
Drew Dalzell
MacAndME
Mary K. Klinger
David Elzer/Demand PR
Robert T. Kyle
Red Colgrove
Watson Bradshaw, James King, Christopher Rivera,
Kathryn Horan
Heather L. Waters
Andrea Dean, Travis Moscinski
Doirean Heldt
Michael Lamont


CAST

Professor Josef Mashakan
Stephen HOffman

John Towey
Tavis Danz


TIME

Spring to summer, 1986

PLACE

Professor Mashkan's rehearsal studio in Vienna, Austria


Running Time

Approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes
There will be one fifteen minute intermission


Kurt Waldheim

Kurt Waldheim was former UN Secretary General and President of Austria whose hidden complicity in Nazi war crimes was exposed late in his career.

Kurt WaldheimAlthough it was never proved that Waldheim himself committed atrocities during World War II, he was a lieutenant in army intelligence, attached to German military units that executed thousands of Yugoslav partisans and civilians and deported thousands of Greek Jews to death camps from 1942 to 1944. Waldheim lied about his wartime service in the Balkans, maintaining that his military career ended in 1942 after he was wounded in a battle on the Russian front.

But more than four decades later, his assertions were disputed by witnesses, photographs, medals and commendations given to Waldheim, and by his own signature on documents linked to massacres and deportations. 

When defending himself against chargesthat he had links to the Nazis, Waldheim always asserted that he never had belonged to a Nazi-affiliated group. But, in fact, at the age of 19 he joined the National Socialist German Students League – a Nazi youth organization – just a month after the Anschluss. Then in November 1938, he enrolled in the SA, the paramilitary Nazi organization of storm troopers. 

Waldheim may have been able to hide his past for so long because of the web of intrigue between intelligence services in the Cold War era. Instead, as a hardworking and talented diplomat, he was allowed to rise to the pinnacle of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and then go on to serve two terms as Secretary General of the United Nations, from 1972 to 1982.

It was not until Waldheim left the UN and then ran for President of Austria in 1986 that his wartime past became widely known. During his presidential campaign, the efforts of his political opponents, investigative journalists, historians, and the World Jewish Congress uncovered archival evidence of Wa l d h e i m ’ s involvement with the Nazi movement as a student and his wartime role in the Balkans.

But the disclosures sparked a nationalist backlash in Austria that aided Waldheim’s election as President.

Many Austrians apparently viewed Waldheim’s life as a parable of their own. They identified with his attempts to deny complicity with the Nazis and to view himself as a citizen of a nation occupied by German invaders and forced into their military service.

In the years between the discovery of his scandalous past and his death in 2007, Waldheim steadfastly portrayed himself as an ordinary, unheroic citizen caught upin a maelstrom.



FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

I recently came across an article on the internet about, of all things, video games. Here is an excerpt, reprinted by kind permission of the author, Raph Koster. (You can find the full article, highly recommended, here.)

Edward Stratemeyer was absurdly prolific, but his greatest creation was probably Nancy Drew, a titian-haired teenage girl detective who solved mysteries. 

Nancy Drew had enormous cultural impact.

Many prominent and successful women cite Nancy Drew as an early formative influence whose character encouraged them to take on unconventional roles, including Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sonia Sotomayor, journalist Barbara Walters, opera soprano Beverly Sills, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former First Lady Laura Bush. Other women also credit Nancy Drew with helping them to become stronger women: When the first Nancy Drew conference was held in 1993, many women spoke of how instrumental Nancy had been in their lives, and about how she had inspired, comforted, entertained them through their childhoods, and well intoadulthood.

In other words, Nancy Drew managed to do what we want from art.

Edward Stratemeyer cared about his readers. He answered their letters by hand - letters coming in from all over the country. But once he passed away, the books were rewritten and, if anything, the decline of Nancy Drew over the years can be traced back to one thing above all: The sense that those who handled her came to care more about what Nancy Drew could do for them than about what Nancy Drew could do for their readers. The last time the Drew franchise was “reimagined” for publication, the owners of the property had her as a boy-crazy shopaholic teen. That version is off the market now, whereas you can still buy reprint editions of Stratemeyer’s original texts from the 1930s, cloche hats and roadsters and all.

That’s because when you create something thinking first about the value it will provide the customer, you are doing the thing that builds lasting loyalty.

And it is the direction in which art lies.

So don’t do things for your sake. And don’t do them for the sake of Nancy Drew, either. Do them for the little girls who grew up to be strong women, and for the lasting impact and connection you will have to your audience, fellow journeyers, and friends.

Words to live by.

Barbara Beckley
Artistic Director


SPECIAL THANKS

Rick Bernstein   Brad Brown   Phil Torf & House of Props
Wadler Data Systems   Rhea Bothe   Melanie Korson, Afabric Agenda
Luke Moyer   Craig Springer   Klarissa Taylor