Award-winning Broadway show about the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust
February 9, 2015 [St. Petersburg, FL] — The Florida Holocaust Museum today announces a staged reading of Bent by Martin Sherman, performed by A Simple Theatre on Tuesday, March 15th at 7:00pm at The FHM.
Bent is a 1979 play by Martin Sherman, and its title refers to the slang word “bent” used in some European countries to refer to homosexuals. Bent revolves around the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, and takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives, sometimes called Operation Hummingbird, when the Nazi regime carried out a three-day series of political ex-judicial executions. At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds, and more than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. The night was a turning point for the German government that established Hitler as “the supreme judge of the German people,” as he put in his July 13, 1934 speech to the Reichstag.
“The power of the arts to connect the viewer to difficult and challenging subjects has been well-documented,” says Elizabeth Gelman, Executive Director of The FHM. “The Museum prides itself on teaching about the Holocaust through authentic narratives, but we also recognize the power of visual arts and theatre to illuminate aspects of what still is, in many ways, an incomprehensible subject.”
The play starred Ian McKellen in its original 1979 West End production, and Richard Gere in its original 1980 Broadway production. Sean Mathias directed a full run in 1990 which won the City Limits Award for Revival of the Year. Mathias also directed the film of the same name, adapted by Martin Sherman In 1997.
“When Bent opened in 1979, many people didn’t know about the persecution of homosexuals under the Nazi regime,” says Gavin Hawk, Artistic Director of A Simple Theatre. “The brilliant thing about Martin Sherman’s take on this piece of history is that he tells it within the context of a budding romance, which allows the tragedy to have a breath of optimism.”
Bent, by Martin Sherman – A Staged Reading
Produced with and performed by A Simple Theatre at The FHM
In 1934 Berlin on the eve of the Nazi incursion, Max, a grifter and his lover Rudy are recovering from a night of debauchery with a SA trooper. Two soldiers burst into the apartment and slit their guest’s throat, beginning a nightmare odyssey through Nazi Germany. This play contains strong language, sexual situations, and intense scenes of violence, and is recommended for mature audiences only.
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.
About A Simple Theatre
Created by Tampa Bay actors, A Simple Theatre in Residence at Eckerd College is a 501(c)3 non-profit professional company founded on the belief that great theatre is rooted in the simplicity of compelling stories told by talented storytellers. Focusing on excellent actors, intelligent direction, and brilliant playwriting, our staged readings will challenge, provoke, and emotionally engage our audience