‘Bent’ Opens SNAP Production’s 25th Season

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August 23rd, 2017

Photo courtesy of SNAP Productions

Omaha, NE—Celebrating 25 years, SNAP Productions will be showing some of their most well-received productions as part of this season’s performance lineup. Bent, written by Martin Sherman, was the first show they’ve ever put on back in 1993, and it will begin this season this Thursday, August 24.

Bent takes place in ‘30s Berlin, a vivid portrayal of the persecution of the LGBT community. Max, played by Ben Beck, and his partner Rudy, played by Beau Fisher, flea town but cannot escape capture by the Nazis.

In planning the production of Bent, director Joshua Mullady reflected on unique history of LGBT culture before the rise of the Nazi party, and its unfortunate fate following.

“One of the things that was interesting for me when I was doing research for it is that homosexuality in Berlin at that time, in the early ‘30s was legal,” Mullady said. “It was accepted, everything was fine. You could go all around and you could find homosexual magazines in the community and the parties and things going on, and Germany and Berlin in particular, was the place of the first transgender operation that I found out. So they were doing a lot of studies, not just with homosexuals—LGBT issues transgender issues, all that stuff was very prevalent at the time and accepted amongst the community.”

This changed, of course, as the Nazi’s consolidated power, but negative attitudes towards the LGBT community remained, for the most part, even after the war.

Bent is a story of personal struggle and identity, but also an accurate depiction of really existing discrimination and violence. Mullady’s production doesn’t downplay cruelty. The show portrays beatings, throat slitting and uses guns with blanks,  and features fight choreography from Vincent Carlson-Brown.

“We’re not mincing it because one of the things we talked about is that if we were to ‘fake the fights’ or fake these things, it would take away from the story in the brutality of what happened, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say that Rudy gets beaten in the middle of the show when they’re on a train going to the camp. And so if we were to mince any of that stuff or make it so it was a little easier to watch, I think we wouldn’t be doing justice to the story, because even what we’re doing and what we show, wasn’t anything close to what it really actually happened.”

Bent’s themes are still relevant today, and the recent demonstrations around the country prove that discrimination and bigotry are not exclusively historical.

“With Charlottesville and everything that happened there, it’s still prominent not just in the LGBT culture, but with all different types of hate and discrimination going on in our world today, and now it’s being even more, open I guess is the word to say, with the demonstrations that happened the hatred that is there there’s obviously a lot of people who still feel that way. And again not just [about] LGBT to culture, but all over, and so doing a play like this continually reminds minds us that we have to still be vocal. We still have to be aware that it is out there in the world, and we still have to tell these stories and other stories in order to remind, combat, vocalize what has happened before and use pieces like this as a bullhorn to say, hey this isn’t right and we need to change.”

Bent will run at SNAP from August 24 to September 17, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 6:00pm. For more information or tickets, visit SnapProductions.com.

 

 

 

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