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Steven Culp in "The White Rose"

January 17 - February 24, 1991

World premiered at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA

Presented by Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts

Playwright by Lillian Garrett
Directed by Craig Noel

One Intermission

Time of the play: 1942-43
Place of the play: Munich, Germany

Alexander Schmorell - Steven Culp
Robert Mohr - Jonathan McMurtry
Sophie Scholl - Natalija Nogulich
Hans Scholl - John K. Linton
Anton Mahler - J. Kenneth Campbell
Bauerl - Tim Donoghue

Los Angeles Times Review


The play chronicles the arrest, interrogation and eventual execution of a group of University of Munich students who protested the Nazi regime at the height of World War II World War II.

World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict which involved a Participants in World War II, including all of the great powers, organised into two opposing military alliances: the Allies of World War II and the Axis powers. The students assigned to themselves the name White Rose.

The White Rose was a Nonviolence Widerstand group in Nazi Germany, consisting of a number of students from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and their philosophy professor.

The play has roles for seven males and one female. The strongest roles belong to Robert Mohr, the head of the Munich Gestapo, and Sophie Scholl.

The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Under the overall administration of the Schutzstaffel, it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and was considered a dual organization of the Sicherheitsdienst and also a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei.

Sophia Magdalena Scholl was active within the White Rose non-violent Widerstand group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans Scholl, one of the students. Mohr, moved by Scholl's passion (and mindful that she is German, but not Jewish), attempts to save her by giving her a chance to recant, but she refuses.

The play ends with a spotlight on Scholl snapping off, symbolizing her beheading, and Mohr musing, "The most we can hope for is to get by. Heroes and ... (carefully) demagogues will always shake things up for a while, but if we're clever, we'll still be here when they're gone." At which point, a Gestapo investigator attempts to be encouraging, noting that people like Mohr "are of enormous use to the Reich." Thus concludes the theme of the play, that people, not monsters, are responsible for great communal disasters, and each of those people had a "moment of choice," according to Garrett-Groag in her Foreword.

The White Rose won the AT&T Award for New American Plays.

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