Season: 2012

"Vitriol" from Julia Welch

Posted on Oct 4th, 2012 in FAIR: Fellowships & More
Vitriol

March 17, 2012 | Author: Julia Welch

Four years ago I got roped into a project, helping to develop a new play about these journalists during WWII. Let me begin by saying that I’m not a history nerd, nor do I know the first thing about journalism, WWII or play development. Yet somehow I became involved with creating this script.

It’s been an incredible journey, working with an artistic quartet comprised of a playwright, two actor/dramaturgs and me. The four of us have bonded over this project and it will be something that ties our friendship together for the rest of our lives.

The play is based on a true story that has been buried for years. It follows four journalists of The Munich Post as they wrote against Hitler in inter-war Germany. Their story is unbelievable and it was a honor to work on the piece. I watched the script come out of bad translations of German (a language none of us spoke). Heard these characters speak and grow. Learned and learned and learned. And more and more I was amazed at this story.

I find Vitriol to be not only a phenomenal piece of storytelling, but also a phenomenal piece of research. The story of these four journalists is written with painstaking attention to historical details and the more I learn about the men of The Munich Post, the more I find myself amazed that no one has written a play, a book, a movie about their extraordinary lives before now. The fact that the play I helped develop is the first telling of The Post’s story in the English language, truly attests to how hard Hitler and his National Socialist Party tried to silence them

If it isn’t yet obvious, I am so very passionate about this piece.

OSF gave me the opportunity to produce a staged reading of the piece in the Margery Bailey through the Midnight Projects. It was a wild ride trying to find actors, a director, space, and an audience. On top of that, the playwright came down from Seattle to see the show! We rehearsed at crazy hours for one week under the direction of fellow FAIR participant Nic Adams and came out with a fantastic piece.

I am so proud of the work all these artists. They told an amazing story and the feedback received from them and the other audience members will be incredibly helpful in editing this play. I truly believe that this is a vital story that should be told now. I hope it gets picked up somewhere.

What do you think?

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