Stars in a Dark Sky
by R.E. Vickers
Produced by Lime Rock Press, Inc
Presented by Red Fern Theatre Company
Directed by Melanie Moyer Williams
Featuring Dana Berger, Walker Hare, Nathan Johnson, and Annie Keating
“Extraordinarily moving . . . The Scholl’s story, especially when told in their own words, has great power.” ~Brooke Allen, The New Criterion
“Very Relevant Today.” “Compelling.” “A Must-See.” “Great Performance.”
Hopes, fears and courage. Join Hans and Sophie Scholl inside WWII Germany as they turn from forced service in Hitler Youth to organizing student resistance against Nazi atrocities--challenging the silent majority. Is their choice worth the price?
The World Premiere of Stars in a Dark Sky was performed at FringeNYC at THEATRE 80 in the East Village.
Read the New York Times article about the playwright:
Former U.S. Attorney Makes His Playwriting Debut by John Eligon
Critical Acclaim for Stars in a Dark Sky:
Time Out New York
"**** (four stars) ...Narrated by Hans and Sophie's older sister, Inge (the very talented Annie Keating), R.E.Vickers's 100-minute play is emotional and powerful....The Scholls' resistance to the war was cut short when someone at their university reported them to the Gestapo; thankfully, their work lives on."
-- Rory Halperin, Time Out New York
"Curtain Up" Internet Magazine
The best kind of historical lessons are the ones filled with primary sources, like Stars in a Dark Sky. Playwright R.E.Vickers has put together the journals and correspondences of the Scholl family, two of whom were responsible for the antiwar White Rose pamphlets in Nazi Germany. The thoughtful and warm letters from the four Scholl children are vivid and compelling, and director Melanie Moyer Williams has found a nice theatricality in what is basically a series of monologues combined with old newsreels and other historical footage.
-- Julia Furay, “Curtain Up” Internet Magazine
Sophie and Hans Scholl were a brother and sister who led a student resistance movement, the White Rose, against the Nazis in Munich. Along with three other students, they handed out leaflets which asked for opposition to the Nazi party. When they were turned in by a janitor who informed the Gestapo, the Scholls were put on trial for treason. Found guilty, they, along with the others, were sentenced to death by guillotine.Their story is being told in Stars in a Dark Sky, a FringeNYC production by the Red Fern Theatre Company. The play is directed by Red Fern co-founder and artistic director Melanie Moyer Williams and was written by R.E. Vickers, a pseudonym that comprises New York family Whitney and Catryna Seymour, and their grown daughters Tryntje and Gabriel.
Whitney Seymour was serving on the American side in World War II during the time of the Scholls' trial, and he later discovered their story on a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Some years later, they discovered a book of their letters and spent years trying to devise a way to tell their story.
The result is Stars, a dramatic reading of said letters, combined with connective narration, multimedia presentations of Hitler's speeches, and other photographs and clips. The powerful piece, with shades of The Diary of Anne Frank, is a story that more people should know about.
-- David Gordon, nytheatre.com
Stars in a Dark Sky received its final readings on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 7:00 pm and Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row located at 410 West 42nd Street.
Stars in a Dark Sky received its first staged reading December 2006 and its second reading in May 2007, both at the Roy Arias Studios.
Dana Berger, Sophie Scholl
Dana Berger is a graduate of LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in NYC and has a B.A. in Theater Studies from Duke University. Most recently she performed "Washing Machine", a one-woman show, with Fist in the Pocket Theater Company (IT Award Nomination - Outstanding Solo Performance). Past roles include Grace in Diversey Harbor (2008 Frigid Festival), Hilary in Fallen (NY Theatre Experiment), Austin in Roadside, Maryland (2006 NY Fringe Festival), Karen in the world premiere of Don DeLillo's Mao II and Dunyasha in The Cherry Orchard.
Walker Hare, Hans Scholl
Walker Hare was most recently seen in Noises Off! and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Weathervane Playhouse in Ohio. New York credits include: All Dolled Up (Prod: Colin Quinn-Acorn Theatre), Flanagan’s Wake (SoHo Playhouse), My Mother Told Me I Was Different (Abingdon Theatre), and Thieves’ Carnival (Director: Moni Yakim) among others. TV/Film: Greatest Sports Stories (FOX Sports Net), Alpha Galates: Music Video, numerous short films, several voice-overs and commercials. Walker trained at Circle in the Square and with Upright Citizens Brigade. He would like to thank his family for their support and his sister for her immense inspiration with her work in Africa…
Nathan Johnson, Werner Scholl
Nathan is a graduate from Northwestern College in Minnesota. Nathan was last seen in the The Servant With Two Masters with the Black Moon Theatre Company of NYC. Favorite past roles include ‘Aladdin’ in Disney’s Aladdin (Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company), ‘Joseph’ in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and ‘Matt’ in The Fantasticks. Nathan can also be seen in several videos on Howcast.com, as well as two short films: Noir and AccidentProne.
Annie Keating, Inge Scholl
Annie is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied at Atlantic Theatre Company and the Stonestreet School of Film and Television. Annie also studied with The Barrow Group. She has appeared on stage with The Ensemble Studio Theatre and wrote a one-woman play, This Morning, which she performed during one of EST's one-act festivals. Annie has acted in many short and full-length films and recently began a voice-over career. Most recently, Annie was seen as "Annie" in Entwine at the Midtown International Theatre Festival and "Rebecca" in The Long Christmas Ride Home with The Red Fern Theatre Company. In her other life, Annie is getting her MSW at NYU and working as a group and individual therapist with children and adults. Annie would like to thank her friends and family for their inspiration and continued support of her crazy but beloved journey...
Melanie Moyer Williams, Director
Melanie, a graduate of Duke University, is also co-founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Red Fern Theatre Company. Her credits for the company include The Exonerated, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Found a Peanut, Two Rooms, and Patient A. Melanie was thrilled to work with Ensemble Studio Theatre and Shirley Lauro on a reading of her new play, What Cost the Moon: Madame Curie's Private Life. Last year, she directed the initial reading of Stars in a Dark Sky by R.E. Vickers for Lime Rock Press, Inc which will have its final staged reading this May. For Woodframe Productions, Melanie directed Henry Kissinger by John Attanas in the NY Fringe Festival where they received rave reviews. Most recently, she directed a reading of his new play Memorial Days. She has also directed A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador in El Salvador with Wanderlust Theatre Company. She directed That is the Question in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Other New York credits include Medea excerpts for CYPRECO and the New York Public Library; Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, When the World Was Green and Icarus’s Mother for the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company. Melanie looks forward to working with Shirley Lauro on RFTC’s upcoming production of her play, A Piece of My Heart.
Laura Luciano, Stage Manager
Laura is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz where she received a BA in both performance and design technology. She is currently the stage manager for the Red Fern Theatre Company. Other credits include Polaroid Stories (director/SUNY New Paltz), Striking Chords (playwright/Creative Place Theatre), Dust (production assistant/Soho Think Tank), Henry Kissinger (stage manager/NY Fringe Festival), Kate Smith: The Original American Idol (stage manager/dir. Vincent Scarza) and Tumor Humor: He's Malignant, She's Benign (stage manager/NY Fringe Festival).
Zach Shepard, Lighting Designer
Zack Shepard is entering his fourth and final year at Hampshire College where he is studying for a BA in Design for Performance and Installation Art. Concentrating on the convergence of light, sound, and video, Zack has found himself most excited for projects, both in theatre and installation art, that explore the integration of multi-media. Working with Nick Chandler, an actor and fellow student, Zack’s most recent project attempts to redefine the relationship between the actor and design by creating interactive environments as well as characters played by light and sound. The project has been in the works for well over a year and having evolved into a full-length play, The Wilson and Alva Show! has been slotted to open the Hampshire College Theatre season this coming academic year.
Lime Rock Press, Inc, and the Red Fern Theatre Company would like to express their appreciation to Sam Chase, Tim Eliot, Richard Kohn, Ginny Myers Lee, and T.D. White for their dedication in the development of this play. Unfortunately, they are no longer a part of the cast, but the play would not be the same without their input and inspiration.
Sam Chase*, Hans Scholl
Sam was most recently seen Off-Broadway in the international award-winning play Harvest. New York credits include Tis Pity She's a Whore and Othello. He is a company member of both Red Bull Theater and The Talking Band, where he can be seen in upcoming readings and workshops. Sam received his MFA from The American Repertory Theatre at Harvard, where he appeared in the ART's productions of Dido, Queen of Carthage; Love's Labour's Lost; Olly's Prison; Spring Awakening; Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, and Eddie Makes a Plan.
Tim Eliot, Werner Scholl
Tim was seen last in Pennylyn White's In Bocca Alla Lupa at the Access Theatre downtown. Prior to that, he was featured in Andrew Ondrejcak's The Seven Woes of a Libra Prophet (based on the life and work of Royal Robertson) and Akropolis/Prototype at the Studio XIV space in Carrol Gardens. Tim is a graduate of Yale University.
Richard Kohn, Roland Freisler
Richard was last seen by area audiences in the play Phomph. Other NY theatre acting credits include principle roles in Of Mice and Men, The Tragedy of Frankenstein, Othello, The Goldberg Variations, Machinal, Blood Wedding, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Medea, When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder, Coffee Shop, Hamlet, The Sea Italian American Cantos, The Acharnians, and The Sea. Richard also performed in A Man In The Street, a one man show in which he performed the poetry of Carl Sandberg. Regional credits include principle roles in The Philadelphia Story, A Hatful Of Rain, The Tenth Man, The Crucible, Anything Goes, and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Films include Hush, starring Jessica Lange, Lansdown, The Dead Guy’s Son, The Gravekeeper, Edge, and The Dregs of Society. TV appearances include roles in Comedy Central Pulp Comics, Vh1, The Discovery Channel, The Lindberg Kidnapping (Japanese TV)
Ginny Myers Lee*, Inge Scholl
Credits include: New York: Love's Labour's Lost (New York Classical Theatre), Stars In A Dark Sky (Red Fern Theatre Co.), Love of a Pig (The Cardinal Group); Regional: Brother Wolf- world premiere (Triad Stage), The Shape of Things, The Voice of the Prairie, Crimes of the Heart (Summer Repertory Theatre); Ruth (Blue Shift Theatre Ensemble); 'Twas the Night Before Christmas(Theatre IV). Ginny received her MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she appeared in Lovers and Executioners, Big Shoes, Cloud 9, and as Little Sally in Urinetown: The Musical (college premiere). Ginny is a founding member of Man-In-The-Moon Theatre Project.
T.D. White*, Professor/Narrator
T. D. White is a card-carrying NYC writer-actor (SAG-AFTRA-AEA) and member of
The Dramatists’ Guild with performance history in HBO’s Sex and the
City (The Amish guy in “The Big Journey,” remember? Fifth Season,
the train?), Deadline and Conviction; and live at The Mint, The Red Room, La
Mama e.t.c., the National Arts Club, Irish Arts Center, most recently as Ernest
Hemingway in “Karaoke Night at the Suicide Shack.” He is the
title character in Seamus McNally’s 2003 THE HYPNOTIST, an official selection
of Le Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal).