How do you respond to a difficult truth? For Biedermann, the main character in Max Frisch’s The Arsonists, the answer is comical—and unsettling.
Biedermann, played by Sam Neagley ’14, likes to maintain the status quo. That becomes a challenge when a rash of arsons besieges his town and a trio of shady characters (Gaven Trinidad ’12, Sydney Moffatt ’14 and Isabelle Schlick ’15) begin to stash incendiaries in his attic. Will he confront them? [Story continues below].
Originally published as a radio drama in 1953, The Arsonistsis generally interpreted as a parable about European inaction during World War II. But, says Assistant Professor of Theatre & Dance Jon Liebetrau, in the wake of recent financial debacles, hate crimes and environmental and political concerns, there is no shortage of contemporary social ills to which it may apply.
“Thankfully, Frisch paints his allegory with a lighthearted brush, letting the characters deliver the serious message with comic irony,” he says.
The Arsonists opens tonight (March 30) at Mathers Theatre. Showtimes are:
- Friday, March 30, 8 p.m.
- Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m.
- Monday, April 2, 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 3, 8 p.m.
By MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Photos by A. Pierce Bounds '71