Madhouse Theater Company
by David Robson and John Stanton
directed by Seth Reichgott
starring Amanda Grove and Robert DaPonte
Your donation will support Madhouse Theater Company's world premiere production of Playing Leni.
A dark comedy, Playing Leni is a fictionalized account of the capture and arrest of Leni Riefenstahl, filmmaker and propagandist for the Third Reich during World War II. Her captor, an unnamed Allied soldier, must transport Riefenstahl to a detention center. Riefenstahl, however, believes this “trip through the countryside” is the perfect opportunity to create her cinematic masterwork. Writing and rewriting her story as they travel, Riefenstahl comes face to face with the inescapable truths of war, privation, and death camps. The mystery soldier becomes jailor, confessor, and actor in Riefenstahl’s unending pursuit to produce, direct, and edit each piece of her life—blurring the lines between art and reality, ambition and conscience, innocence and culpability.
A project more than 10 years in the making, Playing Leni is the result of a collaboration between playwrights David Robson and John Stanton. Best known for her film Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), trumpeting the indomitable spirit of the Nazi party, Riefenstahl’s personal and political history is much debated. Stanton and Robson took inspiration from these ongoing themes of
filmmaking and constant revision in the structure of the play, and in
the creation of the unnamed soldier.
Playing Leni’s director, Seth Reichgott, believes this kind of unending examination is at the heart of the story. “Playing Leni is really about how we all as individuals rewrite and reedit our own memories and our own experiences so that we can live with ourselves and the decisions we've made. That's one of those amazing things theatre can do, and it's one of the things about the play that I am most looking forward to exploring. I think Playing Leni is going to make audiences think as much about themselves as about Leni.”
- (20 days)