Erik Stuhaug/Taproot Theater
Matt Shimkus, Don Brady and Nathan Jeffrey

The Beams are Creaking opens next week

Tells the story about Hitler, Nazis and a man who tried to stop them

By Gwen Davis, UW News Lab student

Taproot Theatre continues its 35th anniversary season with Douglas Anderson's thought-provoking play, The Beams are Creaking, a story in which Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran German pastor during World War II, decides to stop Hitler and the Nazi party himself while battling questions of morality, political allegiance and religious conviction.

“This script is exciting on a number of levels,” said Karen Lund, the director. “Historically, you don’t think about how German people were working from the inside to try to stop the Nazi Party. But what do you do when you are to murder? That’s a fascinating moral question.”

The play attempts to grapple with the deeper significance of right and wrong, and how the truth can be distorted.

Sonja Lowe, Taproot’s marketing director, said that the play’s power lies in how it forces the viewer to accept that reality and morality are not always simple.

“For Bonhoeffer to enter into a much murkier world of lies, and secrets, and ultimately plots to kill a man,” she said, “that takes a whole lot of a different kind of courage.”

The play has drawn a talented and experienced cast and crew.

“Working on this play has been a challenge and a pleasure,” said Matthew Shimkus who plays Bonhoeffe. “Like other productions I’ve been involved with in my professional work, I’m working with artists whose collaborative spirit, dedication and talent make the work we do a pleasure.”

Rob Martin, the actor who plays the Nazi announcer among other roles, noted the play's relevance in today's society.

“[What] makes Bonhoeffer’s example quite meaningful for our lives in 2011: What are our convictions? Would we live them out to the extreme if put to such a test? I’m not so sure.”

The Beams are Creaking is playing March 25 through April 23. It previews on March 23 and 24. It is recommended for anyone age 12 and above.

To purchase tickets, visit taproottheatre.org.

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