The History of the Devil (Scenes from a Pretended Life)

The History of the Devil (1999). Photo by Eric Webber

The History of the Devil (1999). Nils Ivan Swanson (L) as The Devil and Luciann Lajoie (R) as Sonneillon. Photo by Eric Webber.

The History of the Devil (Scenes from a Pretended Life)

by Clive Barker

Production History
October 22 – December 18, 1999 : The MK-Ultra Theatre:: Denver, CO

The Company
Direction: Robert Burns Brown
Assistant Direction: Jana Curtis
Producer: The LIDA Project / Brian Freeland
Lighting Design: Anna R. Kaltenbach
Sound Design: Diana Linger

Costume Design: Jim Miller
Properties Design: Brian Freeland

Jane: Amy Glassman
Procell: Anita Harkiss
Sonneillon: Luciann Lajoie
Kate: Janette L. MacDonald
The Devil: Nils Ivan Swanson
Popper: Tara M.E. Thompson
Sam: Dane Torbinson
Verrier: Kelly Wade
Milo: Rodney Wess
Belial: Jamil Wold

The Merchant of Auschwitz

The Merchant of Auschwitz (1999). Photo Eric Webber

The Merchant of Auschwitz (1999). Nils Ivan Swanson (L) as Shylock and Jim Miller (R) as Bassanio. Photo Eric Webber.

The Merchant of Auschwitz
adaptation by Brian Freeland based on William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

A young jewish student, captured in a time of madness, is caught with a copy of The Merchant of Venice. What follows is a debate acted out through the text of one of the most controversial plays of our time.

“In the winter of 1943 I was a member of a company which performed before the SS guards at the extermination camp of Auschwitz. We actors received prodigal hospitality and were waited on by prisoners—long columns of whom we saw with our very eyes. We were greatly astonished at their wearing only striped prison smocks in the middle of winter.”
– Dieter Borsche, German film star

The Third Reich mobilized mass audiences on a scale amounting to a cultural revolution—not so much to expose them to propagandist theatre, as to turn their very presence in the theatre into propaganda.
– Richard Grunberger, Third Reich historian

Production History
April 16 – May 29, 1999 : The LIDA Project Experimental Theatre :: Denver, CO

Best Experimental Theatre Production, Westword
Best New Play (Brian Freeland), Denver Drama Critics Circle Award Nomination
Best Sound Design (Jeremiah Lyman Moore), Denver Drama Critics Circle Award

Media Coverage
Flesh Wounds
, Westword

The Company
Direction: Brian Freeland
Producer: Catherine E. Worster
Dramaturgy: Mary Martin / John Schuttler
Translations: Anne Angyal 

Sound Design: Jeremiah Lyman Moore
Scenic Design: Jason Humphrey
Scenic Painting: Anne Angyal
Lighting Design: Brian Freeland
Costume Design: Lisa Mumpton / Catherine E. Worster
Properties Design: Catherine E. Worster
Dialect Coach: Heather Hollingsworth
Fight Choreography: Dane Torbenson

Portia: Tara M.E. Thompson
Bassanio: Jim Miller
Shylock: Nils Ivan Swanson
Antonio: Josh Hartwell
Jessica: Lisa Mumpton
Lorenzo: Paul Cure
Launcelot: Steven Brown
Nerissa: Patty Mintz Figel
Salarino: Sara Casperson
Salanio: Julia Truitt
Translator: Anne Angyal
Hitler Youth: Chris Hale