Do you remember back in Jr. High School English when your teacher would give you a scenario and ask you what you think the ending is? That is what Pseudostyle Theatre’s Holocaust play called Uniform is like. The piece, written by Aaron Sulkin, was a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary.
…’Uniform’ could be a very good educational tool in teaching our youth about the Holocaust.
The premise Sulkin presents is a good one for dramatization. Three Jews named David, Jacob and Zsuzsanna (Eric Schlein, Brandon Herrlig and Brittany Martz) are in hiding from the Nazis. Jacob brings the body of what we think is a dead Nazi solider. Very fast we find out that he is not dead and that is name is Erik (Sam Taylor.) Erick says that the three need to leave their current location within an hour because the Nazis will be doing a sweep of the area and if the trio is found, well, you know what will happen.Even though Jacob has wrestled Erik’s gun away from him and the trio keeps it pointed at him as a precaution throughout, the soldier offers to help them escape safely.
The question for the audience is what happens to the trio and if you think the soldier will help? First off Sulkin’s script is workman like and nothing more. The dialogue gives no new insight to one of the worst atrocities to ever happen. Secondly, director Alec Henneberger has instructed his performers to scream for most of the show. This does not make for good drama; it just makes for a grating experience. Performance wise Sam Taylor as the Nazi soldier Erik comes off the best with the most contained performance of the bunch with Brittany Martz as Zsuzsanna running a tight second. Eric Schlein and Brandon Herlig as David and Jacob were trying way too hard throughout.
All in all Uniform looked and felt more like a school assembly program than a finished piece of theatre. If the performers could be reigned in and the script have a little more dramatic punch, Uniform could be a very good educational tool in teaching our youth about the Holocaust.
Advisory: Adult language.
Running Time: 40 minutes with no intermission.
Uniform played its final performance at Gearbox on July 27, 2014.