The Brigit St Brigit Theatre Company will take you back in time to World War II and to Sheffield, England to experience the devastation of the Sheffield Blitz through the eyes of 4 young steelworkers. The play is Operation Crucible by Kieran Knowles and will begin its run on October 21 at the Jewish Community Center.
The Sheffield Blitz is a reference to the worst nights of the German Luftwaffe bombing of Sheffield on the nights of December 12 and 15 in 1940. Sheffield, a steelworks town, was targeted due to its manufacturing of armaments. In particular, Sheffield was the only city in the UK that made 18 inch armor piercing shells. The code name for the operation was Schmelztiegel, the German word for crucible.
Prepare yourself for a unique theatre experience as 4 actors (Daniel Sukup, Eric Grant-Leanna, Daniel Dorner, and Eddie McGonigal) share the horrific nights of the bombing on a nearly empty stage using the power of just their voices and bodies. As director Lara Marsh stated, “I needed 4 actors who could keep up with the physicality of the play. . .who could play different characters. . .who could pantomime.”
Telling a story without benefit of scenery and extremely limited props is quite the chore, but definitely an enticing challenge. “This is the type of theatre I want to get into. . .I hate the fourth wall,” said Daniel Sukup.
And this play certainly blurs, if not obliterates, the fourth wall. The play eschews the normal narrative style as the story turns from the nights of the bombings to events in the past to memories of the play’s characters in rapid-fire succession. In discussing the difficulties of the play, actor Eric Grant-Leanna said, “Memorizing lines [is the toughest]. In most plays, your cues come from an actor saying something to you, but that isn’t the case here. You’ve got to know what to say and when you’re supposed to say it and you can’t paraphrase because you’ll be losing something.”
Actor Eddie McGonigal furthered that thought when he said, “You’ve got to know your lines and your intentions from the very start.”
Director Lara Marsh believes in sharing stories worth telling and hopes the audience “learns something about the war from the British side. We know all about it from the American side.”
Operation Crucible opens on October 21 and runs through November 19. The show will take place under the auspices of the Brigit St Brigit Theatre Company at the Jewish Community Center located at 333 S 132nd St in Omaha, NE. Showtimes are Fri and Sat at 7:30pm with one Sunday performance on Oct 23 at 6:30pm. Tickets cost $25 ($20 for students/seniors (65+)/Military). For tickets, contact the box office at 402-502-4910 or visit the website at www.bsbtheatre.com.