Cheshire High School Drama Club will be performing “Antigone in Munich: The Sophie Schroll Story” by Claudia Haas on December 5, 6, and 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorp Auditorium.
Directed by Taryn Chorney, a CHS Theater and literature teacher, the play, which is based off of a real story, offers a deep dive into the life of Sophie Schroll, a young German girl accused of treason against Nazi Germany.
“I really wanted to do a play that could accommodate a larger cast,” explained Chorney. “Last year, the fall play only had nine students, I wanted to be able to have more kids involved who couldn’t be (in the production) last year.”
The play divides Schroll’s life into two parts — one revolving around her interrogation by a German Nazi soldier, ready to arrest her for treason, and the other shown through flashbacks, depicting how she, along with the rest of German society, began changing and, in Schroll’s case resisting, the Nazis during World War II.
Because of this clear division, Chorney was able to cast two students in the lead role, dividing the characters between a Schroll who is under arrest and the Schroll shown in her flashbacks.
“The kids have really taken this story and made it their own,” explained Chorney. “I think they really connect with it because it is a true story, and they understand the importance of telling it.”
Julianna Distante, a junior at CHS, and Grace Azaula, a senior, both play versions of Schroll. Distante, who plays Schroll in her flashback scenes, explained that she feels very connected to Schroll’s story.
“Sophie (Schroll) was a real person,” she said. “She is very real and was doing very serious and important things. We need to remember her story so we don’t discount what she went through.”
According to Chorney, the story combines a true Holocaust story with the classic Greek mythological story of Antigone — a woman banned from giving her brother a proper burial by the Creons and must decide whether she should follow the laws that bar her from burying her brother, or follow her own belief system and moral code that pushing her to bury him.
Azaula, who plays Schroll as she is being interrogated, identified with the overarching messages of the story.
“I really like the theme,” she said. “It’s about sticking to what you believe in no matter what. I think that in this day and age where everyone does things based on politics, that it’s important to remember to focus on what matters.”
For this show, stage manager and CHS senior Reagan Petro was allowed to show her creative side with some of the set pieces.
“I had a really fun time designing some of the set,” she expressed. “Ms. Chorney gave me some parameters, but ultimately let me have free reign with some of the designs, which in my mind really make the show special because this is something I want to pursue in college as well.”
One of the male leads in the show, played by CHS senior Matt Long, is the Nazi soldier who interrogates Schroll. Long explained what he finds to be the hardest part about portraying someone of that nature.
“It definitely isn’t easy,” he said. “It is pretty unnerving at times, but I try my best to stick to the history and do as appropriate of a job as I can given what I need to do. It certianly shows my versitility as an actor.”
“Antigone in Munich: The Sophie Schroll Story” will be performed on Thursday, Dec. 5, Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7. Curtains rise for each performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorp Auditorium, 525 South Main St.
Ticket costs for the show are $8 for students and $10 for adults, and are available for purchase at the door each night of the show.