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Fall play brings Holocaust history to life

The fall play at Rosemount High School is a little bit theater, a little bit history lesson. And director Thom Hoffman said it all comes together very well.

The play, "And Then They Came for Me," mixes video clips of interviews with Holocaust survivors and on-stage performances to tell the story of two acquaintances of Anne Frank and their interactions with her.

"It's part remembrance, part direct presentation and dramatic interaction, and they move from one to the other fairly rapidly," Hoffman said. "The kids play off the people on the screen, the Holocaust survivors, as they narrate and talk about it."

Hoffman was thinking about staging the play in the winter, but changed his plans when he realized the school's sophomores would be studying Night, the memoir by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, in the fall.

There was a preview performance for the sophomores on Tuesday this week.

The show's subject matter isn't always uplifting, but Hoffman said there is a positive message.

"It's incredible to hear the story from the first person," he said. "They take you right back there and take you through everything that happened. It's a neat story. It's very moving. It's sad and at the same time there are things that speak to the good, honest, hopeful things, the nature of mankind."

The show runs about 75 minutes, but Hoffman said because there is not a traditional story arc it seems to go much faster.

The show has been a challenge. There are 60-some video cues that need to be right so the interviews on screen matches what's on stage. Hoffman said there are probably twice as many lighting and sound cues to get down. Things are coming together, though.

There is a cast of nine for the show, which will be on stage at the RHS performing arts center at 7 p.m. Oct. 22, 23 and 24 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 25.