Taking Sides

Taking Sides $12.99

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Ronald Harwood

Published by Dramatists Play Service

4 Male 3 Female

Taking Sides takes place in the American Zone of occupied Berlin, in 1946. It is here the American portion of the De-Nazification Tribunal has convened to take over the questioning of Wilhelm Furtwängler, one of the outstanding conductors of his time

Furtwängler was at the height of his career in 1933, eclipsing all other conductors, just as Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. As the terrors of Nazism spread, many of Furtwängler's colleagues fled the country, whether out of protest or persecution, but Furtwängler mysteriously chose to stay

Did he stay to do as much good as possible in the face of evil, as so many believe, or did he stay to serve Hitler, of which he was later accused? The Tribunal's evidence has been prepared firstly by the British, and then taken over by two groups of Americans

One in Wiesbaden which assisted in Furtwängler's defense, the other in Berlin which helped build the case against him. Little is known of the motives and methods of this group, which is the focus of Taking Sides

What is known is that Furtwängler was humiliated, pursued and, even after his acquittal, disinformation followed him. This may or may not have been justified-it all depends on the side you take

"A brave, wise and deeply moving play delineating the confrontation between culture, and power, between art and politics, between irresponsible freedom and responsible compromise. A gripping moral challenge in a cock sure and self-seeking age." ~ London Sunday Times

"Taking Sides is a taut, chilling dramariveting, often witty, and stirs one with a powerful indignation" ~ Financial Times

"Harwood's fierce moral debate is set in the American zone of occupied Berlin in 1946. The play acts as a powerful metaphor for the present and all those post-authoritarian societies busy ransacking their pasts" ~ The Guardian.

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