The University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County’s fall play probes a great question of the 20th century: How could the Holocaust have happened?
This weekend University Theatre presents “Good,” a World War II drama that shows the path to ruin is paved one moral compromise at a time. C.P. Taylor’s acclaimed play will be staged at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the R. G. Brown Theatre on campus. Among its cast will be Sarah Seifert (Ann) of Sauk City and Scott Kindschi (Maurice) of Merrimac.
Director Lauren Love said she chose the thought-provoking play because it explores how humans are capable of unfathomable atrocities. “‘Good’ is multi-layered and complex,” she said. “It incorporates different styles of theatre and music and demands a very dedicated, talented cast and production team.”
The cast and crew features a mix of students and community actors. It’s led by Baraboo resident and professional actor Bill Arbogast, who plays a college professor - a good man - who ends up abetting the Nazis.
“Good” shows how a series of small choices can set in motion events that change the course of history. Arbogast said the play is riveting because it prompts audiences to wonder how they would react if the decisions were theirs.
“What would you really do?” he asked. “How would it really affect you?”
“Good” is widely considered one of the century's top plays, and one of the best written about the Holocaust. Set in pre-World War II Germany, “Good” depicts how John Halder, a liberal-minded professor whose best friend is Jewish, could not only be seduced into joining the Nazis, but step-by-rationalized-step end up embracing the final solution. Taylor traces the antihero’s progress over eight years toward the upper echelons of Adolf Hitler’s SS, examining the character flaws that lead to Halder’s endorsement of horrors.
“The idea that the whole social system and individuals who considered themselves ‘good’ could become complicit in genocide is horribly shocking,” Love said.
Admission to “Good” is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $3 for UW-BSC students. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (608) 355-5238. Tickets will be available at the door.