Theater exists to entertain and educate. The White Rose: We Defied Hitler by David Meyers is an exemplary piece of art that does both.
The White Rose, which is showing at the Coterie Theatre in Crown Center, is a co-production between UMKC and the theater. Each year, UMKC students join forces with the professional artists at the Coterie to put on a performance with an educational focus.
In this year’s production of The White Rose, UMKC graduate students made up the design team and several of the production’s stage managers.
Director UMKC adjunct instructor Jeff Church called The White Rose, “a piece of hidden history.” This unique piece of theater tells the story of Germans who resisted Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War II. The White Rose was an organization of college students who distributed pamphlets publicly denouncing the atrocities happening at the hands of German leaders. This true story is told in one act with a small cast of three.
The play centers on a college student named Sophie, who is captured by the Nazis and interrogated in an effort to have her incriminate her fellow members and earn her a lesser sentence.
“[Sophie] was bound and determined to be like nobody else,” said Sophie-actress Morgan Lynn Sterrett. “She did not care about being pretty…and wanted to be treated like a man, with respect.”
“Plays about resistance are really interesting right now,” says Church. The show comes at a time where more young people are leading the fight for social change.
This helps The White Rose appeal particularly to its largest demographic of viewers, students. The play not only demonstrates how young people can change their own lives but how they can impact the lives of others.
The White Rose starring Morgan Lynn Sterrett (Sophie Scholl), Robert Gibby Brand (Kurt Grunwald) and Jordan Luty (Hans Scholl) runs through Feb. 9 at the Coterie Theater. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.thecoterie.org.