“The Beams are Creaking” at Taproot Theatre


There sometimes comes a time in one’s life when being on the right side intellectually and morally isn’t enough, when circumstances demand that you take action. Such is the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor and theologian in Hitler’s Germany.

Bonhoeffer’s church was co-opted by the Nazis, as were all social organizations in the Third Reich. Bonhoeffer’s Christian conscience forbade him to accept what he saw happening to his society. He believed that the concepts at the heart of his religion were more important than the organized church that was being corrupted.

Taproot’s fine production of this play documents his efforts against the Nazis. We see his courage and determination.  We smell his fear. We shudder at the expanding milieu of hatred and jingoism that surround him. It’s a well-acted, well-directed production that will indeed keep you on the edge of your seats.

Of course there’s intrigue, attempted assassinations, clandestine plotting, secret codes and messages. And of course there’s prison and a tragic ending. But there is so much more here as we ask ourselves what makes this play so pertinent today.

“It couldn’t happen in Germany,” say many of its citizens in the 1930s despite seeing books burn, people wearing Jewish stars or carrying their identity papers, despite hearing words of hate shouted at rallies and on broadcasts.

Did they not realize that democracy demands vigilance, and that fascism is a powerful enemy that can sneak up on unwary societies? Hasn’t history proven that would-be demigods are always waiting in the wings? “The Beams are Creaking” offers a gripping night in the theatre with a plot that’s well worth thinking about.

Through April 23 at Taproot Theatre www.taproottheatre.org/buy-tickets/ or 206 781-9707


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