Spring 2017

SUNY Broome Theater presents The Arsonists by Max Frisch as its spring production. Translated by Alistair Beaton, the play is a provocative mix of dark comedy, realism, farce and social critique. Director Katherine Bacon says the play was "originally titled Biedermann and the Firebugs, and is considered to be Frisch's best play. It has been said that his work is a commentary on the inability of intellectuals to expose evil and take a stand against it, as in what he witnessed as the rise and supremacy of the Nazi party. Others have said that Frisch meant to criticize Switzerland's (his home country) neutral stand to Nazism during World War II. The play seems to say that we can't be decent people at home while ignoring the evils of the world, but it does so in a delightful way. Frisch worked with and was heavily influenced by playwright and director Bertolt Brecht. Therefore the play, and our production, have a Brechtian style."
A review in The Guardian said, "Frisch's theme, as Alistair Beaton's sharp new translation makes clear, is bourgeois guilt … compact, well-characterized and easily applicable to today's world … a timeless political satire."
Performances are Friday and Saturday, May 5 & 6 at 7:30 PM.