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Judgment Day (1937) opens at Bard SummerScape 2010 on July 14

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. – The eighth annual Bard SummerScape presents Judgment Day (“Der jüngste Tag”), a gripping 1937 drama by Austro-Hungarian Ödön von Horváth (1901-38) – probably, after Brecht, the greatest playwright of the Weimar Republic, and one of the few who recognized the approach of fascism or grasped the social trends that produced it. A runaway hit of last fall’s London theater season, Judgment Day implicitly investigates the roots of Nazism among Austria-Hungary’s ordinary working people. The new production is directed by Ireland’s Caitriona McLaughlin, Associate Director and General Manager of London’s Playground Studio, whose work was recently described as “atmospheric and seductively intimate” (Time Out), and stars Kevin O’Donnell, of Shakespeare & Company, and Hayley Treider, last seen on Law and Order. With sets by Mimi Lien, winner of the 2005 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Set Design, and costumes by Kaye Voyce, whose extensive credits range from Broadway to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Judgment Day opens on July 14 and runs for ten performances in Theater Two of the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center on Bard College’s stunning Hudson River campus (July 14—25).

Von Horváth’s work bears invaluable witness to the nature of everyday life under fascism, and for postwar Germany, a deeper understanding of this Nazi past is key. The restoration to the repertory of von Horváth’s works – formerly banned by the Nazis – has played a vital part in restoring this understanding. After London’s successful 2009 production of Judgment Day, the Independent concluded that von Horváth’s final play was “a fascinating drama about guilt and the compulsion towards conformism in small communities.” The Guardian pronounced the work a “gripping moral fable,” and praised von Horváth’s ability “to find historical resonance in a local tragedy,” while the Daily Telegraph enthused, “One leaves the theater impatient to see more of von Horváth’s morally complex and highly atmospheric work.” As the Daily Variety observed, “von Horváth was asking dangerous questions about his own time…that still resonate.”

Theater at Bard SummerScape 2010

Ödön von Horváth (1901-38)

Judgment Day (1937)

 Directed by Caitriona McLaughlin

Herr Hudetz: Kevin O’Donnell
Frau Hudetz: Stephanie Haberle
Alfons: Dashiell Eaves
Anna: Hayley Treider
Ferdinand: Shawtane Bowen
Landlord: Craig Bockhorn
Leni: Beth Cole
Frau Leimgruber: Kelly McAndrew
Pokorny/Prosecutor: Rod Brogan
Kohut/Costumer: Sydney Williams
Woodsman/Deputy: Joseph Adams
Traveling Salesman/Detective/Kreitmeyer: Brandon Dirden
Policeman: Eric Miller
Child: Isabel LaBarbera / Cassandra LaBarbera
Mimi Lien, set designer
Kaye Voyce, costume designer
Jane Cox, lighting designer
Matt Tierney, sound designer

Wednesday, July 14, 3 pm
Thursday, July 15, 8 pm
Friday, July 16, 8 pm
Saturday, July 17, 8 pm
Sunday, July 18, 3 pm
Wednesday, July 21, 3 pm
Thursday, July 22, 8 pm
Friday, July 23, 8 pm
Saturday, July 24, 8 pm
Sunday, July 25, 3 pm

Highlights of the Eighth Annual Bard SummerScape Festival

Modernism and its roots in Vienna’s dazzling turn-of-the-20th-century culture is the subject of the eighth annual Bard SummerScape Festival, which once again features a rich tapestry of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret.  Presented in the acoustically superb Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s stunning Hudson River campus, the seven-week festival opens on July 8 with the first of four performances by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and closes on August 22 with a party in Bard’s beloved Spiegeltent, which returns for the full seven weeks.

The 21st annual Bard Music Festival explores “Berg and His World,” and some of the Austrian composer’s most gifted and thought-provoking contemporaries provide other SummerScape highlights, which besides Judgment Day, include: North America’s first fully-staged production of Franz Schreker’s 1910 opera The Distant Sound (Der ferne Klang), sung in German with English subtitles; Oscar Straus’s operetta The Chocolate Soldier; four dances from the Trisha Brown Dance Company; and “The Best of G. W. Pabst,” a film festival juxtaposing German expressionism with American film noir.  The Distant Sound will be directed by Thaddeus Strassberger, whose production of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots at Bard last summer was a sensation.  A list of key performance dates follows below.

SummerScape 2010: key performance dates by genre

Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: “Berg and His World: Berg and Vienna” (August 13—15)
Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: “Berg and His World: Berg the European” (August 20—22)
Complete program details follow.

Franz Schreker: The Distant Sound (Der ferne Klang)
Sosnoff Theater
July 30 and August 6 at 7 pm
August 1 and 4 at 3 pm
Tickets: $25, $55, $75

Oscar Straus: The Chocolate Soldier
Theater Two
August 5—7 and 12—14 at 8 pm
August 8, 11, and 15 at 3 pm
Tickets: $45

Ödön von Horváth: Judgment Day
Theater Two
July 14, 18, 21, and 25 at 3 pm
July 15—17 and July 22—24 at 8 pm
Tickets: $45

Trisha Brown Dance Company
July 8, 9, and 10 at 8 pm
July 11 at 3 pm
Sosnoff Theater
Tickets: $25, $40, $55

“The Best of G. W. Pabst”
Thursdays and Sundays, July 15—August 19 at 7 pm
Ottaway Film Center
Tickets: $8

Cabaret, Family Fare, and SpiegelClub
Cabaret $25; Family Fare $15 ($5 for child under 18); SpiegelClub $5

Bard SummerScape Ticket Information

The Bard SummerScape Festival is made possible through the generous support of the Advisory Boards of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and the Bard Music Festival, and the Friends of the Fisher Center.

For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit


Bard SummerScape:

Bard Music Festival:

Tickets: [email protected]; or by phone at 845-758-7900

Updates: Bard’s “e-members” get all the news in regular updates.  Click here to sign up.

All program information is subject to change.

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©21C Media Group, July 2010

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