photo: Jackie Munro
A group of ambitious, talented NYU/Tisch students, forming a new company with director Paul Binnerts called The Elephant Brigade, are presenting (through HERE's Supported Artist Program) this wartime Brecht play as "real-time theatre": the performers don't inhabit their roles as much as they purposefully serve as storytellers enacting the play. For this reason, the fact that everyone in the cast is young is not a hinderance; it helps to make Brecht's cautionary message (about the changeability of man during wartime) direct and clear. While the production's attempts to modernize Brechtian devices are hit and miss (the use of live cameras panning toy-sized military structures and projecting them onto a backdrop scrim is a big miss; it doesn't add anything more to the proceedings than decoration) the troupe's urgency and unquestionable passion to tell the story with contemporary relevance are what's most vital and memorable here. No one in the ensemble lets the show down, but especially strong impressions are made by Natalie Kuhn and Sarah Wood.