May 30, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 30, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

TABC Thespians Perform ‘Incident at Vichy’

Last Thursday night, the theater department of Torah Academy of Bergen County performed Arthur Miller’s “Incident at Vichy” to a full house of appreciative friends and family. The play was directed by Rebecca Lopkin of Envision Theater and featured 17 students with representatives from each grade. The theater program has grown tremendously since Lopkin started at TABC bringing her hard work, dedication and creative vision to the school. As one of the English teachers so aptly described, “With two shows a year, one comedy and one drama, twice yearly trips to Broadway, a chapter of the International Thespian Society (ITS), a new film elective and an evening of the arts, Lopkin has managed to grow this one-time drama club into a robust theater department ever since her company, Envision Theater took over two years ago.”

Yitzchak Tollinsky, a graduating senior and ITS president, who is playing a German officer in this production said, “I found it quite challenging to play the role of a German officer in this play. Oftentimes, when I am learning about the Holocaust, it is from the perspective of the persecuted Jew, as it should be. But in this show I had to look at it from the enemy’s perspective. Because of this, I was able to learn a lot about human emotion and how people deal with doing things that are morally incorrect. I was also able to delve myself into my acting in a very different way from how it was in the past. I had to take on the persona of a man I would hate to meet, and in that way, I was able to grow as an actor and as a person.” Another new addition to the program was the dress rehearsal for the 11th grade earlier in the day. The juniors, who have read several of Miller’s other plays throughout the school year, engaged in a meaningful discussion with the actors after the performance. Students made connections between the Miller plays they’ve read and the one they saw. Lopkin strongly believes in integrating the arts into the curriculum and sharing the play in this way was one way of allowing students to see theater, not just as a means of entertainment, but as a way to connect to their studies on a deeper level, develop a sense of empathy and watch a slice of history be played out in front of their eyes.

“I chose this play” said Lopkin, “as it offers multiple challenges to the audience and the actors. It’s a Holocaust story told from a different angle which one does not typically see. It brings up questions about basic human rights, status, power, responsibility, beliefs, religion and leaves one with much food for thought. It’s been a journey of a rehearsal process and I am extremely proud of the result.”

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles