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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


April 8, 2016  RSS feed

Text: T T T

‘Incident at Vichy’ film screening to feature panel with play’s director, actor

Richard Thomas, center, had a starring role in the off-Broadway production of “Incident at Vichy,” which was filmed live. Thomas will participate remotely in a discussion at the Tampa Theatre following a screening of the filmed version. Richard Thomas, center, had a starring role in the off-Broadway production of “Incident at Vichy,” which was filmed live. Thomas will participate remotely in a discussion at the Tampa Theatre following a screening of the filmed version. At the height of World War II in Vichy France, – an area that was supposedly a “free zone” not occupied by Nazi Germany – nine men and a boy are rounded up under suspicious circumstances. As ominous reports of far-off camps and cattle cars packed with prisoners begin to circulate, the men battle over politics, philosophy and how to escape.

The Florida Holocaust Museum will present a film made of a 2015 live performance of Incident at Vichy, an original Arthur Miller play. The Off-Broadway production was directed by Michael Wilson and starred Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas.

The free screening at the Tampa Theatre on Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. will be among the first times the film version will be shown publicly. The event is open to all.

Director Wilson will lead a post-film panel discussion with actor Thomas participating in the discussion remotely.

In a preview for the Signature Theater production last year, Wilson commented on what he believes the playwright was saying about individual duty and how it relates to issues today.

“Watching this, I think we are able to project ourselves back to that time and think about what we would have done in that situation, but also, what would we do if we’re sitting on the subway car and some-one starts attacking someone?” Wilson said. “In the play, Miller poses big ethical questions that are being posed to the United States right now. At what point does personal responsibility add up to collective responsibility and then a national response to what we would view as an international crisis? … In Incident at Vichy, what Miller is getting at is that there is humanity in all of us, and if we can find that humanity, then the world has a chance.”

Vichy scholar Brian Phillips, who consulted with the cast for the play, will also be part of the post-film panel. Phillips is co-editor of the Journal of Human Rights Practice and is an independent human rights consultant, most recently for Equitas (formerly Canadian Human Rights Foundation), Amnesty International, the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.

The New York Times has written glowing reviews for different installments of the play. Former Times theater critic, the late Howard Taubman, acclaimed the original stage production in 1964 as “a moving play, a searching play, one of the most important plays of our time.”

For the play’s 2015 revival, current

New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood wrote, “What’s appealing about this rare chance to see Incident at Vichy is the opportunity that it affords to hear Miller’s ethical insights and piercing intelligence resounding with such unbridled forthright eloquence.”

Expected to be at the screening is Jacqueline Albin, a local resident and Holocaust survivor. Albin’s father was drafted into the French army when she was 2 years old. At 5, she and her mother rejoined her father in the Vichy unoccupied zone. Vichy France was the nominal government of the country from 1940-1944, though the regime was largely compliant with the German military.

She remembers hiding in a neighbor’s house, crouching in the bushes overnight, finding out that her grandparents had been sent to Auschwitz, and fleeing to the mountains where they were attacked and interrogated.

For more information, call (727) 820-0100 ext. 274 or visit for more information.

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