BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Bemidji State University Department of Theatre presents “The Sophie Scholl Project,” an original work based on records of the life, interrogation, trial and execution of University of Munich student Sophie Scholl during World War II. The production was written, directed and performed by the members of a theatre seminar course taught by Assistant Professor of Theatre and Communication Arts Pat Carriere. It opens on Thursday Nov. 15 and runs through Saturday, Nov. 17. Shows begin at 7:29 p.m. nightly during the three-day run.
Sophia Magdalena Scholl, the daughter of Robert Scholl, was born May 9, 1921. Sophie joined the Hitler Youth in 1933, and at first was enthusiastic about the organization. But influenced by the views of her father, she became increasingly critical of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi government.
After leaving school in 1940 she became a kindergarten teacher, followed by six months of auxiliary war service as a nursery teacher in Blumberg. In May 1942, she entered the University of Munich and became a student of biology and philosophy.
Scholl was a member of a group called White Rose, formed by students at the University of Munich in 1941. It is believed that the group was formed after August von Galen, the Archbishop of Munster, spoke out in a sermon against the Nazi practice of euthanasia — the killing of those considered by the Nazis as genetically unsuitable.
Members of this anti-Nazi group included Sophie and her brother Hans, their sister Inge, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf and Jugen Wittenstein. Kurt Huber, a philosophy teacher at the university, was also a member of the group.
In 1943, Sophie and her brother Hans were arrested for distributing leaflets on the Munich campus, and Christoph Probst was later arrested in connection with the production of the leaflets. The three members of the White Rose group appeared before the People’s Court judge Roland Frieisler on Feb. 20, 1943 and were executed hours later after being found guilty of sedition.
Sophie Scholl will be played by Mallory McKay, a sophomore in elementary education from Rochester, Minn. Also in the cast are: Erik Bergsven (freshman in music; Bemidji, Minn.) as Johann Reichardt, Inspector Robert Mohr and Judge Roland Frieisler; Ramey Nordby (fresman in creative and professional writing; Grygla, Minn.) as Christoper Probst; Thomas Bauer (senior in history; Owatonna, Minn.) as Hans Scholl; Sarah Bull (junior in theatre; Bemidji, Minn.) as Traute Lafrenz and Else Gebel; Kayla Hinkemeyer (sophomore in elementary education; Kimball, Minn.) as Gisela Schertling and Magdalena Scholl; Jamie Lim (junior in psychology from Melaka, Malaysia) as a guard and Carriere as Robert Scholl.
The Sophie Scholl Project will be held in the Black Box of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, located on the campus of Bemidji State University. Tickets are $8.00 for adults, $4.00 for students and senior citizens. BSU students are admitted free with a valid ID. Seating in the Black Box is limited, so interested patrons are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.
Tickets are available in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex box office, located in Bangsberg 127 on the BSU campus. Tickets are available by telephone reservation only, and will not be available for walk-up purchase; call (218) 755-3863 to reserve.
For more information, please contact Patrick Carriere at the Bemidji State University Department of Theatre at (218) 755-3901.