I'll admit I had some preconceived skepticism walking into Second Stage Theater's production of Camp Siegfried. About a summer-camp fling between two teenagers being gradually indoctrinated into Nazism, it reminded me of This Beautiful Future, another Off-Broadway "love story" involving a young Nazi from earlier this season. That show dangerously romanticized its characters in the name of nostalgia for young love and innocence, and I feared this show would do the same. My fears, luckily, proved...
Camp Siegfried Tickets
Camp Siegfried Information
Bess Wohl's play Camp Siegfried makes its New York premiere with Second Stage Theater in the 2022-23 season. Get tickets to Camp Siegfried off Broadway. Camp Siegfried tickets are available now.
The Camp Siegfried play takes its name from a real camp on Long Island. It's defunct now, but the show takes place in its 1930s heyday, when the German American Bund and German American Settlement League used the camp, and others like it, to indoctrinate American youth into Nazism as World War II was ramping up. Such is what takes place in Wohl's play — the two-hander focuses on teenagers named only Him and Her in the script.
The pair start an awkward, bumbling courtship, as inexperienced teenagers are inclined to do. But at Camp Siegfried, that's by design — they're being conditioned to fall in love and, ideally, procreate. More than each other, the seductive force at work here is extremism, which these impressionable, eager teenagers — desperate to belong, live up to expectations, and find themselves — gradually fall into. Camp Siegfried is as much of a coming-of-age love story as it is a cautionary tale about a dark part of America's past that we can still learn from in the present.
Bess Wohl is a Best Play Tony Award nominee for Grand Horizons, the play that marked her Broadway debut in 2020. Her body of work also includes the plays the Outer Critics Circle Award-winning Small Mouth Sounds (which, loosely echoing Camp Siegfried, follows the relationships people develop at a silent retreat in the woods) and Pretty Filthy, a Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Award-nominated musical for which she wrote the book.
Camp Siegfried was born of Wohl's research into the real camp during the pandemic. Before the debut of Camp Siegfried in New York, the show had its world premiere in London in 2021. The four-star London Theatre review praised it as "a riveting piece, crackling with menace... It's that familiar tale of girl meets boy, a transformative summer romance, but instead of, say, learning to ballroom dance and carry a watermelon, it's a programme of indoctrination and pure-blood breeding."
David Cromer directs. He previously won a 2018 Tony Award for directing The Band's Visit on Broadway. He was later nominated for a 2020 Tony for directing Mary-Louise Parker in The Sound Inside, and he directed the acclaimed plays Prayer for the French Republic and A Case for the Existence of God off Broadway in the 2021-22 season.
Camp Siegfried tickets are available now.
90 mins (no intermission)
October 25th, 2022
December 4th, 2022
Opening Soon, Plays
Tony Kiser Theater
Cast and creative
By: Bess Wohl
Producer: Second Stage Theater
Director: David Cromer
Lighting: Tyler Micoleau
Sound: Christopher Darbassie
Design: Brett Banakis
Costume: Brenda Abbandandolo
Cast list: Johnny Berchtold, Lily McInerny
Latest Camp Siegfried News & Features
UPDATE: Johnny Berchtold will star in Camp Siegfried, replacing Sawyer Barth, who is now unable to participate due to scheduling conflictsSecond Stage Theater has set its cast for Camp Siegfried, a new play by Tony Award nominee Bess Wohl going up in the fall. Performances begin at the Tony Kiser Theater October 25 ahead of a November 15 opening.The two-person cast includes Sawyer Barth and Lily McInerny, both making their Off-Broadway debuts with Camp Siegfried. Barth has appeared in The Kids...