Bess Wohl's play Camp Siegfried makes its New York premiere with Second Stage Theater in the 2022-23 season. Check back for information on tickets to Camp Siegfried off Broadway. Camp Siegfried tickets will be available soon.
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 will be available soon.