Gardens of Frau Hess

Gardens of Frau Hess

by Milton Frederick Marcus
     
 
Germany, 1944. Isaac Baum, former professor of botany, has been sent from a concentration camp to the home of Frau Ilse Hess to be her gardener. Frau Hess, the aristocratic, elegant wife of the former Deputy F�hrer, Rudolph Hess, who was incarcerated in Britain after his unauthorized flight there, had requested a new gardener when hers was drafted. Several candidates

Overview

Germany, 1944. Isaac Baum, former professor of botany, has been sent from a concentration camp to the home of Frau Ilse Hess to be her gardener. Frau Hess, the aristocratic, elegant wife of the former Deputy F�hrer, Rudolph Hess, who was incarcerated in Britain after his unauthorized flight there, had requested a new gardener when hers was drafted. Several candidates with botanical experience, identities unknown, were sent to her home, on approval, one at a time. This is the true incident that informs this play. It is about two uniquely antithetical characters, a man and woman in complete cultural, religious and historical opposition, thrust together in a surprisingly seductive relationship. Frau Hess, the once proud figure of the upper-class social and political order of Germany now lives in the diminished state of her husband's exile. She deplores the lower-class Nazi hierarchy that has caused her fall and dreams of a resurgence. She is not what she appears or what we expect. When Isaac Baum enters her life, her racial and religious bigotry appears merely a class affectation, and soon her cold detachment turns into a warm and extremely intimate nature. Isaac Baum, who seems at first the downtrodden victim of Nazi persecution, ultimately reveals his true nature as the proud, conflicted Jew who renounced his identity in order to be a part of her world. As their relationship deepens, Frau Hess offers to help Isaac find his daughter, and Isaac ultimately professes his tortured desire and love for her. The final seduction, a climactic , reveals and illuminates the true psyches and souls of these two most passionate antagonists.

Editorial Reviews

NY Times
...prompts thought and generates tension.
nytheatre.com
...compelling, provocative...a fascinating play...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822218364
Publisher:
Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/01/2002
Pages:
57
Product dimensions:
52.50(w) x 75.00(h) x 2.50(d)

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