Playwright Michael Wright on ‘The Extermination Machine’

Michael Wright

The Artistic Director of SeeNoSun OnStage has written a compelling play, called The Extermination Machine.

SeeNoSun OnStage is an underground theatre company whose mission is “to produce dark compelling theatre with a disturbing twist.”

True to their mission, Michael Wright’s The Extermination Machine is a two actor play about Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann (Kim Curtis) and his interrogation in Israel with Captain Avner Less (James Radack).  During the interrogations, Adolf is fighting for his life while the Captain asks questions of the man who contributed to the death of millions of Jews, including his own family.

According to Mr. Wright, “Before Eichmann’s trial the Holocaust wasn’t discussed. It was during the trial that it became OK for Israeli’s to start to talk about what happened with the Holocaust. Without Eichmann it never would have been like it is today where we talk about it and it is documented.  I felt that Captain Avner Less was suppressing all this anger and resentment and loss that he suffered personally as a child growing up with his father being shipped off.  And then years later being given this job where he was assigned to spend time with and interrogate Adolf Eichmann was repulsive.” USA, LLC

Kim Curtis as Adlof Eichmann. Photo courtesy of SeeNoSun OnStage.

After some readings of Michael’s initial script, he says that “the biggest challenge was what to leave out as opposed to what to put in.”

Between scenes the audience hears sound effects of a train and its journey to Auschwitz.  The idea to do this came from actor, Kim Curtis who is also a dancer.  Kim recalled the time when he danced to sound effects and thought that the dramatic effect, minus the dancing, could be used in this play.  The result is a chilling feeling between scenes as you are taken on a one way journey on a train to Auschwitz.

In this one act, 90 minute play, both James Radack and Kim Curtis have a lot of facts to remember in this dialog heavy piece.  For most of the play Kim sits still in a chair and yet is able to move us with his engaging performance. James projects a character that is rather calm considering the circumstances.  Still, there are moments where he has had enough of Eichmann’s excuses and clearly wants to kill Eichmann.

To summarize, Mr. Wright says, “one of the great things about writing a play is that you can ask a lot of questions and you don’t have to answer them all.”

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About Mark Beachy

Mark Beachy is the publisher and video producer of the MD Theatre Guide and the NY Theatre Guide.

In 1997 he wrote the play, music, and lyrics in a musical called, “’Bout Baltimore.” This musical won the WMAR TV Channel 2 and Pumpkin Theatre Baltimore Bicentennial Playwriting contest and was produced as a 1-hour television special.

He has directed over 40 productions, including shows for Pumpkin Theatre, Timonium Dinner Theatre, Howard County Center for the Arts, and the Baltimore Children's Theatre where he was the founder and producer for 7 years.

Before starting the MTG in March of 2010, Mark was the performing arts reporter for the Baltimore Examiner.

As a professional actor he has appeared on TV nationally, including on Discovery Health as "Jerry Baldwin" on I Was Dead, “Officer Nunham” on America’s Most Wanted’s Top Cops 2009 and “Alexander T. Crane” in a Japanese TV documentary about Edgar Allan Poe.