Dispatches from Hell

by  Melvin I. Cooperman

Short Play, Drama  /  2m, 1f

Set in the central dispatching office for the German train system during World War II, this riveting short drama explores the bureaucratic mentality that made Holocausts possible. Winner of the 10th Annual Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival.

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Dispatches from Hell

by  Melvin I. Cooperman

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    40 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Set in the central dispatching office for the German train system during World War II, this riveting short drama explores the bureaucratic mentality that made Holocausts possible. A dispatcher is frightened to death when an S.S. officer comes to see him, but the officer explains that his job is secure--if he can devise a plan to transport a large amount of "waste product" via rail to cleanse the Third Reich of "toxins". The dispatcher draws up plans to carry thousands to their deaths, intent only on the logistical problems. His secretary protests, and ultimately, betrays him. Published in Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, 10th Series.
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Accolades

  • Winner! Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting: Winter, 1942. The offices of the Southeast Directorate of the Reichbahn.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

2m, 1f
ELSA EICHEN - Secretary to Richard Mittler. She is in her late thirties, given to mild hedonism on a small scale.

RICHARD MITTLER- Superintendent of the Southeast Directorate of the Reichsbahn (German National Railroad). A career civil servant, he is in his mid-forties, and not above opportunism. He is esentially non-politicaL regarding himself as part of the machinery.

WILHELM FRETT- An SS officer attached to the Reich Security Office ( RSHA). He is aware of his power, and makes no effort to conceal it He is, as might be expected, a Nazi idealogue.
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Cast Attributes

  • Not Applicable

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Authors

Melvin I. Cooperman

Melvin I. Cooperman was the author of six full-length plays and more than a dozen one-acts. His drama, The Military History of the Family Gross was the first winner of the Lucy Wolpaw Award competition for the best new play on the theme of the American Jewish experience in 1980-81. The pr ...

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Dispatches From Hell was presented in the tenth Annual Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festiva~ sponsored by Double Image Theatre, New York City, in May, 1985.

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