At Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, a prisoner is assigned to unload arriving boxcars at the Judenrampe. This prisoner faces an impossible decision, as he struggles to unravel the motives of Raymond Kolbe, a Franciscan friar whose true-life story of sacrifice is interwoven throughout THERE ARE OTHERS. Gripping and somber, Matt Garner’s intricately detailed historical fiction demands we encounter and reexamine an historical event almost beyond the scope of reconciliation.
"I have to credit my wife Mandy for inciting this strange journey. She’s who sent me the Kolbe story in the first place," says Garner. "I was haunted, consumed by the event and in that obsession a narrative started to take shape. Given the sensitive historical context of the piece, I knew on-the-ground research was paramount. So, I crowdfunded a trip to Poland and spent six days walking the grounds of Auschwitz."
This production is presented under the auspices of
the Actors' Equity Association Members' Project Code.
Director David Ian Lee adds, "The brilliance of Matt’s play is in the convention of the unnamed political prisoner. That character serves as our human window. He is a man in the middle of history, and there’s an inescapable immediacy to this story. Most remarkable, perhaps, is that there is unmistakable hope running through THERE ARE OTHERS. There’s light in the darkness, and it’s the light that drew me to the play. Our better natures are attainable through sacrifice, and it’s in that sacrifice that hope has value."
THERE ARE OTHERS has been performed as a staged reading at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lipscomb University. This will be the first full production.
Producer and Pipeline-Collective Founding Member Karen Sternberg first encountered a draft of the play at Nashville Story Garden, an incubator for new works by local playwrights and screenwriters. “Matt Garner read nine pages of the play and the room was spellbound. Nashville already knows Matt as a tremendously gifted actor. What a treat to see him match those skills to his own beautiful writing. I saw the staged reading at Lipscomb before Pipeline-Collective existed, and the piece stuck with me. We’re thrilled that this gorgeous play, written by a Nashville playwright, is Pipeline’s first world premiere.”
Says Garner, "Three years and numerous drafts and readings later, David and Karen generously invited me to produce THERE ARE OTHERS with Pipeline-Collective, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of bringing it to life on stage with their guidance."