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Metronome Ticking: Synopsis

Set in Nazi Germany, Metronome Ticking is a brutally honest — yet uplifting — docudrama, the only play in which the harrowing experiences of an Austrian Holocaust survivor, fleeing across Europe, collide with the conflicting conscience and actions of a Third Reich War Correspondent and Propaganda Officer in occupied France.

Consisting of original documentsLily Spitz’s memoir and the letters written by Ernst-Alfred ("Alf") Eger to his wife, Gritt—Metronome Ticking is similar in structure to Peter Weiss’s The Investigation, but moves beyond the typical framework of a docudrama by integrating historical images and Nazi propaganda with the action, lending an almost film-like quality to the drama taking place on stage.

Halfway through the performance, an event takes place on stage which puzzles and shocks most audience members, and for many a viewer, starts a self-reflective process--causing them to consider the possibility that through the coincidence of birth, one could have been born into radically different families, ethnicities, and circumstances, with all the values that tend to accompany these starting points in life. 
 
Metronome Ticking looks at how people act and react to the many situations beyond their control, as witnessed by Alf’s vacillating stancefrom militant and racist conqueror, enthusiastically supporting the Third Reich, to a reflective, self-doubting, and deeply conflicted human beingfinally facing the horrors of an inhumane regime and its murderous ideology.   

At the end of the play, the juxtaposition of public statements from well-known, contemporary American figures links the voice of bigotry from the Third Reich with our own time.  This final scene encourages viewers to recognize that a thoughtless use of language can quickly turn into a prejudice capable of unleashing a storm of disastrous consequences.

Metronome Ticking challenges everyone who sees it to reassess stereotyping of minorities, and inspires the audience to speak up proactively before marginalized groups get attacked again. 
If you would like to host or produce Metronome Ticking at your theatre, community center, or other venue, you are invited to contact us.

For the HISTORY and DEVELOPMENT of this work, click here 

To read a SAMPLE SCENE, click here 

To read RESPONSES AND REVIEWS from around the world, click here
Metronome Ticking Poster: On right, a copy of the original poster used for the first three performances of the docudrama (with the "45 minute version" added).