By Will Grandbois
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
A passionate young Palestinian hurtles through a bakery window in Amsterdam and encounters the baker, a lonely and emotionally remote survivor of the Holocaust.
That’s the opening premise of “Sixteen Wounded,” the latest production by Colorado Mountain College’s Sopris Theatre Company. It features Bob Moore as Hans, Jesse Monsalve as Mahmoud, Becky Levin as Nora, Kelly Ketzenbarger as Sonya, and Raleigh Burleigh as Ashraf.
Curtain is 7 p.m. on Feb. 17-18 and 23-25, and 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 and 26 at CMC’s Spring Valley Campus, 3000 County Road 114. Tickets are $18 for adults, and $13 for students, seniors, and staff and available at coloradomtn.edu/theatre or 947-8177.
While there are obvious political overtones, director Wendy Moore sees the message as fairly universal.
“It speaks to two sides who have not been able to find a way to discuss difficult and separating issues,” she said. “It is a reflection of so much that is going on in our world today.”
The play provides quite a bit of the necessary background, though some knowledge of the conflict might help the viewer.
“It has been going on since the end of World War II, defining the lives of the population,” Wendy noted. “I think that people will be saddened by and yet informed about the persistence of history. We all have the life we dream to live that might have to be abandoned.”
The cultural context has been a welcome challenge for Monsalve, as he tries to understand the roots of his character’s actions.
“It was rewarding to get to know more about the culture,” he said. “Loss of identity and regaining that is something that I’ve struggled with myself.”
While not everyone might leave the theater feeling sympathetic toward Mahmoud, he hopes the audience will learn to question the appearance of things.
The lesson, Wendy observed, might be best summed up as “Just because you are right does not mean that I am wrong. You just haven’t seen life from my side.”