MVHS ‘Fear and Misery’ sketches


Moreno Valley High School students performed sketches from Bertolt Brecht’s “Fear and Misery of the Third Reich” April 8. The students also performed the sketches during the 63rd Annual High School Drama Festival (Feb. 21–24) at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. Student Meaghan Espie curated the slideshow images used in the background. The set used during April 8 performance differed from the one used in Portales, which won. 

Brecht’s series of 24 interconnected playlets describe what life was like in German households in the 1930s as a growing distrust of their friends and colleagues and even children affects everyone from factory worker to physicist to housewife. Following a dance by Cece Tafoya and Jetta Breen, the sketches are as follows:

The physicist. Two physicists (Paulina Warren and Abi Orndorff) secretly read about Einstein but when they are overheard they denounce it as being pointless and Jewish.

The Jewish wife. A Jewish wife (Helena Mieras) agonises about how to tell her husband (Dyllon Quintana) she is leaving him to save his career at a clinic. Eventually he assures her that it’s only for 2 or 3 weeks as he hands her the fur coat she won’t need till winter.

The Spy. Two parents (Samantha Henderson and Dyllon Quintana) quarrel and then panic when they realise their son (Abi Orndorff) has gone missing. They are sure he is “handing them over”. When he returns with sweets they are still very suspicious. This particular scene was used in Kenneth Johnson’s “V” miniseries.

The black shoes. A mother (Genneveve Alarid) finds money to buy her daughter (Paulina Warren) new shoes but hasn’t the money to send her to the Hitler youth.

ENMU High School Drama Festival

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Cece’s last name as Trujillo. I apologize for the error.