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Beauty Freak: Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia

A New Play by James Clements


Produced by What Will the Neighbors Say?
Directed by Coral Cohen

What Will the Neighbors Say? is thrilled to be partnering with The Plaxall Gallery to present a workshop of our new play Beauty Freak: Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia.

This new play from WWTNS? tells the story of Leni Riefenstahl, studying the creation of her film Olympia and her subsequent attempts to sell it in Hollywood in 1938. Riefenstahl rose to prominence as a silent film actress in Weimar Germany, before turning her astonishing talents as the pioneering female filmmaker of her time to the service of the Nazi regime. The films she created (especially 1935's Triumph of the Will and 1938's Olympia) are hailed as some of the greatest of all time, but their terrifying effectiveness as tools of propaganda helped contribute to the cult around Hitler and his party. Though cleared by de-Nazification courts in the 1940s, she was forever tarnished by her association with the Nazis. Her eclectic life later included photographing Nuba tribes, 1970s rockstars and underwater documentaries. She died at 101 in 2003.

The play, Beauty Freak, explores the creation of art as propaganda, questions the culpability of the artist in how their work is consumed and used by others, considers the responsibility of the media to communicate unbiased facts, and examines in-depth Riefenstahl's own astonishing, ingenious and dreadful life.

Sam Hood Adrain
Tatiana Baccari
Abram Blau
Derya Celikkol
Devante Lawrence
Ana Cristina Schuler
Portland Thomas
Leanne Velednitsky
Kayla Yee

Production Designer Johanna Pan
Sound & Video Design by Jorge Morales Pico

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