True Brothers continues at Encore Theatre Company

Otto Productions announces its world-premiere production of “True Brothers” May 16-24 at Encore Theatre Company in Mt. Juliet.

“We are very excited to announce that Peter Abeles, co-author of the original book and person on whom the book is based, will be attending the shows on May 22, 23, and 24,” said Mary Gingold, president of the board at Encore Theatre Company.

Adapted from the screenplay by William Dorian and the book, Otto: The Boy at the Window, “True Brothers” is a true story of child abuse in a wealthy but dysfunctional Jewish family during The Holocaust and the 1938 Nazi occupation of Vienna. As the two brothers, played by Jacob Tullos and Jay McMahon, tell their story, they are on the porch of their parents’ home in Chicago. The young men reveal secrets to one another, not knowing when they will again reunite -- secrets that do not excuse their abuse at the hands of Karla, but explain some of their suffering. At least, it is enough to allow them to pick up the pieces and go on.

Their story reveals their home life and the denial of a normal childhood for the two brothers – 6-year-old Peter Otto Abeles and 11-year-old Heinz Robert. This denial is not just by the Nazis, but by their emotionally unstable, cruel mother, Karla (played by Laurie Canaan), and their insensitive, distant father, Ernst (played by John Davis).

Virtual prisoners inside the Abeles’ luxurious apartment, the two brothers struggle to be loved by their irrational and sometimes sadistic mother; Otto and Heinz must deal with their own personal “Fuhrer.”

Outside, the Nazis have confiscated Ernst’s prospering business, his bank accounts, and even his limousine. He is unceremoniously thrown out of his office and onto the street. The family is forced to sell their household belongings on the black market to buy food.

Contact Encore Theatre Company at (615) 598-8950 for tickets on May 16-17 and May 22-24.