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Hildegard Barglow was born in 1908 in Dresden Germany.  She grew up in a Jewish family, became an actress, and in the late 20s and early 30s worked for a theater company (a "Wandertheater") that traveled from town to town in the Rhineland.  In 1938, fleeing the German Third Reich, Hilde emigrated to the United States, where she raised a family.  After her husband died, she taught college for a decade and then moved to Berkeley California, to be near her sons Michael and Ray.  Her oldest son Peter was living in Chicago.  (He eventually moved to Berkeley too.)  Hilde lived in a communal household that is the setting for this play."

JoAnne Brasil, who was one of Hilde’s housemates in the 1980s, came up with the idea of giving dramatic expression to her life and times.   She and Raymond wrote "Hildegard's Wander Theater.The first reading  was held in Berkeley California in July 2005.  The second and third readings were presented in the Community Room of the synagogue in Dresden in October 2006.   All of these  readings were done in English.
Currently, the best guide to the Dresden version of the play is the program notes that were made for the Dresden performance: PDF version or Word Document version.  You can also view the script for the Dresden reading: PDF version  or Word Document version.  (These documents may take a while to down load ... patience please.)

Recently (2010) JoAnne Brasil , who now lives just north of Boston in Salem, MA, has written her own interpretation of Hilde's story, which you can find out about here: Boston Version.

JoAnne's "The Wander Theater" will be performed at the Griffen Theatre in Salem in November of 2010.

Many people contributed to the development of this drama, including Jayne Wenger, Pam Montanaro, Margret Schaefer, and Richard Kalman who composed and played music for this drama.  In Dresden, Marisa Giannini was instrumental in preparing the readings we did there.

The play draws on three sources of information about Hildegard’s life: the memories of those who knew her, the research done by the Foundation in Dresden on the genealogy and circumstances of Hilde's family, and six decades of diaries and photo albums.  To be sure, Joanne and I have taken poetic license -- in any event,  reconstructions of the past are always acts of imagination that are invested in seeing the world in particular, often self-serving, ways.  Yet Joanne and I have aimed to represent Hilde’s life and times truthfully.  ("Whom are we fooling?" you may well ask.)

It’s been quite a journey!  And remember, “Les jeux ne sont pas faits!” 

-- Raymond Barglow

Hildegard playing the role of Saint Joan in the German translation of George Bernard Shaw's play