Best Of 2008

Best Ensemble Cast: Kindertransport

What is the measure of ensemble acting? Sometimes it means that actors are breathing in sync and anticipating each other's smallest tics. But the ensemble acting in the New Jewish staging of Diane Samuels' British play Kindertransport was of a different nature. In telling the story of a young Jewish girl who in 1939 was shipped from Hamburg to Manchester, England, to escape persecution, the play asked probing questions about dislocation and the guilt of survival. Margeau Baue Steinau portrayed the child's German mother, Kari Ely was the child's adoptive mother in England and Kat Singleton played the child as an adult. Although these three veteran actresses were rarely onstage together — and although their various plot lines were 40 years apart — because these three were so in sync with the story they were telling, they shared the dramatic load as if they were runners in a long-distance relay, passing the baton to one another from scene to scene.

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