The Dybbuk of Dachau


The Dybbuk of Dachau


Charles Green

Production Team

Director: Eric Forsythe

Stage Manager: Lindsay Warnick

Scenic Design: Chelsea June

Costume Design: Chelsea June

Lighting Design: Will Borich

Sound Design: Jacob Sikorski


Theatre B

Production Type



Fall 2017

Budget for this Design Area


Comments by the Designer

The Dybbuk of Dachau is a new work by Charles Green that I designed the lighting for during my first semester at the University of Iowa. It tells the story of a Jewish woman, Yael, held captive with her unborn son Asher, in a Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, Poland. Upon meeting the spirit of Yael’s dead sister, Dvora, possessing the body of Captain Zalman Ambromovitch, a Bolshevik soldier, the group sets out to escape the Nazis. The director was also onstage to act as a narrator and to provide the voices of the other characters.

This show was an incredibly challenging endeavor as two-thirds of the way through our process, the director of the show changed. This resulted in the production going in a completely different direction, as well as roughly half of the script being cut or re-written. This forced the entire team to adapt quickly to those changes so that we could produce a satisfactory show.

Our goals as an artistic team was to express to the audience the emotional and psychological horrors that Yael experiences as a prisoner, and how that horror is passed on to her child Asher. This story also features supernatural characters in the form of Dybbuks and Ibburs. In order for the lighting to cater to both the horror and the supernatural, I decided to base my design on that of German expressionist films from the early twentieth century, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Metropolis. To achieve this, I relied on monodirectional lighting that would both reflect the fragmented supernatural environment of the play, as well as establish the various locations inside the concentration camp. This was balanced with full washes of dim light during scenes where the spirit Dvora is not present to create a dynamic progression throughout the play.

In retrospect, I felt that my lighting design was the best that it could have been for the level of designer that I was at the time. Prior to this show, I had only designed the lighting for one other show during my undergraduate career, and I had never taken any coursework in lighting. The process was a good trial-by-fire that exposed me to the constantly changing environment of the theatre. If given the opportunity to design this show again, I would have experimented with different saturated colors in order to more bring out the emotion of the play.

Student Type



Copyright 2017 William Borich