THE HARVEST

“The photograph of a 17-year-old girl in a museum in Minsk is the centerpiece of The Harvest, a volatile new play by Jennie Susan Staniloff, directed by Hugh O’Gorman at the Mint Theater Company. The girl, Masha Bruskina, was a member of the resistance executed by Nazi troops in 1941, and her black-and-white image has been reproduced time and again in Soviet textbooks, encyclopedias and magazines. But Byelorussian authorities have resisted a two-decade-long campaign to identify her by name, despite testimony from surviving relatives and experts. Officially, Masha is “nietzvitnaya,” a nobody, a war hero better left without an identity; for while she was hanged as an intrepid partisan, she was also a Jew. Ms. Staniloff gives Masha much more than a face. She gives her history, life and identifiable passion…  The Mint Theater’s program for “The Harvest” says the company will install a permanent plaque commemorating “Masha Bruskina, Heroine” in its lobby. But the repertory’s performance inside the theater is tribute itself.”

James Sturz, THE FORWARD