Interview with Screenplay Winner John Pisano-Thomsen, (Climactic Scene: Dietrich Danzig)

Although a fictitious character set against a historical background, Dietrich Danzig is the last known living survivor of the Pink Triangles arrested for homosexuality during the reign of the Third Reich.Through a 2011 interview with Dr. Theodrik Bitten of the United States Holocaust Museum, Dietrich, at the age of 95, takes us back to his young life as a successful ballet dancer in 1935. Coping with life under the Nazi re-enforcement of immorality law Paragraph 175 (a law that makes homosexuality illegal and punishable), Dietrich pursues an impossible romance with a resurfaced, childhood friend named Karsten. Charming, yet conflicted, Karsten is controlled by his stepfather, a Lt. Colonel in the Nazi SS who has forced his stepson to become a Nazi officer through extortion. Eventually, Dietrich’s pursuit to keep this love affair going leads to his tragic interment to Dachau Concentration Camp. However, through a synchronicity of lucky circumstance, smarts, and unforeseen assistance, Dietrich eventually finds his escape from Germany.

– John Pisano-Thomsen, on his screenplay Dietrich Danzig

    Watch the Climactic Scene of Dietrich Danzig:

    CAST LIST:

    NARRATOR – Andrew Farr
    Dietrich – Andy Bridge
    Karsten – Geoff Mays
    Bitten – Ryan Fisher
    Sabine – Holly Sarchfield

Matthew Toffolo interviews writer John Pisano-Thomsen:

Matthew: Why should this script be made into a movie?

John: The screenplay’s messages of courage, perseverance and being true to yourself in the face of unjust adversity ring true to this day — especially in the 21st Century where roughly 80 countries still legally oppress, punish and even kill their own people for being queer (or for knowing someone who is queer). Life has a clearer meaning when you are true to yourself.

Matthew: If you can go for dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why?

John: Sophia Loren. I’ve just read her autobiography and I have always been fascinated by her journey. I would love to speak with regarding the old days of Hollywood and her perspective on Life. Plus, since she is Italian and Italians love their food, I would imagine we would have a very animated conversation that would touch on what we were eating as well. I think it would be a truly memorable evening.

Matthew: What was your favorite television show as a kid?

John: Bewitched. I always wanted to have magic powers.

Matthew: Who was your hero growing up?

John: Walt Disney. His boundless vision and endless creativity inspired me to want to be and do so many things. He also proved that dreams and reality can be the same.

Matthew: Where in the world would you like to travel to that you haven’t been yet?

John: Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Canary Islands, Malta, Switzerland, Southern France

Matthew: What’s been the best year of your life?

John: 1998. I broke out of a toxic, co-dependent relationship, went into therapy, discovered who I was, learned what I SHOULD be, stopped worrying about finding the “right relationship” and learned to focus on myself. Then, before the year ended and without being preoccupied on romance, I met my husband and we’ve been together almost 17 years.

Matthew: Besides your writing talent, what else are you good at?

John: I’m somewhat good at cartooning and designing. I can sing, give presentations, and pretty much act my way out of paper bag, I can cook and bake. I am an excellent travel planner. I love everything New Age. I’m a pretty damn good mediator when things between two people get heated. And I’m also quite good at reading people and predicting their personality when meeting them for the first time.

Matthew: Do you have a favorite possession?

John: I have a note card mailed to me from lyricist Fred Ebb (embossed with his name) thanking me for my generosity. And he simply signed it. “Fred”. I had the great fortune of meeting him in person after the opening night of the revival of Chicago. His kindness and attentiveness prompted me to send to his home little houseplant, thanking him for his time. And in return, he responded with this beautiful notecard saying, “I truly believe that the most talented people are the most generous.”

Matthew: What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival?

John: A friend who works for Corus Entertainment recommended it to me.

Matthew: What has been the best compliment you have ever received?

John: The best compliment I ever received was when I had the opportunity to interview Victoria Clark at Joe Allen’s for a fan-based Broadway organization in New York City. This was during her run in Titanic the Musical long before she won her Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for The Light in the Piazza. After the interview, she wanted to chat and know something about me and I told her of my theatre and writing ambitions. I remember her looking me with her bright blues and saying to me, “I see a greatness in you. I really do. Don’t give up.”

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