The White Rose was written by Lillian Garrett-Groag and premiered in 1991 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Calif. The play chronicles the arrest, interrogation and eventual execution of a group of University of Munich students who protested the Nazi regime at the height of World War II. The students assigned to themselves the name White Rose.
The play has roles for seven males and one female. The strongest roles belong to Robert Mohr, the head of the Munich Gestapo, and Sophie Scholl, one of the students. Mohr, moved by Scholl's passion (and mindful that she is German, but not Jewish), attempts to save her by giving her a chance to recant, but she refuses. The play ends with a spotlight on Scholl snapping off, symbolizing her beheading, and Mohr musing, "The most we can hope for is to get by. Heroes and ... (carefully) demagogues will always shake things up for a while, but if we're clever, we'll still be here when they're gone." At which point, a Gestapo investigator attempts to be encouraging, noting that people like Mohr "are of enormous use to the Reich." Thus concludes the theme of the play, that people, not monsters, are responsible for great communal disasters, and each of those people had a "moment of choice," according to Garrett-Groag in her Foreword.
The White Rose won the AT&T Award for New American Plays.