Ari Roth and Epic Theatre Ensemble Present Staged Reading of BORN GUILTY CYCLE
On Sunday, October 17 at 2:30 p.m., the Epic Theatre Ensemble will present a staged reading of a new version of Ari Roth's acclaimed Born Guilty Cycle at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Blanka Zizka will direct the monumental three and one-half hour reading which will feature Rick Foucheux. Following the performance, Roth, Peter Sichrovsky, and other special guests will take part in a Q&A.
Tickets are $10. Tickets are available online at www.mjhnyc.org or by calling the Museum box office at 646.437.4202. All proceeds from this event benefit Epic Theatre Ensemble's 10th Anniversary Season and the Museum's educational programs.
About the Play
Roth's powerful work, based on the life and writings of Peter Sichrovsky, which the New York Times calls "searing drama," is a provocative quest to understand the lives of those who have inherited history's darkest sins. Linking his acclaimed Born Guilty play about the children of Nazis with The Wolf in Peter, about Sichrovsky -a contemporary Austrian drawn to the right-wing Freedom Party - Roth creates an epic saga of interwoven secrets, personal and political seductions, and stunning betrayals.
For Born Guilty, the first part of the cycle, Roth not only adapted Sichrovsky's interviews with children of Nazis and SS Officers, but he also chronicled the impact of this experience on Peter himself. Spurred by his personal experiences and a variety of stunning revelations since the premiere of Born Guilty, Roth wrote a sequel: The Wolf In Peter. Here Roth makes himself a character, experiencing his own journey of self-discovery as he travels to Europe and risks nearly everything to confront Peter for his seemingly inexplicable decision to become a member of Austrian's right-wing Freedom Party and ally himself with its outspoken leader, Jorg Haider. Peter Sichrovsky will take part in a Q&A after the staged reading.
Ari Roth said, "As the child of Jewish Austrian refugees from World War II, Peter felt compelled to ask important questions of his neighbors about their involvement in the atrocities. Because my own parents were forced to leave their homes in Germany, I was naturally drawn to Peter's story and his need to ask what our responsibilities are as children of history. The play cycle is a complicated 20-year-story that follows Peter as he breaks free of his identity and refuses to be defined by the history that defines our generation. His nuancEd Battle with himself and his family's legacy as it continues to unfold would be unbelievable -were it not true."
Zak Berkman, Founding Executive Director of Artistic Programming of the Epic Theatre Ensemble, said,
"Epic is honored to have been collaborating with Ari Roth on his Born Guilty Cycle over the past two years. These two plays, now fused together as one for the first time, offer a haunting personal and political exploration of history's scars: the visible and invisible ones; the ones that immediately rip at your skin; and the others that wait years, sometimes generations to come to the surface. We can think of no better home and forum to ask the questions Ari asks than at the Museum of Jewish Heritage where it's so clearly understood that history is a living entity."
About the Artistic Team and Cast
Ari Roth has been the Artistic Director at Theater J in Washington, D.C. for 14 years. At Theater J, he has produced more than 95 full productions including 33 world premieres and many more workshop presentations. Also a playwright, Mr. Roth has seen his work produced across the country. Productions include Goodnight Irene (commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club); Life In Refusal; Love & Yearning in the Not-for-Profits; and Oh, The Innocents. His plays have been nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards, including Best Resident Production, and two Charles A. MacArthur Awards. He was recently named one of the Forward 50, a recognition from the Forward newspaper honoring fifty nationally prominent "men and women who are leading the American Jewish community into the 21st century." He has taught for the University of Michigan for 13 years, as well as for Brandeis, NYU, and Carnegie Mellon Universities.
Epic Theatre Ensemble (Zak Berkman, Melissa Friedman, Ron Russell, executive directors) is a company of artists and activists dedicated to creating theatrical events Off-Broadway and in New York City public schools that inspire vital dialogue about social issues. The ensemble, which was created in 2001, has been awarded an OBIE, an Outer Critics, and a Lucille Lortel award for their premieres of new plays including Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play, Nilaja Sun's No Child..., and Kate Fodor's Hannah And Martin.
Blanka Zizka has been co-Artistic Director of The Wilma Theater since 1981. Blanka most recently directed Wajdi Mouawad's Scorched and Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll which received a combined total of 17 Barrymore Award nominations. Recently she directed Eurydice, Ariel Dorfman's The Other Side starring RoseMary Harris and John Cullum at Manhattan Theatre Club, Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill, I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright, and Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Barrymore Winner, Best Overall Production and Best Director). In 2002 she directed the World Premiere of Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman at Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Long Wharf Theatre, ACT in Seattle, and at The Wilma Theater. She was awarded the first Barrymore Award for Best Direction of a Play for Cartwright's Road. She directed Jiler and Leslee's Avenue X (Barrymore Winner, Best Overall Production of a Musical and Best Direction of a Musical), Wright's Quills (Barrymore Winner, Best Overall Production of a Play), and the East Coast Premiere of The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard (Barrymore Winner, Best Overall Production of a Play and Best Direction of a Play).
Rick Foucheux's credits include a 26 year stint in the theaters of Washington, D.C., where his many roles include Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at Arena Stage, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at the Shakespeare Theatre, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at the Olney Theatre Center, Claudius in Hamlet at the Folger Theatre, and Erie Smith in Hughie at the Washington Stage Guild. He is a company member at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and originated the role of the dead man, Gordon, in their premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone. Mr. Foucheux is an artist in residence at Theater J for the 2010-11 season. He received the Helen Hayes Outstanding Lead Actor Award in 2000 for the title role in Edmund at the Source Theatre, and in 2006, for the role of Mason Marzac in Take Me Out at the Studio Theatre. Rick most recently appeared Off Broadway in the Irish Repertory hit production of Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones.
About the Museum of Jewish Heritage
The Museum's three-floor Core Exhibition educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the rich tapestry of Jewish life over the past century-before, during, and after the Holocaust. Special exhibitions include The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service, on view through December 2010; Project Mah Jongg, on view through January 2011; and Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh, opening October 13. It is also home to the award-winning Keeping History Center, an interactive visitor experience, and Andy Goldsworthy's memorial Garden of Stones. The Museum offers visitors a vibrant public program schedule in its Edmond J. Safra Hall and receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.