Casting Announced For Staged Reading Of GOOD JEW And Four Short Plays
Casting is complete for the November 8 edition of Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs' Staged Reading Series. The evening will include the play GOOD JEW by Frank Blocker and Murray Scott Changar, directed by Janina Birtolo, along with four short plays: THE BOOK CLUB THIEF by Renée Baillargeon, directed by Amanda Carrion; CATCHING UP WITH JOAN OF ARC by Judy Klass, directed by Jennifer Valiente; SCATTERED SHOWER by Arnold Johnston and Deborah Percy, directed by Lena Neal; and LEARN GERMAN WITH OLLENDORFF! by David Carkeet, directed by Gary Obeldobel and based on Mark Twain's "Meisterschaft".
The cast includes Tamicka Armstrong, Carolyn Bronson, LeeAnne Chiaramonte, Judith Devine, Alberto Gayoso, Nance Jones, Rita Meehan, Skyler Moore, Luis Pages, Kevin Sandel, Leslie Sanderson, and Judith Santos.
Plays are selected to enhance audience discussion through comparative analysis of different works. The evening will begin with the four short plays, three will be read and THE BOOK CLUB THIEF will be performed-again, for comparative analysis of the reading format versus performance. Playwright Baillargeon will share in the "local playwright" spotlight with Blocker, co-author GOOD JEW, which is featured the second half of the evening .
The story of GOOD JEW is based on extensive interviews with a Holocaust survivor, Henryk, who was 14 when he was first assigned to the Warsaw ghetto with his mother. He escaped from Treblinka twice. His first escape, he went back to the Warsaw ghetto, having just missed the uprising, the ghetto is in ruins and Henryk has no one left. He gets caught again, on purpose, to be with people he knows. He escaped again, via the mortician who comes to take away the ashes for fertilizer. On the outside, Henryk can "pass for white" and makes his way through the war in work camps meant for non-Jews, continually denying his heritage. He advances across Europe and ends up in Norway when the war ends, returning to the submarine that brought him-as if they would take him home-he must face one last choice of surviving or being good.
The play explores Henryk's chilling statement that "no one survives war by being good." Henryk's stories, like many survivors, hints at the dark things that must be done to make it through another war-torn day. How much more is there that he will never tell-that he cannot bear to re-live?
The development of GOOD JEW is thanks in part to previous readings and workshops at Live Arts! Collaboration at University Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, The Art House in Midtown Manhattan, and AG Contemporary Art Studio in downtown New York. The playwrights began working on the project, but the plays development was briefly stalled by the passing of Murray Scott Changar.
The comedic short plays being featured were discovered during the Center's international playwriting competition Stage It! 10-Minute Play Festival.
The one-night event begins at 7:30pm at the Moe Auditorium and Film Center on the campus of The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs, 10150 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, Florida, 239-495-8989, www.artcenterbonita.org.