Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Presents WHEN BLOOD RAN RED


National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Presents WHEN BLOOD RAN RED Following the break-out success of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) will present When Blood Ran Red, a new, award-winning work that chronicles the darkest era in the Soviet Union, when former wartime heroes of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were persecuted as enemies of the state for daring to report on the truth of the Holocaust in the German-occupied East. It will be performed on Sunday, June 16 at 2PM and 6PM at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, NYC. Tickets are $25, available at .

The performance is part of NYTF's season of "Spiritual Resistance," which features artistic and theatrical works that explore themes of struggle against oppression. The programming provides artistic expression concurrent with the exhibition Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away. being presented at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

When Blood Ran Red, written by Montreal-based playwright Ben Gonshor, is an historical drama inspired by true events. It will star Heidi Armbruster (Time Stands Still on Broadway, Disgraced at Lincoln Center); William Broderick (Family Dinner, Plane Crazy); Samuel Druhora (Ragtime - Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); Georgi James (Annie, Billy Elliot on Broadway); Tyler Kent (Yiddish King Lear, A Marriage Contract - Metropolitan Playhouse); Zal Owen (The Band's Visit on Broadway; Fiddler on the Roof - national tour); Bruce Sabath (NYTF's award-winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, Company on Broadway); Stephen Barker Turner (Bernhardt/Hamlet on Broadway, Benefactors - Off-Broadway); and Charles E. Wallace (Amazing Grace, Miss Saigon on Broadway). It is directed by Kenneth Ferrone (Spongebob Squarepants on Broadway, Cruel Intentions National Tour).

When Blood Ran Red gives an account of the friendships between African-American actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson and leading Soviet Jews after World War II, during the brutal reign of Josef Stalin. The driving point of the action deals with the removal of the Russian Yiddish theatre and purge of Yiddish and Jewish culture and life in the Stalin era.

Following a chain of events set off with the assassination of Solomon Mikhoels, the head of the Moscow State Jewish Theater and Chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, the play follows Robeson as he journeys to Russia, deemed an enemy of the state by the McCarthy-era "House Committee on Un-American Activities." Having befriended leaders of the Soviet Jewish Movement, Robeson finds himself at the center of a genocidal KGB conspiracy. The story weaves together a tale of suspense, mystery and intrigue-where truth is relative, loyalties are questioned at every turn, and justice is only achieved by paying the ultimate sacrifice.

Written in 2015, When Blood Ran Red won NYTF's inaugural David and Clare Rosen Memorial Play-Writing Contest. The play will be directed by acclaimed director and producer Kenneth Ferrone. It will be performed entirely in English.

"We are thrilled to bring Ben Gonshor's award-winning play to the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, where the play had its roots," said NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. "Bringing new, highly resonant work to audiences is an important part of our mission. When Blood Ran Red is a potent meditation on various kinds of power. Its themes dovetail perfectly with the exhibition Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. The play depicts deep-rooted traditions that Stalin suppressed because of their subversive, uplifting spiritual power-a force that was truly threatening to the totalitarian and spirit-crushing power of the Soviet government."

"Set in a time of paranoia and purges, this play captures what is at stake when principled individuals take a stand against exceedingly powerful and malicious forces" said NYTF Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner. "It is indeed fitting that we include When Blood Ran Red in our season of 'Spiritual Resistance', as we honor the strength and dignity of the human spirit in the face of oppression."

The creative team that will bring the work to life includes Lisa Zinni, Costume Designer; Zachary Heffner, Lighting Designer; Daniel Imaña, Sound Designer and Stephanie Gonzalez, Props Master.

Jamibeth Margolis, CSA is Casting Director/ General Manager. The Production Stage Manager is Sean Francis Patrick, AEA and Tori Pierce is Assistant Stage Manager.

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish sold out for six months before moving to an off-Broadway theater uptown. It has won an an Outer Critics Circle Award and a NY Drama Critics' Circle Award special citation and has been nominated for Lucille Lortel Awards, Drama League Awards, Drama Desk Awards, a Chita Rivera Award, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award.

For tickets to When Blood Ran Red, and other performances in NYTF's season of "Spiritual Resistance," visit or call 212-213-2120 Ext. 200. For group sales and membership call 212-213-2120 Ext. 204.

Now celebrating its 105th season, Tony Award-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is the longest consecutively producing theatre in the US and the world's oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company. NYTF is in residence at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Under the artistic direction of Zalmen Mlotek, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops and community-building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is presenting the most comprehensive exhibition about Auschwitz ever seen in North America, Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away. until January 3, 2020. (Tickets are available now at The exhibition features more than 700 original objects and photographs from over 20 international institutions, including rare artifacts. As visitors walk through the 20 thematic galleries, they will see the development of Nazi ideology and the transformation of Auschwitz from an ordinary Polish town known as O?wi?cim to the most significant Nazi site of the Holocaust-at which ca. 1 million Jews, and tens of thousands of others, were murdered. This exhibition was produced in partnership with the international exhibition firm Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland.

Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You