National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's HANNAH SENESH Begins Performances in Two Weeks
Fresh from the stellar success of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), winner of a 2019 Drama Desk Award, will present Hannah Senesh, an award-winning play based on the diaries and poems of a heroic young woman who risked her life to save European Jews from the Holocaust, and who paid the ultimate price. Hannah Senesh will be performed from July 29 through August 18 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, NYC. Tickets for previews start at $39, regular season tickets start at $49 and are available at www.nytf.org. Hannah Senesh will be performed in English.
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. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene won a 2019 Drama Desk Award for its work last season.
Presented with music and song, this one-woman show tells the true story of Hannah Senesh, one of many Jews who escaped from Axis-allied Hungary in 1939 to the safety of British Mandate Palestine. There she joined Haganah and then bravely volunteered for a daring Special Operations mission to parachute back into Europe to save Jews from Nazi hands. She was ultimately caught by Nazi forces, tortured, and executed at the age of 22. Despite these circumstances, she refused to betray her companions.
Hannah's story and indomitable spirit, along with the moving diary and poetry that she left behind, serve as an enduring inspiration to people everywhere standing up to the powers of hatred and oppression.
The play, written and directed by David Schechter, was originally developed in collaboration with Lori Wilner, the actress who first played Hannah onstage in 1984. The script, adapted from Hannah Senesh's diaries, was translated from the Hungarian by Marta Cohn and Peter Hay. Music for Hannah Senesh was composed and arranged by Steven Lutvak.
Lexi Rabadi plays Hannah Senesh in this production. A graduate of Pace University, with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Arts & Entertainment Management, her credits include roles as: Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Fulton Theatre), Chava in Fiddler on the Roof (Maine State Music Theatre), Belle/Mrs. Fred in A Christmas Carol (Actor's Theatre of Louisville), and Rabbi in Angels in America (Pace University).
"This astonishing true story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit," said NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. "I can think of no better work to embody our current season's theme of Spiritual Resistance."
"This production is, in essence, about the willpower of a single human being" said NYTF Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner. "Lexi Rabadi is the perfect actor to channel the real-life Hannah Senesh's courage and force of will in the face of overwhelming evil."
NYTF'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 a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award special citation and has been nominated for Lucille Lortel Awards, Drama League Awards, a Chita Rivera Award, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award.
Hannah Senesh will preview on July 24 -28, with 21 performances July 29 - August 18, 2019. Hannah Senesh will be performed in English. For tickets to Hannah Senesh, and other performances in NYTF's season of "Spiritual Resistance," visit NYTF.org 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 auschwitz.nyc.) 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.