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YIVO Presents Rediscovered Play BREACH OF PROMISE

YIVO Presents Rediscovered Play BREACH OF PROMISE

Leon Kobrin's rediscovered 1912 play BREACH OF PROMISE, a darkly comic slice of tenement life in New York City, will be presented next Wednesday, July 31st at 7 pm at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in a newly commissioned English translation (from the original Yiddish) by writer/director Allen Lewis Rickman.

Kobrin's play follows Katie Tsimbel, an unmarried 28-year-old, who has gotten herself "in trouble." At her mother's urging, she tries to force Bertshik, a Jewish ex-soldier in the Tsar's army whose fiancée is shortly expected to arrive in America, to marry her by framing him with a Breach of Promise charge.

Under the direction of Allen Lewis Rickman, the cast of BREACH OF PROMISE will feature Yelena Shmulenson ("Orange is the New Black," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Knick," A SERIOUS MAN), Brian Morvant ("Veep," "Gotham," "Blue Bloods"), Jeremy Lawrence ("The Blacklist," "ER," "Night Court"), Allen Lewis Rickman ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," TEVYE SERVED RAW, "Boardwalk Empire," A SERIOUS MAN), Jacqueline Sydney ("Seven Seconds," FILMIC ACHIEVEMENT, "The President Show"), Kevin Sebastian ("Blue Bloods," "Bull," "Murphy Brown"), and Sergey Nagorny ("Grand Theft Auto V," "The Americans," "Limitless").

"It's about time Leon Kobrin was rediscovered. He was one of the most interesting Yiddish playwrights of his time," says Rickman. "And BREACH OF PROMISE was a play he was very proud of. It's a story of simple immigrants trying to adjust to the realities of an alien civilization; the characters are complex, the humor comes out of naturalistic situations, and the whole thing feels like a snapshot of the old Lower East Side. And its protofeminist elements and immigration theme give it a particularly contemporary ring."

YIVO's collections are the primary source of the documentary history of East European Jewry and the surviving record of millions of lives of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Library of the YIVO Institute is proud to possess one of the world's largest collections of Yiddish theater works from 1850 to 1950, the period that coincided with the flourishing of Jewish theater in Europe and the United States.

Admission to BREACH OF PROMISE is $15 ($10 for YIVO members & students) and tickets are available at This special event will be a benefit for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, which is located at 15 West 16 Street (between Fifth & Sixth Ave.)

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