Theater J Announces SHELTERED By Alix Sobler
Sheltered, by Alix Sobler begins performances at Theater J in the renovated Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center on January 9, 2020 and continues through February 2, 2020. Set in the US and in Vienna in 1939, Sheltered is a suspenseful story about one couple's bold act of resistance. Theater J's DC premiere will be directed by Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr. The press is invited to Opening Night on Monday, January 13 at 7:30 PM.
It is 1939 and Hitler's assault on Europe has begun. Though much of the world is ignoring the rising threat, Evelyn and Leonard Kirsch suspect that the menace is real. This ordinary American couple makes an extraordinary decision that could save the lives of many Jewish children and change the course of history. But first, they must convince their estranged friends to help. What begins as a night of cocktails and conversation becomes a tense negotiation of politics, morality, and survival-and the stakes are no less than life and death.
Playwright Alix Sobler says that "this play, about refugees, American isolationism, and the great sacrifices parents will make to save their children, is very near and dear to my heart, especially at this moment in time. I wrote the play in response to the Syrian refugee crisis which remains relevant, but it has suddenly become incredibly applicable to what is happening at our own borders." Sobler unpacks the moral and ethical challenges of this moment through her fictional story, loosely inspired by the true story of Gilbert & Eleanor Kraus, a couple from Philadelphia who travelled to Nazi Germany in 1939 and saved 50 children from certain death by finding them homes throughout Philadelphia.
Sobler is a New York-based writer and performer who will have three productions of three different plays during 2020. In addition, Sobler received the first commission from Theater J's Yiddish Theater Lab, to freely adapt Peretz Hirschbein's Miriam. Sobler's collaboration with former first lady of Canada Margaret Trudeau on Certain Woman of an Age about Ms. Trudeau's life and times ran at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York this past September.
Director Adam Immerwahr is enthusiastic about bringing Sobler's work to Washington, DC for the first time. "Alix Sobler is a rising star of the Jewish theater. We are thrilled to share her brilliant and unique voice with the Washington, DC audience. This play is funny, moving, and incredibly thought-provoking, and I am so glad to provide Alix with a vital second production." Sheltered won the prestigious Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, earning it a world premiere production at Atlanta's Alliance Theater in 2018.
Immerwahr has assembled a cast of actors well-known and loved by DC audiences. Erin Weaver and David Schlumpf play the determined Evelyn and Leonard Kirsch, and Kimberly Gilbert and Alexander Strain play their neighbors Robert and Martin Bloom. McLean Fletcher plays an Austrian mother, Hani Mueller.
Theater J is dedicated to taking its dialogues beyond the stage, offering public discussion forums which explore the theatrical, cultural and social elements of our productions. Details about the post show events are on Theater J's website.Theater J's 2019-2020 season continues with The Wanderers, Becoming Dr. Ruth, and Compulsion, or the House Behind.
Purchase online at www.theaterj.org.