Purimspiel

Author(s): Walter Freud
With this work Walter Freud, a committed Zionist, perpetuated the long tradition of Purim plays: performances that contribute to the festive atmosphere of the holiday. The Purim play traditionally features several figures from the biblical Book of Esther: the Persian king, Ahasuerus, the villain Haman, Ester's uncle Mordechai, Esther, the young and beautiful new queen, and Vashti, the first wife of King Ahasuerus who was banished from the court. Freud’s text freely combines elements of the traditional Purim play with influences from the prisoners’ daily life: a cabaret song about rampant gossip in the ghetto, a scene about the young Zionists’ theoretical love of manual labor, etc. It culminates in a comic opera sung by Esther, Haman, Mordechai, and the King. The work provides us with insight into Freud’s own personal brand of “Jewish humor” and also with a rare look into the daily activities of young Zionists in the ghetto: how these young people, most of whom came from very assimilated families, learned about Jewish history and holidays, struggled to learn Hebrew, and prepared for a future in Palestine.
Format: Play to celebrate the holiday of Purim
Cast Size:5M/1F plus extras
Notes:

Support materials available in Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, ed. Lisa Peschel, Seagull Books 2014.

Snapshot

Nationality of Author: Czechoslovakian
Original Language: German
Publisher:

Published in Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, ed. Lisa Peschel, Seagull Books 2014.

Production Rights Holder:

For information contact lisa_peschel@yahoo.com

Experience(s) Chronicled: The Ghettos

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