Browse the Plays
- Experience Chronicled
- Allegoric or Metaphoric Representations
- Concentration and Extermination Camps
- Deniers and Denial
- Germany, Hitler and the Growth of Nazism
- European Jewry Before the Holocaust
- The Ghettos
- Righteous Gentiles
- Nazi War Crimes and Judgement
- Other Victims of Nazi Persecution
- Perpetrators, Bystanders and Collaborators
- Survivors and Subsequent Generations
- Theater During Holocaust
- Women and the Holocaust
- Experience Chronicled
Rose and her father Mordechai, who came to the United States prior to the Holocaust, welcome Lusia, Rose’s sister, who stayed behind in Europe with her mother due to illness, married, and survived concentration camp internment. Lusia’s flashbacks reveal her past and the play focuses on the eventual family reunion.
An adaptation by Alexander Chervinsky: Adam Stein survived the Holocaust by playing a circus dog for the Nazi commander of a camp. He is now in a mental hospital in Israel, reliving his experiences. He was ordered not just to entertain the Nazi officers, but also the Jewish victims on their way to the gas chambers. He is ravaged by guilt for surviving, while his family died.
This play describes the effects of the Holocaust on the next generation. Adam is a Holocaust survivor and famous scholar who finds it difficult to talk about his experiences in the camps. His daughter, Natalie, struggles to discover her own identity and must cope with the overpowering shadow of her family’s history.
The true story of a family in turmoil in post-war Britain. English traitor, John Amery, was arrested in Italy in 1945 and brought back to London for trial. He was charged with high treason for making propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany. The fact that John Amery was the son of senior politician, Leo Amery, who served in Winston Churchill's cabinet during the war, made the crime all the more controversial.
An opera based on Nava Semel's novel And the Rat Laughed, composed by Ella Milch-Sheriff. When a child asks her grandmother about her childhood for a school paper, the grandmother tells her story for the first time. She was born in Poland, and was given by her parents to a peasant family so that they would keep her safe. The peasant family takes away her name and identity, forcing her to become Christian. They starve her, and the family's young boy rapes her. Her only companion is a rat she calls "Stash". After a year, she's given to the catholic priest to be killed as revenge for Jesus’ crucifixion. But the priest hides her in his church and helps her rebuild her crushed body and soul. In the year 2099, two researchers are studying the myth of a "girl and rat" who survived the Holocaust.
The son of two Holocaust survivors, the engaged Andy Glickstein feels he doesn’t deserve to get married since he hasn’t suffered enough in his life. Andy’s incessant search for his duende—the Spanish expression of soulfulness and tragic ecstasy—compels him to film a movie detailing his mother’s experiences and his father’s Zionist heroism.
Based on an actual interaction the author had with a Holocaust survivor, the play is structured as an interview, with the survivor responding to questions from the voice of the interviewer. The drama chronicles the remembered experiences of Annulla Allen, a Polish Jew who married an Austrian Jew, survived in Germany by convincing authorities she was Aryan, was able to persuade the Nazis to release her husband from Dachau, and, after the war, moved to London.
Daphna Feygenbaum is a Real Jew—just ask the Israeli boyfriend she met on Birthright. So when her cousin Liam brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody and declares ownership of their grandfather’s Chai necklace, it sparks a viciously hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy.
The play opens in the back of a Bronx tenement in 1945, as Raisal, a Jewish immigrant mother who is pregnant hangs her laundry and is confronted by her guilt-ridden memories. Through flashbacks, she remembers her childhood in prewar Poland, and then taking her diffident sister's passport, and immigrating to the United States. After she leaves, Raisal's mother, sister and her sister's daughter perish in the Holocaust. Raisal confronts questions regarding her survival and identity.
Using the songs, stories, and comedy that her uncle created with her mother in the concentration camps, Naava Piatka performs a one-person show based on the experiences of her mother, Chayela Rosenthal, during the Holocaust. Reliving a life of theatre during the war, the show celebrates the spirit of comedy and hope in the face of real life horror of the Holocaust.
A play for intermediate school students, Brothers is about family dislocation and reunion due to the Holocaust. Following the Nazis takeover of Poland and intensifying attacks on Jews, a Jewish family is only able to send one of their children to safety in Palestine. The drama focuses on the child's hardships alone in this new land and his eventual reunion with his surviving younger brother.
Zibale and Mitzi Schtein are Holocaust survivors who live in Israel. Anat Levi, a young woman, comes to their home to interview them about their deceased daughter. However, Anat is really their granddaughter. She had been adopted and is searching for her biological parents. Their meeting brings to the surface old and new traumas that Zibale and Mitzi had worked hard to repress. Produced by Bet Lessin, Tel Aviv, in Hebrew and translated into English.
The work by Michel Deutsch, who is also a director and translator, employs an absurdist style and language to focus on the alienation and confusion of the play’s protagonists, couples who suffer under the Vichy government, Nazi collaborators, and German soldiers.
The subtitle of this Yiddish play, "A Three Act Drama of Jewish Life in Nazi Germany," describes the dramatic action. This domestic melodrama dramatizes the impact of the Third Reich's early anti-Semitic policies and attacks on a German Jewish family.
In the three scenes or dialogs, “A Father and His Son,” “A Mother and Her Daughter,” and “A Man and His Little Sister” from the book A Jew Today by Elie Wiesel, we listen to the poignant and intimate conversations between loved ones in the moments before death. A survivor son talks to the spirit of his father who died during the Holocaust. Together they grapple with feelings of anger and sadness, realizing mankind’s reluctance to learn. A mother calms her daughter as they approach the gates of a concentration camp at night, knowing that their lives, as well as the lives of all those in front and behind them in the line, are about to end. And the older brother of a little girl promises he will never forget her as she perishes from cold. He reassures his sister that her memory will live on, and vows to find out who is responsible for her death. The scenes underscore the innocence of these ordinary people caught up in a struggle they cannot comprehend.
An opera based on the building tensions of the scientists and their families during the month prior to the first test of the first atomic bomb.
Elegy portrays the relationship between a troubled young man and his Holocaust survivor parents. Shifting fluidly back and forth from New York in the 1970s to Kristallnacht and later in Berlin, brief moments at Auschwitz, and New York after the war, the play dramatizes the struggles of a second generation survivor and his father. Helmut, a poet in his youth before the war, struggles to suppress his memories of the past. Rummaging in the attic, Jerry stumbles on a poem in German and is stunned to learn of his father's poetic past. His mother asks him not to mention the poetry to his father, but Jerry cannot let his father’s poetry rest. In an effort to purge his own demons, Jerry confronts Helmut and tries to reawaken the poetry in his father’s soul.
Elka saved her two sons in the Holocaust, but now, in Israel, she is still sheltering them. When her youngest son, Pesach, falls in love with Malia, a single mother, Elka objects but gives in. Her eldest son returns after running away from his mother and unloved wife, only to fall in love with Malia as well. The sons turn against one another, and against their mother. The family falls apart.
The play begins as Etty is being transported to Auschwitz. In Auschwitz, she works at the Jewish Council registering the Jews that come into the camp and this keeps her and her family safe for a while. Her spirit and hope shines through even as she faces the notion that she, too, will eventually face death in this camp.
An interview-based play about adolescence in Nazi Germany. Three young people struggle to claim their identities and transition into adulthood in this play about ethics, family, and self-perception. Marian's father wants to hide a Jewish family, but Marian just wants to fit in. Ernst joins the Hitler Youth but has trouble fully embracing the lifestyle. Rebecca endures discrimination from teachers and students for her Jewish heritage. No answers come easily as these three characters experience ordinary growing pains in the face of extraordinary historical tragedy.
A Jewish family moves from Vienna to Heidelberg in Germany. Ruth, the mother, is having a love affair with Robert. Both are fired from the university where they work because they are Jewish. Ruth won't leave Otto, her husband, Anushka, their daughter, Freddie, her mentally disabled brother, and Miriam, her aunt; so Robert leaves her, and moves to Palestine. When the Nazi party gets stronger, Miriam gets immigration certificates for the family, but not for herself, because of her age. The family immigrates to Israel, and Ruth tries to get a certificate for Miriam, but even her manipulative charm doesn't break through the bureaucracy, and Miriam dies in Germany. Otto has a hard time adjusting, and ends up teaching in a high school. Ruth discovers that Freddie is a pedophile, and accuses him of attacking Anushka. Freddie commits suicide. Anushka becomes a communist as part of her adolescent rebellion, and she meets Robert (without knowing who he is), who is also a communist. Anushka becomes pregnant, and gives birth to Naomi. In the end Robert is united with Naomi, after being released from prison (for being a communist).
Set in Toronto in 1948, a Jewish family, struggling to recover from the horrors of the war in Europe, finally has cause to rejoice. Ruth is about to be reunited with the only surviving member of her immediate family. But when she goes to Union Station to meet him, the brother she was expecting turns out to be a stranger: an impostor holding her brother’s papers. Suddenly she and the family with whom she lives are forced into an impossible situation: if they abandon this displaced person they risk the possibility of his being deported.
The story of four generations of four families in Berlin, from 1815 to 1933. Three families are Jewish and the fourth is Christian. The play focuses on keeping Jewish religious tradition on the one hand, and assimilation on the other.
Based on the playwright’s experience as a child in Nazi Germany immediately after Kristallnacht, 1938. Marianne finds one day that she is no longer permitted to attend school. She meets Ernst, a boy staying in her apartment building while on holiday in Berlin. She finds out he is a member of the Hitler Youth and Ernst realizes that Marianne is Jewish. They argue and she fears their friendship is over. Marianne’s father is in hiding from the Gestapo, and her mother tries to protect her from the reality of their circumstances. Through Kindertransport, Marianne is able to escape to Canada. Before she leaves, Ernst gives her a gift, which renews her faith in humanity and gives her hope for the future.
Based on the biographies of the Franks and Simons’ personal contact with Anne’s three surviving friends, Goodbye Memories is a universal story of parents, children, friends, sexual awakenings, and the special spirit of a talkative, attention-loving girl named Anne Frank. Unlike the play and movie based on Anne’s diary, Goodbye Memories begins on the morning of Anne’s 13th birthday in June 1942 when she receives her infamous diary. The play ends on the morning of July 6, 1942 when the Franks leave their home to go into hiding.
Set in Berlin before the outbreak of World War II, A Happy End tells the story of a cosmopolitan Jewish couple who are faced with the decision of whether to stay and face the danger of Nazi rule, or leave the city for safety. Both are convinced the Nazis will never come to power. Dr. Mark Erdmann, an acclaimed Jewish physicist at the University of Berlin is on the brink of an important discovery. His wife, Leah, is having an affair with his young assistant and living the good life in Berlin. They hold on to their lives in Berlin, even though all signs point to the dangers of staying. When Hitler becomes Reichskanzler, Mark is fired from his position at the university, and he and Leah are forced to make their final decision.
A Yiddish domestic drama that dramatizes the impact of the Naxis' early attacks on Jews in the Third Reich who believed they were assimilated German citizens. A Jewish World War I hero, who has intermarried and has a daughter, finds his family persecuted because of his religion. He erroneously believes that he can get help from a Reich government official whose life he saved during battle. Instead, the play's melodramatic conclusion reveals that he has been killed.
This play is about a group of children—with the wrong king of grandparents—in Nazi-dominated Vienna. They try to escape to freedom, to adjust to brutal, senseless regulations—or to console each other. They accept Ellen, the central character, dubiously. Her status is "Undetermined"—after all, she had only one, or possibly two, "wrong grandparents"—but she is Jewish by choice. Ellen brings her crayon-drawn visa to the American Consul to sign. "I can't let my mother go to America alone," she explains. "Who would she peel an apple for if I can't go? And whom would she slap when she can't bear it any more?" Ellen is so sensitive, loyal and courageous that she is dominant in the group. "It's all a matter of who your grandparents are" they explain to Ellen. But they wait by the river. A child might fall in. If they save it, perhaps they'll be allowed to sit on the park benches again like the other children—or even the merry-go-round! As they all proceed from childhood into their teens, the others are terrified by the war and the consequenses of wearing the Star. Ellen is determined at any cost to wear it. She sees and makes them see, too, that the yellow star with the tiny word 'JEW' in the center is the talisman that will lead to the blue city, New York, where love and peace abide.
An adaptation of Sabina Zimering's memoir, Hiding in the Open tells the true story of two Jewish sisters from Poland who assume false Catholic identities and work in a Nazi hotel during World War II. Living in constant fear of having their identities revealed, the sisters bravely face danger and the challenges of growing up while keeping their heritage a secret. This story of survival and teenage courage examines the bonds of family and human kindness in the face of great atrocities.
A teenager learns to accept and honor her Jewish heritage. Daisy is visiting her grandmother at her home. Daisy is unhappy with herself and and her family life. Her grandmother provides her with emotional stability by providing her with grandmotherly advice and support but, most importantly, by recounting her experiences in Auschwitz where she lost her two sisters.
Miri is a director and a mother of three, who returns to her childhood home so she can straighten things up in order to sell it. Walking down memory lane, she returns to her past and family. She deals yet again with her Holocaust surviving parents and a secret romance between her aunt and her father. A mysterious real estate agent helps her get over it all, make peace with her past, and find love.
In this one-act drama, the German Jewish family of Jacob awaits his return from a Nazi internment center. They discuss mundane issues such as how he will look and what they will discuss with him. Instead, a stranger arrives—a Nazi—who brings Jacob's ashes to his family.
Arie, and Pnina are Holocaust survivors, religious people, living in Israel. They have a son named Yossi, who is about to have his Bar-Mitzvah. Most of the play is set in the 60s, and is affected by the euphoria from the war that was won at that time. Arie and Pnina are hard parents, haunted by the horror of the Holocaust. Pnina is willing to give up everything—including her own religion—for the German payments, while Arie is using all he has to get more respect and privileges at his synagogue. All of the scenes take place during Kiddush blessing on Shabbat dinner.
Kindertransport is based on the experiences of children who were allowed to leave Nazi Germany for England in 1938/39 and who were separated from their families, many of whom perished during the Holocaust. Through flashbacks, the play presents the hardships faced by Eva, a nine-year-old child sent on a Kindertransport and taken in by a British family. The play also focuses on the now assimilated and completely dislocated Eva’s alienation from her actual mother, a survivor of the Holocaust, and the discovery by Faith, Eva’s daughter, of her mother’s unspoken past.
When Ruth, a young doctor, skips her grandmother Leah's funeral, she ignites three generations of love and secrets. Her boyfriend walks out, her mother pays a devastating surprise visit, and Leah's harrowing childhood journey—a family legend—intertwines with Ruth's own. An ordinary train ride mysteriously takes Ruth through her Russian Jewish family's untold history, opening her to a fuller understanding of her mother, her grandmother, and herself.
A teenage girl, Hannah, is sent to spend time with her grandfather in the hope that she will learn about her Jewish heritage. Her grandfather, a camp survivor, is reluctant to recount his experiences and she has no interest in learning. Aliens arrive on earth to investigate—they uncover the grandfather's painful memories and aid Hannah in better understanding her heritage by transporting her back to Poland in 1943. Only then does Hannah truly comprehend her grandfather's past.
A play written by students from a rural Kansas school as a result of a research project for National History Day. Two ninth graders, Megan Stewart and Elizabeth Cambers, and an eleventh grader, Sabrina Coons researched the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker in the Warsaw Ghetto who, between 1939 and 1942, helped rescue children from the ghetto by smuggling them past Nazi guards. Sendler then adopted the children into Polish homes or orphanages by giving them false identity papers. She and her network made lists of the children’s real names and put the lists in jars, which were then buried in a Warsaw garden under an apple tree so that the names could one day be used to help the children find their true identity and reconnect with their families after the war. The play has been performed over 300 times in the U.S. and Europe, and the students made several visits to Poland to meet Irena before she passed away in 2008.
Based on true events, a man learns of his grandmother’s history during the Holocaust as the Berlin Wall is being torn down. Meanwhile, a parallel story occurs in Bethlehem a generation later when the Israeli security barrier is raised.
Momik is the 10-year-old son of Auschwitz survivors growing up in Jerusalem in 1959. His parents, traumatized by the Holocaust, avoid telling Momik anything about the Holocaust, causing him to create his own fantastic narrative of what happened "there." Grown-up Momik is walking side-by-side with his younger self, reliving his childhood, surrounded by traumatized survivors, when one day Anshel arrives; he is the brother of Momik's dead grandmother, and was a writer before the war. Now he barely talks. Momik tries to help his new "grandfather,” finding out as much as he can about what happened to him in order to help him. Momik wants to find the "Nazi beast" (which he thinks is actually a beast), and kill it in order to help his parents and friends, who are all hurting because of this beast.
Oy! is the story of two German Jewish sisters, Selma and Jenny, who in 1995 in their late eighties are some of the last remaining witnesses to the period of Nazism in Europe. They return to their home in Paris after a trip to the German city of their youth. Upon their return to Paris, the sisters try to make something of the swirl of emotions, opinions and memories that have surfaced and all the things they were not able to express in Germany. Through their simple, flavorful work together, they begin to unravel the complexities of a society’s internalized racism—the broad anti-Semitism that so darkly colored their past.
In the late 1960s, a planned beach house gathering of Jewish family members, lovers and friends brings together all their “baggage” resulting in high jinks and disturbing revelations.
Set in 1938 Chicago, Rose Colored Glass, takes place in the back rooms of Lady O'Riley's and Rose Fleishman's delicatessen. Their disparate worlds, separated by much more than the alley between their kitchens, are about to collide. Peg O'Riley, the 13-year-old granddaughter of Lady, has grown determined that these two mistrustful widows will become friends, but it is not until they become involved in the same cause that their friendship has a chance to bloom. In a series of flashbacks, Peg now older, remembers the moving story of how Lady and Rose formed a united front to fight American apathy in an attempt to bring Rose's nephew out of Europe before the war. Rose Colored Glass shows the beginning of the Holocaust from the other side of the Atlantic, and how two women struggle not only with American apathy, but also with immigration laws and bureaucracy, in addition to their own prejudices... all in the name of one boy's safe passage from Europe to America.
SB6, an acronym for “Sonderbehandlung 6” or “Special Treatment 6” represents the last six months of life for the families sent in transports from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz in 1943. The play portrays the experiences and dilemmas of life, rather than focusing on the imminent death, of a group of boys in the children’s block of the camp. 4,000 Czechoslovakian Jews were sent to their deaths precisely six months after their arrival in the camp.
Also translated as A Scene Played in Memory, the text is based on the final few moments between Delbo and her soon to be executed husband, both of whom were arrested for resisting the Nazis by publishing anti-German materials.
A family of survivors lives in a small apartment in Jaffa, with a small grocery shop attached to it: an old father, his two sons, one of them married with a son. They live a very poor and pathetic existence until they learn they are about to get a payment from Germany. They start to live it up in anticipation of the money they will get, hoping to finally be accepted into Israeli society: Aharal'e, the unmarried son, marries an old costumer of the shop. He hopes to use the money to break free from his family and write his great novel. Yossel, the second son, spends money on appliances, and in agreement with his wife, sells the shop in order to buy a new apartment in Bat Yam. Tanhum, Yossel's son, takes money from the cash register for the woman he loves who has a baby. Yossel and his wife want to put Dov, Yossel’s elderly father, into a home, but when the father hears about it he suffers a heart attack. Then it turns out the family loses their right to the money because of a false testimony of Dov in another claim. They lose their home and shop.
Part of Proceed to Checkout: Ten Death Affirming Plays, Sketches and Monolgues, this 10 minute play asks the question: Could there be something worse than surviving the Holocaust? Two elderly Russian survivors struggle to come to terms with the death of their only son.
Two young cousins move from the luxury of pre-war Europe to the clandestine life of Jewish partisans in the Polish Underground during World War II. The girls’ tale spans two time periods and flashes back and forth between Europe in the 1940s and Canada in the 1970s. The Yiddish and American songs, along with a few original tunes by Alcorn and Tova, are interwoven through the play.
Sperr’s play reflects the ongoing debate in postwar Germany over Nazism and its reverberations. The play focuses on two successful Germans who work in construction. The wife of one of the businessmen was a Jew who was deported from Nazi Germany and died in an extermination center. In order to protect his daughter from the Nazis, the surviving husband changed his daughter’s name and religion. The other businessman remains a devout supporter of Nazism and its policies. Ironically, the daughter of the Jewish mother and son of the other businessman are engaged to marry.
Set in Berlin in 1936, with increasing anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish population, a jeweler decides to steal the money that he has been entrusted with for his ill aunt. His moral quandary is heightened when the aunt’s son, a close friend and an escapee from a Nazi concentration camp, arrives in desperate need.
Set during the Reagan years, the play concerns a politically committed man named Aaron whose understanding of the world is rocked when his survivor father is threatened with deportation due to charges of what he did when he was a kapo in a labor camp. The play was named a New York Times "Critic's Choice" and won a playwriting prize from the American Theatre Critics Association.
Lili Adler is a daughter of a wealthy German-Jewish refugee. In the summer of 1960, she meets Nick Lockridge. Lili is intrigued with Nick and thinks of him as her savior. They begin a romantic relationship but Lili’s mother Eva is suspicious of Nick. Eva manipulates the relationship and at its end she is satisfied because “happiness is for others”.
The Bureaucrat describes the Holocaust, Auschwitz, from the perspective of Rudolf Hess, its commandant, as he wrestles with the problems and agonies of creating the perfect killing machine, while at the same time loving his wife and children and going through the motions of a normal life. His constant struggle is to make this machine as efficient as possible. He is no psychopath, he is no monster, he is simply a human being, one of us. Yet he can commit the unspeakable, struggling not to think about it, like any good bureaucrat.
Rosi is a lonely 50-year-old physician who is coming to terms with her childhood as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She tells the story of her father at his graveside. He was arrested by the Gestapo and taken to Auschwitz where he was forced into the Sonderkommando unit. His experiences at the camp alienated him from his family. But before he dies, Rosi learns of her father's past and is able to forgive him.
Following the German occupation of France, a Jewish family escapes from Paris, change names, flee to the South of France, and are given a single room to live in by a Christian farmer. The trials and tribulations of the family, including the worry over the birth of a child and the constant fear of discovery, ultimately end with France’s liberation.
It is 1994 and Naomi Goldman, recently widowed, is living in an apartment in upper Manhattan. Her son Tony, separated from his wife, lives with her. When Tony's old college girlfriend Aviva contacts him with the ulterior motive of interviewing and videotaping his mother for a Holocaust memorial project, Tony is appalled. Naomi, reluctant at first, eventually agrees to the interview. Though appearing to be forthright in her story, Naomi clearly is hiding a devastating secret. When Aviva pushes her to admit the truth, the consequences are life changing. The Goldman Project is a play about family relations, the lingering legacy of the Holocaust and the catharsis of self-renewal.
Set in the living room of a middle class family on a Sunday afternoon in the late 1930s, Brecht describes his play as “a dramatic sketch of family life as it is today in the new Hiter’s Germany.” A teacher and his wife are terrified that their son, a member of the Hitler Youth, will turn them in for their negative statements about the Nazism. They are even fearful that their maid, also a committed Nazi, will inform on them. The teacher attempts to find ways to make his actions more politically acceptable.
Moish is a distant relative of Haim, his wife Dafna and their son Erez. Moish won't grow old and won't change his stripy pajamas. He comes for a surprise visit in order to make his dream come true: he wishes to move the old concentration camps to Israel. Haim sees commercial potential (that might help the family’s financial problems) and Moish gets assistance from Dafna’s brother, who is a cultural attaché in Germany. Dafna is against the plan since she doesn't want her home being turned into a memorial site for painful events.
In this dark comedy, married Holocaust survivors, Max and Lola, are forced to live in a model apartment because their retirement condo is not ready. They are trying to escape their past, the difficulties of urban life, and their obese schizophrenic daughter, Debby, who arrives with her African-American teenage boyfriend, Neil, scarred by his urban experiences. Throughout the action it is clear the past horrors continue to impact the survivors and their child, who cannot live up to the memories of the daughter her father lost during the Holocaust.
A Yiddish melodrama that chronicles the story of a German who prior to the rise of the Third Reich adopts a Jewish child and then as a member of the Nazi party is forced to conceal her background from the beginning of the Reich through the end of World War II.
Once the darling of Yiddish theatre in pre-war Poland, a grandmother in New York City wants to pass her stories on to her granddaughter, but her daughter will do anything to keep from looking back. A musical that spans three generations.
Private Life of the Master Race is the title given to the work by its original translator, Eric Bentley, even though Brecht’s German title is more literally translated as Fear and Misery in the Third Reich. Unlike Brecht’s later works, Private Life is a series of short sketches dramatizing how Nazism impacted families, workers and marriages during Hitler’s first five years in power.
The Sparks Fly Upward is a musical drama that follows three German families in Berlin, two Jewish and one Christian, through the Holocaust. Between 1938 and the end of the war in 1945, the families struggle to outlast Hitler. At times the families turn to the Book of Job for diversion, reassurance and enlightenment. Job’s suffering, and the contest between good and evil represented in his story, are reflected in the lives of the characters, who boldly face the question of man’s obligation to man in times of moral and political crisis.
A commanding drama about a New York publisher and Holocaust survivor whose decision to publish obscure political tracts threatens the future of both the publisher’s company and his family.
Set in a New York City apartment over two days, the play revolves around Walter, a German Jewish doctor who escaped just as Hitler took power but at a terrible cost to a friend, his son Yves, an actor who struggles in his relationship with his father, Daniel, Yves's son who adores his grandfather, and Gaby, Daniel's mother who is divorced from his father. The battles between fathers and sons seems to end with Walter's death.
Based on the true story of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in which Jewish fighters gave their lives to resist deportation to Nazi concentration camps. It was the first and single largest revolt by Jews during the Holocaust and inspired many other uprisings throughout the ghettos and concentration camps of occupied Europe. The musical tells the story of Roman who is trapped in the ghetto and separated from his gentile fiancée, Ana. The couple struggle to reunite, and Roman leads a group of resistance fighters into a battle to vindicate their community.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) is a single child, growing up with her survivor mother Helena. They live in Tel Aviv in the 60s. Lizzie's life is hard, filled with the silence of her indifferent mother, who only opens up to her four friends: the troubled Ita, the well-groomed Zosia, the religious Gita, and the glamorous Fanny. They all hide their pain and horror, exposing it only to one another at their weekly meeting, during which Lizzie eavesdrops. The play focuses on the tense relationship between mother and daughter.
On a rainy winter night a man walks into a restaurant, which is just about to close. He starts eating, and won't stop. That man, Sami, is a survivor—forever hungry, never full, never not hungry. He is divorced, and he is losing his son. The old woman who feeds him does so lovingly, for she is happy to stay longer, waiting for her husband to return. But her first husband is dead, and her second loving husband tries to close up. More neighbors come in, trying to find shelter from the rain, trying to get their lives in order—and all the while the man eats… until he vomits, freeing himself from himself.