Denying Jewish Heritage Focus of Hudson Stage World Premiere, Baltimore Star, Oct. 17-Nov. 2

News   Denying Jewish Heritage Focus of Hudson Stage World Premiere, Baltimore Star, Oct. 17-Nov. 2
 
Hudson Stage Company, the Equity troupe operating in Westchester County, north of New York City, presents the world premiere of Baltimore Star, by David Wiener Oct. 17-Nov. 2.

In the play, "a family of Jewish emigres tries to fit into post-World War II American society by passing themselves off as gentiles," according to the Hudson Stage announcement. "Is there a price to be paid for denying one's past?" The play is billed as "a powerful and haunting portrait of an 'American' family."

Dan Foster, a Hudson Stage co-founder, directs a cast that includes Michael Levin ("Ryan's Hope"), Lisa Altomare, Mary Bacon, Wayne Maugans, Kerry Sullivan and Olivia Sklar.

Sklar, Foster and Denise Bessette are the company's founding co-producers. Hudson Stage performs under the Actors' Equity Small Professional Theatre (SPT) contract and "is committed to producing original, professional, provocative and affordable theatre."

Producing partner Denise Bessette told Playbill On-Line, "I met David Wiener, the playwright, through Pam McCarthy at Cherry Lane Alternative via his play, Blood Orange, that was being produced there. We solicited material from him, and his agent submitted this play, originally titled For the Dead. We did a staged reading of it last year, and the response was very strong.  We knew it was a powerful and provocative piece of theatre, but on the page it was difficult to read how potent it would play.  It resonates for everyone, but particularly Jewish audiences.

"The central theme is about abandoning one's heritage to fit in, especially during the 50's and 60's of post World War II, where the stigma remained in society for Jews. This takes place in Baltimore, where the lines of division were very definitive.  The family disintegrates under the denial, and the play leapfrogs in time back and forth, in a fractured tale of their lives unfolding over the years.  Michael Levin plays Saul, the Hungarian Jew, who acquiesces to his wife and her drive to place her children in society. It is a harrowing and haunting portrait of a lost man." Baltimore Star will be presented in Hudson Stage's home in the 250-seat Julie Harris Theatre, at the ClearView School, 550 Albany Post Road (Route 9 ) in Briarcliff Manor, NY.

There are nine performances scheduled. Shows play 8 PM Fridays and Saturdays and 3 PM Sundays.  There will be a talkback with the participating artists following the matinee Oct. 26.

Tickets are $20-$25. For information, call (914) 271-2811 or visit www.hudsonstage.com.

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