LONG BEACH, CA -- The Actors' Playhouse has got Insomnia.
A play by that name by Jorge Albertella opens Sept. 19 at the Playhouse for a one-month run.
Insomnia deals with a Jewish psychologist from Latin America practicing in Los Angeles who was tortured in his native land -- and whose wife and two children disappeared -- 12 years before emigrating. The psychologist is visited by a new patient who used to be a torturer.
Albertella's personal life mirrors that of his protagonist; he is a psychologist from Argentina who resides in southern California.
"He initially started interviewing local Jewish survivors from that country for a book about the crimes against their community in their native land during the 70s," said a company spokesperson. "Although they were less than 1 percent of the population, Jews became 20 percent of the victims. But after a few weeks witnesses refused to continue because they all started having nightmares and insomnia. As the Doctor says in the play, 'Pain and fear remain in the soul forever, for the victims as much as for those who love them.'"Martin Berkowitz, the director, is a retired attorney and CPA who at one point in his life decided to start a new career as an actor and a director. Members of the cast include Mihal Levy, Richard Meese, Brian Knudson and Howard Ray Patterson.
Insomnia is sponsored by Amnesty International and the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County.
Performances are Sat. at 3 & 8 PM; Sun. at 2 PM through Oct. 17. Tickets are $15; seniors & students $12. The Actors' Playhouse is located at 1409 E. Fourth St. Call (213) 660-8587.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent