Lemkin's House, About Genocide's Ability to Endure, Begins U.S. Premiere in NYC

News   Lemkin's House, About Genocide's Ability to Endure, Begins U.S. Premiere in NYC Lemkin's House, a play by Catherine Filloux about the man who coined the word "genocide," and his anguish over its toleration in the modern world, begins an Off-Off-Broadway run Feb. 3 at the 78th Street Theatre Lab.
John Daggett as the title character in Lemkin's House.
John Daggett as the title character in Lemkin's House. Photo by Carol Rosegg

This is the U.S. premiere of the play by American writer Filloux (The Beauty Inside, Eyes of the Heart, Silence of God). The drama premiered in the Bosnian language in Sarajevo, Bosnia in 2005, and was read at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2005.

Opening is Feb. 4 and performances play to Feb. 26.

Jean Randich directs a cast which includes John Daggett, Christopher Edwards, Laura Flanagan, Christopher McHale and Constance Winston.

Lemkin was a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent. In 1933 he was appointed to a legal council of the League of Nations conference on international criminal law in Madrid. Lemkin, who lost many relatives in the Holocaust, wrote and spoke often about human barbarity and in 1944 published "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe," which included the definition of the new word "genocide." ("Genos" is Greek for family, tribe or race, and "cide" is Latin for killing.) His concept was accepted by the world as an offense against international law and was one of the legal bases of the Nuremberg Trials.

Lemkin continued to campaign for laws against genocide after the war. He achieved success in 1951 at the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Lemkin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1951 and 1952, but did not win. He died in 1958. In the 80-minute, intermissionless Lemkin's House, the title character is tormented in the afterlife by the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, and the international community's failure to stop them.

Designers are Sue Rees (set), Matthew E. Adelson (lighting), Camille Assaf (costume), Robert Murphy (sound), Liz Maestri (prop).

The production is associate produced by Morgan Allen, the photo editor of Playbill.com.

Tickets are $15. Performances play 78th Street Theatre Lab, 236 W. 78th Street, at Broadway. Contact (212) 868-4444 or www.SmartTix.com.

John Daggett and Laura Flanagan in <i>Lemkin's House</i>.
John Daggett and Laura Flanagan in Lemkin's House. Photo by Carol Rosegg