Throughout the seven years it took to create Broadway’s recently opened Indecent, playwright Paula Vogel has had a lot of time to reflect. Set over the span of four decades, Indecent tells the story of Sholem Asch’s play God of Vengeance, the troupe of actors who toured it around Europe, the New York acting company jailed for performing the “obscene” work, and the inhabitants of the Lodz ghetto who clung to it during the Holocaust.
Vogel has spoken repeatedly about the personal meaning of Asch’s work and the love scene he wrote between two women—a scene that seemingly changed the course of Vogel’s life.
But Vogel has spoken less about her Jewish connection to the work—until now. “More and more my Jewish identity is emerging and I think in a way that I don’t want to see happen for young children,” says Vogel in the video above. “My Jewish identity has been formed from anti-Semitism in my childhood. That isn’t the way we should be identifying ourselves.”