Stage Version of Hester Street Film in the Works

News   Stage Version of Hester Street Film in the Works
 
Carol Kane received an Oscar nomination for her performance in the 1975 indie hit.
Carol Kane
Carol Kane Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A Broadway-aimed stage version of the 1975 hit independent film Hester Street is in the works, according to indiewire.com.

Ira Deutchman, a film professor at Columbia University who is also the co-founder of Emerging Pictures, is working with producer Michael Rabinowitz to develop the stage version of the motion picture, which earned Carol Kane an Oscar nomination for her performance as a Jewish immigrant, who arrives in America to find that her husband has “abandoned his past existence and started a new life on the Lower East Side.” Joan Micklin Silver, who wrote and directed the film, is consulting on the project.

When asked whether he believes Hester Street is still relevant, Deutchman told indiewire, “It’s a story about immigration and assimilation. It couldn’t be more timely! That was the other thing that was on my mind, other than the fact that the piece itself is timeless. It’s historically significant simply because I can’t think of another example of a woman writer-director in the '70s actually making a film that had the impact that Hester Street did. And then on top of that, it was a hit in the completely independent realm outside of the studio system.”

Hester Street, which brought in more than $6 million, also starred Doris Roberts and Steven Keats. The stage version, according to Variety, will incorporate live musical performances. Several playwrights are in discussions to pen the adaptation, although no timeline for the production has been announced.

Producers Deutchman and Rabinowitz said they hope to partner with a New York nonprofit theatre with Broadway as the ultimate goal.

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