Robert Prosky will star in The Golem, the second presentation of the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre's 2001-02 season, beginning April 1.
Lawrence Sacharow (Three Tall Women) directs the Halper Leivick Yiddish classic which opens April 11 for a run through May 12 at MET's Soho space.
Prosky netted a couple Tony nominations back in the 1980s, one for Glengarry Glen Ross in 1984 and one for A Walk in the Woods in 1988. Since then he has become familiar for his many film performances. Among his credits are "Outrageous Fortune," "Broadcast News," "Dead Man Walking," "The Natural," "Green Card" and "Dudley Do Right." His most recent stage effort was as Matthew Harrison Brady in the Ford's Theatre fall 2000 revival of Inherit the Wind in Washington DC.
Levick, born in 1888, is considered one of the greatest writers to traffic in Yiddish drama. His plays include Rags, Shop and Chains. The Golem is his best known work and has been performed in many languages. It tells of a 16th-century Prague Rabbi (Prosky) who creates a large clay figure, the Golem, to defend his Jewish community — thus defying the will of God.
"It's a play that poses the central question of the day," Sacharow told Playbill On-Line. "At what point does the retaliation against the oppression of violence turn back upon you? In the play, since a magical creature gets created, it really questions the beliefs of the power of magic and its role in defending ourselves." He added, "It's filled with mystery, magic and intrigue. It's extremely dense and multi-dimensional."
Also in the cast are Joseph McKenna, David Little, Ben Hammer, Jeffrey Ware and Lynn Cohen.
Prosky is the second big casting coup for the very young MET, which only started producing last year. The company began its first full season on Jan. 8 with an adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Castle, starring William Atherton in his first New York stage role in over a decade.
The Golem, by H. Leivick, was adapted by MET artistic director David Fishelson from Joseph C. Landis' translation.
The final selection on the MET roster will be Ordet. The new adaptation of the play by Danish dramatist Kaj Munk is drawn from both Munk's original text and Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1953 screenplay.
The MET space is at 55 Mercer Street in Manhattan. For information call (212) 925-1900.
—By Robert Simonson