Richard Dreyfuss and Rinde Eckert Will Test Faith and Forgiveness in Imagining Heschel

Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss and Pulitzer Prize finalist Rinde Eckert will star in the Culture Project world premiere of Colin Greer's Imagining Heschel, a new drama exploring the issues of faith, violence and forgiveness in the Jewish and Catholic spheres.

Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

Larry Moss will direct the work that brings to light the private conversations between Cardinal Augustin Bea and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as the two men attempt to resolve the Vatican's formal exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Christ.

The historic drama will begin performances Nov. 4 at the Cherry Lane Theatre toward a Nov. 8 Off-Broadway opening. The limited run will continue through Nov. 28.

Dreyfuss (Death and the Maiden, "Jaws," "Mr. Holland's Opus") will portray Heschel, opposite playwright, director and actor Eckert (Orpheus X, Slide, An Idiot Divine) as Bea.

According to The Culture Project, "Imagining Heschel explores private conversations between Cardinal Augustin Bea and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from 1962-1973, when Heschel was asked to aid the Vatican Council in formally exonerating the Jews for the death of Christ - a crucial repudiation of anti-Semitism. Heschel resists, demanding the Vatican apologize for their acquiescence to the Holocaust, and an ideological test of wills ensues. Colin Greer's imagined discussions between these philosophical giants in the midst of the numerous struggles of the late 1960s -including the war in Vietnam which Heschel strenuously opposed, and the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, which he supported - lend enormous insight into contemporary issues of peaceful resolution in the Middle East. Imagining Heschel raises important questions about the justification of violence by any faith, and the limits of forgiveness."

Greer's works include "The Great School Legend," "Choosing Equality: The Case for Democratic Schooling," "What Nixon is doing to Us," "The Solution is Part of the Problem" and "After Reagan What?" Moss has directed such stage works as Drat! The Cat!, God's Favorite, I Love My Wife, So Long 174th Street, The Robber Bridegroom and the premiere of Pamela Gien's The Syringa Tree.

For tickets, $80, visit Telecharge. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street in Manhattan.