A sneak preview at the the Emelin Theatre on April 22, features excerpts from Dreamers & Demons, a new play about Isaac Bashevis Singer by Isaiah Sheffer, host of National Public Radio’s “Selected Shorts.”
Join Isaiah Sheffer, Mary Brienza, and Kathryn Markey as they perform excerpts from Mr. Sheffer’s new play, based on published stories, sketches, interviews and his personal conversations with Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer. The play evokes Mr. Singer’s three worlds: the Eastern European shtetl; the refugee Jews of Coney Island, The Bronx, and Miami Beach; and the demons, dybbuks and spirits that filled the writer’s imagination.
|DREAMERS & DEMONS: The Three Worlds of Isaac Bashevis Singer
A new play by Isaiah Sheffer (Celebrated Host of NPR’s “Selected Shorts”)
With Isaiah Sheffer, Kathryn Markey, and Mary Brienza
April 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at The Emelin Theatre
For ticket purchases visit www.Emelin.org or call (914) 698-0098.
A discussion and reception with the artists follows the performance.
Isaiah Sheffer is one of the most beloved guest artists that has been presented at the Emelin’s Insights & Revelations Performance Series. When he brought us Symphony Space’s acclaimed Thalia Follies, the performance sold out very quickly and received rave reviews from the audience that night. The Emelin is looking forward to seeing another side of Mr. Sheffer’s artistic work with his theatrical peek at the life and work of Nobel prize-winning author, Isaac Bashevis Singer.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
ISAIAH SHEFFER is co-founder and artistic director of Symphony Space and director and host of Selected Shorts live and on radio. His radio, television, theatre, and film credits are extensive and include work as a commentator on the arts for WNYC’s weekly radio column Around New York; producer/writer for The Road to the White House, a 20-minute public affairs series for NBC-TV (Emmy Nomination); and writer/director, The Last Chapter, award-winning historical documentary film on 1,000 years of Polish-Jewish history. Mr. Sheffer wrote the book and lyrics for the musicals Yiddle with a Fiddle and The Rise of David Levinsky. His latest play is Dreamers and Demons: The Three Worlds of Isaac Bashevis Singer. He is currently creating the libretto for a modern-baroque opera-ballet about the making of the American Constitution, A More Perfect Union.
MARY BRIENZA – Leave It To Me (Off Broadway), Dance Dialogue Reflections with the A&G Dance Company (Dance Theatre Workshop), the self-penned solo comedy A Women Possessed, the sketch comedy trio Girl Talk as well as productions of 42nd Street, My One & Only, and Mame. At Symphony Space she has appeared in Wall-To-Wall Cole Porter, Wall-To-Wall Broadway, Bloomsday On Broadway, the Thalia Reading Series’ Helpers, and is a recurring cast member and contributing writer for the Thalia Follies. For the past 15 years she has appeared extensively as her songwriting alter ego Judeen Chalk of the country music sister act The Chalks and has been seen and heard on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, radio markets across the U.S. as well as Belgium, Sweden and Guam, and stages throughout the country. Currently in development for the theatre: The Chalks: An American Family In 3 Chord, which was recently presented in a workshop performance at Bay Street Theatre courtesy of a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.
KATHRYN MARKEY has appeared on Broadway in Three From Brooklyn (performer and contributing writer), and is a featured artist at Symphony Space in NYC; recently appearing in The Thalia Follies, Bloomsday, the epic Wall to Wall Broadway Musicals and Selected Shorts: Women in the News. Other theatrical credits include Parallel Lives and Dancing at Lughnasa (Northern Stage) the world premiere of Jumping Blind (Gayfest 2008), Ragtime (WPPAC), the Brighton Beach trilogy, Into the Woods, Pirates of Penzance (St. Michael’s Playhouse) Thoroughly Modern Millie (NL Barn), Beau Jest (Pennsylvania Stage), Separation (English Theatre of Stockholm) and 3 seasons of Merkin Hall’s “Broadway Playhouse” series. On screen: Law and Order, All My Children, Filmic Achievement, DutchWest TV, and dozens of feature film voice overs. Kathryn is one-third of the satirical country band “The Chalks” which has been featured on Comedy Central, the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon, The Toyota Comedy Festival, and in honky tonks from Palm Springs to Passaic.
ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER was one of the great storytellers of the twentieth century. Though his work often took the form of parables or tales based on a nineteenth century tradition, he was deeply concerned with the events of his time and the future of his people and their culture. Isaac Bashevis Singer was born on July 24, 1904 in Radzymin, Poland. By 1935 he had published his first book, SATAN IN GORAY (1935). In New York, Isaac Bashevis Singer began working for THE JEWISH DAILY FORWARD, and in the 1940s published his work in a number of journals as well as serially in the THE FORWARD. In 1950 Singer produced his first major work, THE FAMILY MOSKAT—the story of a twentieth century Polish Jewish family before the war. He followed this novel with a series of well-received short stories, including his most famous, “GIMPEL, THE FOOL” One of his most famous novels (due to a popular movie remake) was ENEMIES: A LOVE STORY, in which a Holocaust survivor deals with his own desires, complex family relationships, and the loss of faith. Singer’s feminist story YENTL has had a wide impact on culture since its conversion into a popular movie starring Barbra Streisand. Perhaps the most fascinating Singer-inspired film is 1974′s MR. SINGER’S NIGHTMARE OR MRS. PUPKOS BEARD Beard by Bruce Davison, a renowned photographer who became Singer’s neighbor. This unique film is a half-hour mixture of documentary and fantasy for which Singer not only wrote the script but played the leading role. Singer also wrote two novels about nineteenth century Polish-Jewish history before returning to more modern topics in the 1970s. Throughout the 1970s he wrote dozens of stories that were eventually collected into books, and published in Yiddish and English as well as many other languages. He branched out, writing memoirs and children’s books as well as two other major novels set in the twentieth century, THE PENITENT (1974) and SHOSHA (1978). The same year as his publication of SHOSHA, Singer won the Nobel Prize in literature. In 1988 he published THE KING OF THE FIELDS and three years later, SCUM, a story of a man living in an early-twentieth-century Polish shtetl.