INVITATION-ONLY READING OF MARK SALTZMAN’S NEW PLAY
ROCKET CITY, ALABAM’
SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH LEADING JEWISH SCHOLARS,
SURVIVORS, HISTORIANS & CAST OF THE SOAP MYTH
National Jewish Theater Foundation (Arnold Mittelman, President and Artistic Director) and the Holocaust Theater Archive will commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 19, 2012) with a week of events from April 17 – 23 in New York City. The week will be the highlighted by ongoing performances of the National Jewish Theater’s production of the Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen. The start of this Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration will be an invitation-only reading of Rocket City, Alabam’, a new play by Mark Saltzman, on April 17 & 18; and a series of interviews with scholars, survivors, historians and the cast of The Soap Myth, coordinated by NJTF and the Holocaust Theater Archive will take place on April 23. The Soap Myth runs through April 22 at the Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Centerfor Theatre, 111 West 46th Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, “Yom Hashoah” in Hebrew, marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The internationally recognized date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. The day falls within the week of the Days of Remembrance, established by the U.S. Congress in 1980 as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. The National Jewish Theater Foundation and Holocaust Theater Archive are commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day this year with the following events:
Directed by National Jewish Theater Artistic Director Arnold Mittelman, this acclaimed production of The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen, which began performances on March 23, stars Greg Mullavey (television’s “Mary Hartman Mary Hartman”) and features Andi Potamkin, Donald Corren, and Dee Pelletier. The work explores the horrific rumors that the Nazis turned the fat of their Jewish victims into soap and one survivor’s pursuit of establishing it as fact through the advocacy of a young journalist. Tickets range in price from $50 to $60 and can be purchased online at www.nationaljewishtheater.com or by calling (212) 352-3101.
On Wednesday and Thursday (April 17 and 18) an invitation-only reading of Mark Saltzman’s play Rocket City, Alabam’ will be presented. This new work deals with the aftermath of the Holocaust in America through the story of the former Nazi scientist Wernher Von Braun being brought to Hunstville, Alabama by the American military to oversee the conversion of a rocket/missile program that was formerly used against the allies but now would be developed to benefit America’s defense against communist nuclear threat. Arnold Mittelman will direct a company of nine actors in this play set in 1951 that also features songs from the American South that at that time was still highly segregated. The play juxtaposes the need to integrate these former Nazi’s into Hunstville’s community including its Jewish citizens while the South still failed to provide equality to its African American people.
On Thursday (April 19, Holocaust Remembrance Day) The National Jewish Theater Foundation/National Jewish Theater’s inaugural production of The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen, directed by Arnold Mittelman, will be recorded and made into a permanent record to be distributed to Holocaust museums, educational institutions and memorials around the world This distribution will be made internationally with the help of the Association of Holocaust Organizations. The Soap Myth, which deals with the eventual loss of the remaining Holocaust survivors, will be used by the NJTF/Holocaust Theater Archive to demonstrate key issues that are affecting those survivors, historians and our society in a world that has grown increasingly opportune for Holocaust deniers. The production includes set design by Heather Wolensky, costume design by David Winitsky and lighting design by Jason Scott.
The commemoration week will end with a series of interviews conducted on Monday April 23rd of leading scholars, survivors and historians as well as cast members and young people in a videotaped discussion about The Soap Myth and the role of theater as a tool for future Holocaust education and awareness. These interviews will take place at NYC’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and will be added and made part of the production of The Soap Myth videotape distribution. Those being interviewed include Jeff Cohen, Playwright The Soap Myth), Arnold Mittelman (Director The Soap Myth, President Producing Artistic Director National Jewish Theater Foundation), Greg Mullavey and Andi Potamkin (Cast of The Soap Myth), David Marwell (Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage), Bonnie Gurewitsch (Head Curator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage), Michael Berenbaum (Former Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Former President and CEO of the SHOAH Foundation) and Holocaust Survivor Irving Roth.
The Soap Myth runs through April 22 at the Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, 111 West 46th St, between 6th Avenue and Broadway. The schedule is as follows: Wednesday – Saturday at 8 pm; Saturday, and Sunday at 3 pm. There will be no public performance Thursday April 19th due to the videotaping of the play. Tickets start at $50 and may be purchased online at www.nationaljewishtheater.com or by phoning (212) 352-3101. A limited number of $20 student rush tickets will be available one hour before each performance for purchase at the box office, cash only. For groups sales, please call (305) 365-8038. Please visit www.NationalJewishTheater.com for more information. The running time for The Soap Myth is 90 minutes with no intermission.