Lebensraum

By Israel Horovitz

Directed by David M. Jenkins

Jan. 8 – 31, 2016

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $28

Preview Performances: Jan. 6 – 7 | Wed. – Thr. 8pm | Tickets: $14

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

A dream of recovery. An act of compassion. A sea of trouble.

Jobsite starts the new year with a new collaboration with one of the world’s greatest living dramatists. Israel Horovitz visited Tampa for a week this past February for a week-long residency culminating in a rehearsed staged reading of his play Sins of the Mother that featured a talkback and poetry reading with the award-winning writer, film-maker, and “Beastie Dad” (he is also the father of Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz). He once again returns for the opening week of his play Lebensraum.

Horovitz's script bristles with irony and depth of feeling.

Variety

Using a cast of three actors (Ned Averill-Snell, Derrick Phillips, and Katrina Stevenson under the direction of David M. Jenkins) performing quicksilver changes to play dozens of sharply drawn characters, this bold work of penetrating wit and intelligence is based on the fanciful, explosive idea that a German Chancellor might, as an act of redemption, invite six million Jews to Germany with a promise of citizenship and jobs.

A resulting scenario unfolds that explores the effects of the policy on Jews and Gentiles with widely varying outlooks in both comic and tragic terms: an out of work Jewish dock worker from Massachusetts who brings his Irish wife and his son to Bremerhaven to start a new life; a survivor of Auschwitz who returns to find the woman who betrayed his family to the Nazis; a young German smitten by a Jewish American teenage girl; an unemployed German laborer and scores of others. The logical progression of events raises the terrifying possibility that history may repeat.

“I have tried to create a modern day circumstance that mirrors what was going on in the world when Hitler came into power … that Jews were being blamed for Germany’s struggling economy, etc. etc. So, yes, it is a heavy-duty warning that things forgotten are oft-repeated, and that there’s no limit to human cruelty. That said, the play is a lot of fun to watch. It’s extremely theatrical and is a blend of, well, comedy and tragedy.” – Israel Horovitz

Producing Artistic Director David M. Jenkins adds, “once again we’ve stumbled into a situation where we’re producing something that couldn’t be more timely. Considering the rising tensions, crises, and outright bigotry and hatred in the world, we hope that this play helps serve as a place for us to come together and talk about things as a community.”

Powerful and touching.

New York Times
(L-R) Derrick Phillips, Ned Averill-Snell and Katrina Stevenson in Jobsite's Lebensraum. (Photo: Brian Smallheer.)

About The Playwright

Israel HorovitzIsrael Horovitz was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts, the son of Hazel Rose (née Solberg) and Julius Charles Horovitz, a trucker who became a lawyer at age 50. Horovitz has five children: film producer Rachael Horovitz, television producer-director Matthew Horovitz, composer/performer Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, grad student Hannah Horovitz and writer/filmmaker Oliver Horovitz. He is married to Gillian Adams, former English national marathon champion and record-holder. Horovitz’s plays have been translated and performed in more than 30 languages, worldwide. His is the author of over 70 plays including Line and Indian Wants the Bronx. Screenplays include My Old Lady, Author! Author!, The Strawberry Statement (Prix du Jury, Cannes Film Festival), Sunshine (European Academy Award – Best Screenplay), New York, I Love You, and Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated James Dean. Horovitz wrote, directed and performed the award-winning documentary 3 Weeks After Paradise.

Awards include the OBIE (twice), the Prix de Plaisir du Théâtre, The Prix Italia (for radio plays), The Sony Radio Academy Award (for Man In Snow), The Writers Guild of Canada Best Screenwriter Award, The Christopher Award, The Drama Desk Award, an Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Elliot Norton Prize, a Lifetime Achievement Award from B’Nai Brith, The Literature Prize of Washington College, an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Salem (Massachusetts) State College, Boston Public Library’s Literary Lights Award, The Walker Hancock Prize, and many others.

Horovitz is Founding Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage Company and is active Artistic Director of the New York Playwrights Lab. He teaches a master class in screenwriting at Columbia University and La Fèmis, France’s national film school, and a playwriting master class at University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Horovitz visits France, frequently, where he often directs French-language productions of his plays. He is the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history, and has recently been decorated as Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest honor for foreign artists. His memoires Un New-Yorkais a Paris have recently been published in France by Grasset. He also works frequently in Italy, where he is co-Artistic Director of Compagnia Horovitz-Paciotto. The 70/70 Horovitz Project, created by NYC’s Barefoot Theatre, began on Horovitz’s 70th birthday. During the year between 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010, 70 of Horovitz’s plays were given productions and/or readings by theatres in more than 20 countries around the globe.

Fri., Jan. 8

There will be a talkback after the opening night performance with Israel Horovitz, the cast, and the creative team that is included in the price of admission.

Sun., Jan. 17

After the performance, there will be a talkback with the cast, representatives from the Florida Holocaust Museum and a scholar from the University of South Florida.

Sun., Jan. 24

After the performance, there will be a talkback with the cast, director, and representatives of CAIR Florida.

Media

Previews

Cast & Crew

  • David M. Jenkins – Director

Cast

  • Ned Averill-Snell – Actor #2
  • Derrick Phillips – Actor #1
  • Katrina Stevenson – Actor #3
  • Matthew Ray – Production Stage Manager
  • Vivian Rodriguez – Rehearsal Stage Manager

Crew

  • Ryan E. Finzelber – Lighting Designer
  • David M. Jenkins: Properties and Sound Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer
  • Brian Smallheer – Scenic Designer

Patron Reviews

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