God of Vengeance – Back by Popular Demand
An artful adaptation of Sholem Asch’s ground-breaking 1906 play.
Presented by the Yiddish Theatre Ensemble
Directed by Bruce Bierman
English translation by Caraid O’Brien
Digital Event Online Only
Tickets: $18 – $45
Note: $45 tickets include a special invite to our “Talk Back” Conversation with the production team and special guests on Sunday, May 23, 4:00pm PDT.
Access information will be included in your order confirmation email and a reminder email the day before your reservation date. You may view the video multiple times for 48 hours.
ABOUT THE PLAY
Surrounded by controversy (the first Broadway production was closed down for portraying unconventional characters and the first lesbian kiss on Broadway), this play was the inspiration for the award-winning Broadway show, Indecent. Yiddish Theatre Ensemble offers audiences the rare opportunity to experience the original play (in English) online for the first time!
Although the original script was set in turn-of-the-20th century Poland, this production is set in New York’s Lower East Side circa 1930 bringing it closer to the American experience.
The multi-cultural and multi-generational cast of 17 come from the Bay Area and across the country and includes veteran of stage Naomi Newman, co-founder of the Traveling Jewish Theater. Due to COVID-19 restrictions actors were filmed in character and full costume from their homes on Zoom.
Leads: Roni Alperin –Yankl | Jill Eickmann – Soreh | Elena Faverio – Rivkeleh | Zissel Piazza – Mankeh | Simon Winheld – Shlomo | Esther Mulligan – Hindl | Naomi Newman – Reb Eli | Josiah Prosser – A Scribe | Rebekah Kouy-Ghadosh – Basha | Frances Sedayao – Rayzel
Ensemble: Linda Ayres-Frederick – Old Blind Woman | Heather Klein – The Chanteuse | Denise Hingle | Gilberto Melendez | Merle Nadlin | Leni Siegel | Randall Solomon
God of Vengeance tells the story of a seemingly observant Jewish couple and their daughter Rivkeleh who live upstairs in their Lower East Side apartment during the Great Depression. Yankl and Soreh do their best to protect their only child from mixing with their bustling livelihood—a thriving ‘brothel’ business downstairs in the basement. Rivkeleh is at a marriageable age and plans for a future husband are being made. She is ensured an attractive dowry when her father commissions a Torah scroll, worth thousands, to be written just for her. Supposedly, the hand-written scroll is believed to protect her and keep her kosher. Meanwhile, young Rivkeleh has fallen in love with Mankeh, one of his prostitutes, and a tender relationship blossoms. Tensions mount and soon life upstairs and downstairs begin to entangle. As Yankl’s plans are threatened, he begins to unravel.
Laura Sheppard – Producer | Bruce Bierman – Director | Karen Sellinger – Assistant Director | Jeremy Knight – Set Design & Technical Director | Suzanne Stassevich – Costume & Wardrobe Consultant | David Rosenfeld – Composer and Musician | Polo Talnir – Sound Consultant | Sarah Pizer-Bush – Dramaturg | Nadav Hochman – Media Consultant | Dorrit Geshuri – Media Consultant | Pam Troy – Production Assistant | Lisa Geduldig – Publicist
The production is fiscally sponsored by KlezCalifornia and funded in part by a Civic Arts Grant from the City of Berkeley. It coincides with the 40th Anniversary of Yiddish Book Center and their Year of Translation.
For a complete list of co-sponsors, cast photos, and production info, see our website.
Reservation questions or assistance: (415) 789-7679 (leave message)