Do you have a sibling? A sister or a brother? Younger or older? Imagine two sisters growing up, coming of age, separated – then being reunited, living together again under the same roof. And what kept them apart was The Holocaust, one sister caught in its deadly grip, the other sister leading a normal childhood in America. That is our story, as Rose, living in Brooklyn, learns from Papa that her sister, Lusia, has survived the war and death camps and, after more than 16 years of separation, is coming to live with her in America.
A Shayna Maidel is Yiddish for “a pretty girl.” Is it Lusia, or is it Rose – who is that “pretty girl?” Rose is a carefree American girl with beautiful hair, good looks and wonderful clothes. Lusia is a survivor dressed in rags, but at her heart is a young woman with steely resolve who has managed to hang on to hope in the face of horror. And what is beauty in a world where madness and cruelty have shattered so many lives?
Between Rose and Lusia stands Papa, who blames himself for decisions made at the beginning of World War II that helped splinter his family. His way of dealing with that guilt is to manufacture the façade of an aloof, dapper Old World Jewish Poppa who tries to stitch his family back together by issuing time-worn fatherly edicts – but his self-centered ideas no longer carry any weight with his daughters.
Barbara Lebow’s play moves forward and backward in time, starting with a prologue that tells of Momma laying in the birthing position in a field near a small Polish village, surrounded by a hushed crowd of village women busily assisting. Lusia arrives in America as a wife and a mother herself, carrying the scars of the Holocaust and yet hope that she will find her missing husband. Flashbacks and imagined conversations from the past help provide the sisters counterpoint to their reality of life in postwar America.
“A MODERN CLASSIC’ – London Sunday Independent
“THIS IS THEATRE AT ITS FINEST AND NOT TO BE MISSED” – DC Theatre Scene
“ANYONE WHO SEES IT WILL NOT SOON FORGET IT” – Atlanta Constitution
“A TRIBUTE TO THE SUSTAINING POWER OF FAMILY AND TO MAN’S INDOMITABILITY”
- New York Times
“AN EMOTIONAL POWERHOUSE OF ALMOST OVERWHELMING PROPORTIONS”
– Hartford Journal Inquirer
For up-to-date information about our season, casting, and auditions visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/CarlsbadPlayreaders
Casting of Carlsbad Playreaders productions usually is done at the discretion of the director. Occasionally the director will hold limited, by-invitation-only auditions. Rarely does Playreaders hold open auditions for any one particular production. Information regarding future auditions will be posted on this website and our Facebook page.
All Carlsbad Playreaders events are held in the Schulman Auditorium at the Carlsbad City Library: 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
From Interstate 5, exit La Costa Avenue, going east for approximately 1 mile. Turn left on El Camino Real and travel north for approximately 1.5 miles. At the light after the light at Alga/Aviara, turn left onto Dove Lane and into the library parking lot. Schulman Auditorium is on the left at the entrance of the library.
There is no set charge for attendance at Carlsbad Playreaders performances.
$5 General Admission
No reservations necessary